This is big news, because there is a lot of money riding on the current set up, and DynCorp was sitting all fat and happy on the CIVPOL contract as the incumbent.  Now that DoD is taking it over and issued a new task order, only companies that are pre-qualified contractors for CNTPO get to participate.  Those companies are Lockheed, NG, Raytheon, Xe, and ARINC.

   The general feeling I am getting about this latest move, is that the DoD wants to have more control over the training of the Afghan police, and give them training that is more military-like.  The reason for this, is so these poor guys can actually survive the war, so they can go on to be effective in their normal police work.

   The Afghan police are already fighting more war, than doing police work, so it makes sense to harden them up a little.  Not too mention that when you have cops teaching Afghan police forces to shoot PKMs or RPGs, then the realm of police work skills gets trumped by war fighting skills.  So yeah, DoD would be a better choice.

   The other one that was interesting, was the hearing at CSPAN about Afghan National Security Forces.  Executives from Dyncorp, MPRI, and Xe all made a showing at this thing, and they all had something unique to say about their little chunk of the war.  Which further emphasizes the CNAS report as to the importance of contractors in the war effort.

   One thing that was mentioned by Xe, which I think is a great suggestion, is to integrate military trainers with Xe trainers, to insure a quality product.  That way, there is no blaming Xe for a poor job, when in fact, there is direct military oversight and integration into the training.  This makes sense for unity of effort, and totally makes sense about getting everyone on board with the strategy of the war.  I say mix that chocolate with the peanut butter! lol

   Probably the best part of military integration with programs like this, is security.  It is big military that has the guns, the air support and the communications necessary to make any enemy’s day, a bad day.  So for these sites that are located up in the hills, where training and security go hand in hand, having some military folks around with the big guns, would be a nice insurance policy for the defense.

   Be sure to check out the thread on this subject at SOCNET, and I look forward to any input from the readership about this. -Matt

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Afghan National Security Forces Contract Training

Friday, December 18, 2009

The December 18, 2009, hearing of the Commission on Wartime Contracting reviewed the adequacy and oversight of contract training for Afghanistan’s national army, national police, and border police — organizations critical for stability as the United States moves toward its newly stated goal of beginning withdrawal of U.S. forces from the country in July 2011.

At the end of November 2009, Afghan National Army strength was about 96,000; it is expected to grow to 134,000 by the end of October 2010 (40% growth) and is targeted reach 240,000 by 2013 (80% growth). The Afghanistan National Police was near 94,000 and is expected to be almost 97,000 strong by the end of 2009. While there is no programmed end strength set for 2010, the U.S.-led Combined Security Transition Command-Afghanistan has proposed growing the ANP to 160,000 by 2013 (65% growth).

The U.S. government has spent more than $20 billion since 2001 to train, equip, and support the Afghan National Security Forces through the Department of Defense and Department of State. Unfortunately, reports from institutions like the Government Accountability Office, the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, the Department of Defense Inspector General, and Congressional Research Service have found rampant corruption and equipment shortages among Afghan forces, plus poor contract-management capabilities and lack of accountability that present challenges to the training mission and to the achievement of U.S. objectives.

Additional U.S. military units are being deployed to assist training in Afghanistan, but contract personnel are also heavily engaged in training both army and police units there. The hearing took testimony from and posed questions to federal officials and representatives of key training contractors DynCorp, MPRI, and Xe.

Video link:

C-Span video of 12/18/2009 Commission hearing

Press Release:

Wartime Contracting hearing will probe training contracts for Afghanistan security forces

Documents:

Opening Statement

Statement from Amb Kenneth Moorefield (DoD-IG)

Statement from Major General Richard Formica (former CSTC-A Commander)

Statement from Mr David Johnson (DoS-INL)

Statement from Mr Donald Ryder (DynCorp Intl)

Statement from Mr Richard “Nick” Nickerson (MPRI)

Statement from Mr Fred Roitz (Xe Services)

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Contractors In Afghanistan May Need More Time, New Teaching Models

December 18, 2009

by Julianne LaJeunesse- University of New Mexico

The Congressionally-mandated Commission on Wartime Contracting held a hearing Friday on the issues that arise due to paid contractors training Afghani police and military forces. During the question and answer period, the issue of responsibility was one that neither the United States nor Afghanistan could claim to own, at least according to the witnesses.

