Archive for category Kuwait

PMC 2.0: The Middle East Declares War Against BlackBerry Smart Phones

     The  author of “City of Gold” a history of Dubai, Jim Krane said, “The U.A.E. has never been a place that offered much in the way of electronic privacy. “The government makes no secret that it monitors electronic communication, including text messages, phone calls and e-mail. The revelation that secure BlackBerry data is frustratingly out of the government’s reach only confirms this.” 

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     This is definitely some PMC 2.0 news, just because many contractors carry BlackBerry smart phones, and many companies have management teams that depend upon this phone.  So imagine all these guys having to give up those phones just to do business in the middle east?

     One interesting tidbit with all of this is that these countries really don’t have a problem with iPhones, just because they can easily monitor the traffic on those devices. That is good and bad for contractors that have iPhones.  It kind of confirms what the best phone is for privacy–the BlackBerry.  Although there are still ways to make iPhones secure, it’s just with this crackdown on ‘CrackBerry’s’, it seems that the BlackBerry is the winner.

      Below, I posted three articles.  The last one is from 2005, but still a good one on how PIN messaging works for BlackBerry phones. The other articles detail what fears the various middle eastern countries have in regards to the BlackBerry. Interesting stuff. -Matt

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UAE crackdown on BlackBerry services to extend to foreign visitors

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES — The United Arab Emirates’ crackdown on BlackBerry services will extend to foreign visitors, putting the government’s concerns over the smartphones in direct conflict with the country’s ambitions to be a business and tourism haven.

The UAE’s telecommunications regulator said Monday that travelers to the city-state of Dubai and the important oil industry center of Abu Dhabi will — like 500,000 local subscribers — have to do without BlackBerry e-mail, messaging and Web services starting Oct. 11, even when they carry phones issued in other countries. The handsets themselves will still be allowed for phone calls.

UAE authorities say the move is based on security concerns because BlackBerry transmissions are automatically routed to company computers abroad, where it is difficult for local authorities to monitor for illegal activity or abuse.

Critics of the crackdown say it is also a way for the country’s conservative government to further control content it deems politically or morally objectionable.

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Jobs: Force Protection Officer, Kuwait

   I am not sure if TC has this contract or not, but I did hear there was talk that CSA might lose their contract.  Or this could be something else.  Either way, it’s a job and it is for Kuwait as a security contractor. I am not the POC or Recruiter, and please follow the links provided if you want to apply.  Good luck. -Matt

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Triple Canopy

Force Protection Officer

Operational/Corp Intermittent Employee

Location Kuwait

Department Operations

Position Schedule Intermittent Employee

Job Description Location Kuwait

Reports To Supervisor

Position Summary

Perform duties as a Force Protection Officer, providing security at specified locations

Position Responsibilities

• Act as armed security officer

• Responsible for internal security shift

• Pass a physical examination, meet U.S. Army height and weight standards, and pass a physical fitness test

• Possess the capacity to acquire a good working knowledge of all aspects of contract security; and must satisfactorily complete all Government required and supplied training and certification prior to work performance.

• Successfully complete a driver-training program to include a road test and a written evaluation on Host Nation driving rules and requirements

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Jobs: Triple Canopy Open House, Kuwait

   This is kind of funny.  When I think open house, I think of some kind of real estate deal, with cookies, coffee and really sharp dressed and fast talking realtors. lol  So I guess if you happen to be in Kuwait at the time, check em out and good luck. -Matt

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TC

Triple Canopy Open House – KuwaitWednesday, December 23, 2009, 15:18

US Government Contractors seeking continued employment in Kuwait & the Middle East are invited to attend Triple Canopy’s Open House. We are a global security solutions provider that mitigates risk and develops comprehensive security programs for government agencies, private corporations and non-governmental organizations.

Please join us at our open house to meet our team!

Date: January 14, 2010

Location: Hilton Kuwait Resort in the Burgan Meeting Room

Times available: Session One:  7:30 a.m.  – 11:30 a.m. or

                              Session Two:  7:00 p.m.  – 10:00 p.m.

We are seeking qualified, team players with the leadership skills and maturity to thrive in a fast-paced global environment. We have many opportunities for top performers who would like to join a growing organization founded on legal, moral and ethical principles.

Please visit our website to review all career opportunities.

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Company Spotlight: CSA Kuwait

   CSA Kuwait has always been one of those companies that provided the stepping stone to bigger and better contracts for guys.  In essence, it has been one of those gigs to cut your teeth on, in order to prepare for the war zone stuff.  I consider the Kosovo contract with ITT(or whoever owns that contract now) and the Qatar contract with DynCorp to be the same thing.  These are all static security posts, tasked with securing a large US base in these countries, and they can be used as experience for overseas security contracting in the war zones on a resume.

