Archive for category Video

Industry Talk: The UN Talks Shop About Their Use Of PMSC’s

Last year in July, I wrote about this debate that the UN was having about it’s use of PMSC’s, now and into the future. This is the final review panel about this debate, and it was interesting to hear the current view point of the UN.

One of the things that came up that I thought was interesting, is that the UN still does not know how many contractors it uses, either for guard work or for logistics. So I think they should at least dedicate some time and effort towards getting a firm grasp on this. Perhaps an online database that gives a transparent view of everyone they are using, both past and present. They could also add to that database if that company was fired or not, or what they thought of their performance? Anything to add to the history of the use of contractors.

They also talked in great length about codes of conduct and other initiatives to get companies to self-regulate. My thoughts are that if the UN actually published violations of these codes as a record for the public, kind of like what POGO does with companies in the US, then that would keep the world and the UN better informed as to the true track records of companies. That kind of history and track record is essential information if you want to truly find the best value company for the money. Companies would also fight to not be on that list, and especially if it impacted bidding.

The other surprising thing is that they couldn’t list how much money was spent on contractors, past or present. So a database should absolutely list those costs so that member donors to the UN can see exactly how their money is being spent. Also, other companies can see how much a service costs, and find out if they can provide that service cheaper or at least get a feel for what it would take to spin up a contract. So a UN contractor database would be an excellent investment, if the UN is interested in transparency and effectively using this industry.

I was also taken aback when the panel was asked around the 28:30 point of this video, what they thought about the lack of accountability for member nation troops that continue to violate human rights during peace keeping operations. No one wanted to take that question and it was left ‘wide’ open. I thought the silence said everything…

There was also numerous questions about the definition of mercenary and how that applied to PMSC’s. Or how their group was called the UN Working Group On The Use of Mercenaries, and yet they were tasked with evaluating PMSC’s that were not mercenaries by definition. I think the choice of group title is somewhat counterproductive for such a panel, if they wanted to be perceived as objective in their research of this industry. With that said, the group at least tried to differentiate between mercenaries and PMSC’s.

If the video below does not show up, here is a link to the video. It is about 50 minutes long and worth your time. The panel’s final report should be coming out sometime this year, and I will post it when it surfaces. -Matt

 

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Music: A Marine Christmas Song

A hat tip to the guys at SOFREP for finding this one. Merry Christmas to all of those contractors and military that are deployed, and to their friends and family keeping the home fires burning.

Merry Christmas to all of my readership, FB fans, authors, veterans, PMSC’s, associations, academics, journalists, think tankers and fellow bloggers out there whom have all contributed to the discussion about the ever evolving world of the private military and security industry. -Matt

 

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Military News: Staff Sergeant Ty M. Carter Receives The Medal Of Honor

The 53 Fort Carson soldiers in the Keating fight earned the two Medals of Honor, the nation’s top award for gallantry, as well as nine Silver Star Medals, 18 Bronze Star Medals for Valor, 27 Purple Heart Medals and 37 Army Commendation Medals, leading Obama to describe them as the most decorated unit in the Army.

Quite the honor and this is the second Medal of Honor given to a participant of the Battle of Kamdesh. The first one was Staff Sergeant Clinton Romesha, not to mention all of the other battlefield awards given to the units involved. Above is the list of awards the 3rd Troop, 61st Cavalry Regiment have received from just this one battle. -Matt

 

 

 

Aug 26, 2013

President awards Staff Sergeant Ty M. Carter, U.S. Army, the Medal of Honor for his courageous actions while serving as a cavalry scout with Bravo Troop, 3rd Squadron, 61st Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, during combat operations in Kamdesh District, Nuristan Province, Afghanistan on October 3, 2009. Staff Sergeant Carter is the fifth living recipient to be awarded the Medal of Honor for actions in Iraq or Afghanistan. August 26, 2013.

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Executive Protection: So Who Does Warren Buffet Use For Security?

This is a great show on the protective details of the rich. Have you ever wondered who protects guys like Warren Buffet?

In the video they identified Clark International as the folks that Mr. Buffet uses. Pretty cool, and if the Oracle of Omaha chose them, then they must have the juice.  Buffet is the king of finding quality companies and investing in them for the long haul. According to the video, Buffet has used Clark International for several decades now. -Matt

 

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Film: The Project, By Shawn Efran And Adam Ciralsky

Now this looks like a cool documentary and it will be interesting to see the reaction to this film? It definitely has an interesting cast of characters that were interviewed for the film or were actual participants. Specifically, the folks from SCS and the good work they did to train and stand up the PMPF. Here is a quote from below.

Cast: Roger Carstens, Erik Prince, Lafras Luitingh, Rudolph van Heerden, Michael Shanklin, Matthew Bryden

What will really be cool is if they were actually able to capture some of the hostage rescue missions that the PMPF performed, with the help of Roelf van Heerden and his men. -Matt

 

The Project

The scourge of Somali piracy has been devastating the Middle East and North African shipping industries for nearly a decade. As a country with no functioning central government for over twenty years and no military training permitted under UN sanctions, Somalia has been largely powerless to curb the increasingly bold and violent actions of the pirates. Enter the Puntland Maritime Police Force, a secret paramilitary group of mercenary pirate hunters. Initially so undertrained and malnourished that members broke their own legs during marching exercises, the PMPF grows its numbers and hones its tactics under the watchful eye of former U.S. Army Special Forces operative Roger Carstens. It ultimately faces mutiny, death and political infighting in a dangerous quest to pull off the impossible: waging an epic battle on the high seas to rescue dozens of innocent hostages.

Featuring interviews with controversial Blackwater founder Erik Prince and the UN’s arms embargo monitor Matt Bryden, along with shocking firsthand footage from filmmakers embedded within the PMPF, The Project is a gripping, real-life war thriller exposing an unknown, anything-goes battle for control of the seas in one of the most dangerous places on earth.
—Cara Cusumano
Film Information Collapse
2013 | 90 minutes | Documentary Feature
Directed by: Shawn Efran and Adam Ciralsky
Language: English

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Cool Stuff: A Quadrotor That Can Grasp Like An Eagle Or Harvest Energy From Powerlines

These are some incredible developments in Quadrotor/UAS technology. The ability to ‘grab’ something in mid-flight or to have the device harvest energy from a power line is amazing.

For the battlefield, there are some interesting uses for a quadrotor that could grab things on the fly like an eagle. A larger robot could be used to actually grab prisoners or steal equipment from the enemy. I have talked about defeating ‘hit and run’ tactics of the enemy, and imagine being able to capitalize on such an attack by not only stunning or wounding with a Switchblade, but then snatching the combatant with a ‘Grabber’.

I could also see using something like this for resupply missions that require an exchange between parties. I need this, and you need that, so let’s use the Grabber to quickly exchange those items. Perhaps there are sensitive materials that need to get picked up quickly–well the Grabber could be the one to do that. The Grabber could be used to pick up battlefield munitions to clear an area.

What would really be wild is to use a Grabber to attack and steal other UAS’s. Like two birds attacking one another, and may the bigger more aggressive bird win. Which if you look at where all this is going, quadrotors like this and their usages will mimic what animals or insects can do.

As to harvesting energy from powerlines, the Grabber would be an excellent tool for that. Or maybe the Grabber would gather fuel for a fuel cell that it is operating from, like a bird gathering sticks for it’s nest. Lot’s of ideas there and these robots will have all sorts of ways sustaining itself in the wild.

Interesting stuff and the imagination is the only limit here. -Matt

 

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