During the hearing, Defense Department Assistant Inspector General Kenneth Moorefield said that contractors bring important skill sets to Afghan soldier training, but admitted that because of the current model of service, contractors may not be providing as much help as they could.

“It was our view then [September 2009], and our recommendation in the report, that tour lengths be extended to a minimum of one year for all military services,” Moorefield said, in reference to a DoD report on contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“In addition, I noted in my remarks that contracting representatives had been serving only three to six month tours, which created less than stability in their carrying out their oversight responsibilities.”

Moorefield added that the value of “getting to know your counterparts is a very challenging process… and developing a relationship is everything.”

Developing relationships has been a problem Moorefield said, particularly because of cultural and competency differences between Afghani and U.S. troops.

The assistant inspector said that members of the Afghani police and the Afghanistan National Security Forces don’t share the same sense of responsibility as U.S. military servicemen do, and emphasized that the learning methods aren’t the same, which he says, is a recipe for training difficulties.

The U.S. capacity to train the Afghan police was also questioned, particularly because of the previous resource emphasis placed on the Afghan military.

The responsibility of managing contracted military services, as far as those committed to training Afghan police, is in the process of switching hands, moving from the State Department to the Department of Defense.

David Johnson, the assistant secretary of the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement said the success of a full transition between the the DoD and State Department will be largely dependent on who is awarded the next contracting agreement, but added, “I think the plan is largely in place, but in order to have a plan where one partner is handing a task to another, you have to have another partner… but all of the things have been done to prepare, the inventories and things of that nature.”

Story here.

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DynCorp International Files Protest of Shift in Afghan Police Training Contract

FALLS CHURCH, Va. – December 15, 2009 – DynCorp International LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of DynCorp International Inc. (NYSE:DCP), has filed a pre-award protest with the Government Accountability Office (GAO) concerning the planned procurement of training and mentoring of police and government personnel in Afghanistan by the Department of Defense through task orders issued by the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command Counter-Narcoterrorism Technology Program Office (CNTPO). DynCorp International is the incumbent contractor currently performing the protested work through the Department of State’s CIVPOL contract.  The work being performed in Afghanistan on a task order under the current CIVPOL contract is in the process of being transferred by the U.S. government to the Department of Defense, through the CNTPO program.

DynCorp International believes that the existing CNTPO contract has a limited scope and is structured solely to procure technologies and technology based goods and services related to CNTPO’s mission, which is the development of technologies related to counter-drug and counter narcoterrorism activities. The GAO protest challenges the proposed task orders as being beyond the scope of the CNTPO contract because they include activities that are not related to technology development and counter-drug and counter narcoterrorism efforts.

Additionally, the protested CNTPO contract limits bidding and excludes the incumbent, DynCorp International, and other potential qualified bidders from participation because they are not existing CNTPO contract holders. DynCorp International requests in the GAO protest that the contested services be obtained through full and open competition, which DynCorp International believes will result in better pricing and a best value solution for the U.S. government, not through a limited set of pre-selected contractors.

“We have been a proud partner of the U.S. government in the effort to build the capacity and capability of the Afghan Police force, and advocate a contract procurement approach that will bring the best value and service solution for the U.S. government,” stated William L. Ballhaus, President and Chief Executive Officer of DynCorp International. “Irrespective of the outcome of this protest, we continue to enjoy a strong relationship with the Department of Defense and Department of State in Afghanistan, Iraq and other parts of the world providing essential government services in support of U.S. national security and foreign policy objectives.”

As previously disclosed, DynCorp International’s current civilian police task order in Afghanistan ends in February 2010.  The current task order contributed $118 million of revenues for the six months ended October 2, 2009. The migration of civilian police training in Afghanistan to the CNTPO program would not result in a change in DynCorp International’s previously disclosed total backlog and would not materially change DynCorp International’s previously disclosed estimated remaining contract value.

Press release here.