   Now on to this latest report on CSA and what the company’s response is. It isn’t that pretty, if you know what I mean.  I do not see customer satisfaction there.  I also hear on the circuit that contractors are not to happy with the way the company has treated them.

     If you read below, the company mission statement has Toyota and lean systems written all over it.  It has all the stuff you want in a company. The thing I want to emphasize though is that anyone can write a mission statement that looks impressive, but to me, actions speak louder than words.  Is the customer truly satisfied or happy and are your contractors and leaders truly satisfied or happy? How about the local populations or the public as a whole?  What is their impression of your company? That is all that matters, and results are what the company should be striving for.

   I would like to reiterate though that I really dig the mission statements and the language.  It is great, but does the CEO of the company really believe this stuff with his heart and soul?  Does the leadership in this company have this stuff ingrained into their soul? And does all of this impress and motivate their contractors/employees, and the customer?

   And for all I know, all of these mission statements and ISO 9001:2000 and Six Sigma stuff happened as a result of all of these issues listed below?  If so, that is great, and I really hope the company can achieve greatness in their little corner of the security contracting world. The proof is in the pudding, and until I start hearing glowing reviews of the company’s performance, then I will continue to remain skeptical.

   My suggestion to the company is to seek out feedback from the customer(s) and to seek out feedback from your workforce.  Actually listen to what they have to say, and get some shared reality.  You should also be doing performance evaluations, and constantly evaluating the health and vitality of your company.  How else are you to know how you are doing out there on these contracts? Be proactive about your performance, not reactive.

   Furthermore, performance evaluations, if done correctly, can certainly add to your company’s Kaizen. The sleeping guard  mentioned below could have shown a history of sleeping on post or poor performance elsewhere, and it should have been noted in performance evaluations and corrected early on.  If the guy sucks, then there should be documentation that he sucks, and the leadership should have a means to express to that contractor that it is unacceptable.

   The guard should know exactly what the company policies are, they should know what the chain of command is, and they should know the disciplinary process.  My suggestion for disciplinary stuff, is to have a three tiered system.  The first tier is the warning.  If the guard does the same thing a second time, then make a note on their performance evaluation and take one day’s pay.  If the guard does it a third time, then fire him.  Either way you do it, disciplinary programs should be clear, graduated, and the punishments should be fair.  Most of all, disciplinary actions should be consistent and there should be no favoritism.  If there is, it will kill your program.  Too many companies implement a disciplinary system that is either you do well, or we fire you for whatever reason.

   The question to ask with that, is how much money is a company losing by not doing all they can to hang on to guys?  To actually treat them well and listen to what they have to say, as opposed to not caring about them, and reacting with a knee jerk action like firing the guard. An evaluations system, coupled with a fair and effective disciplinary program, is the better way to go.  Taking a guys pay for the day, is money in the company’s pocket and a day of free work.  But when you fire a guy, you have to spend the money to recruit, train, equip, and deploy someone new.  Do the math on that, and turnover is not cost effective.  The three tier disciplinary system I am talking about makes sense and if coupled with a sound company mission statement and evaluations program, you can certainly do great thing to shape and manage your workforce.

   Likewise, a contractor or leader should be able to communicate up the chain of command what is going right and what is going wrong with the company, and that upper management should be responsive to that.  This contractor cares enough about your company, to let you know some deficiencies, the least you could do is listen to what they have to say and thank him or her for coming forward.  If you have a culture that does not allow for this, then how is your company to grow/evolve and continuously improve?  A performance evaluation system, that is properly conducted and gives both sides (contractor and manager) a voice, is vital. Most of all, a company that acts upon this information and really implements changes based on this information is even more important.  Other than that, it is all hot air and ISO-Bologny. -Matt

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CSA Kuwait

INSIDE WASHINGTON: Oversight lacking on war costs

By RICHARD LARDNER

10/07/2009

WASHINGTON — During a routine check of a watch tower at a U.S. military base in Kuwait, an Army sergeant found the guard leaning back in a chair, his sunglasses on, apparently sound asleep. When the soldier woke the guard, an employee of a defense contractor named Combat Support Associates, he denied he’d dozed off while on duty.

“It’s so weird that I can close my eyes for one second and then you appear out of nowhere,” the guard said, according to the sergeant’s March 2008 inspection report.

The episode illustrates the problems between the U.S. armed forces and the industrial army supporting military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. Demand for contractor services is heavy, while oversight of their work isn’t. That means problems often aren’t discovered until long after the payments have been made.

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