Posts Tagged AEGIS Defense

Industry Talk: Aegis Guards Speak In Kabul… And Their Leaders Should Have Listened

First off, bravo to these guards for voicing their concerns and holding their company and leaders accountable. I also want to say thanks to POGO for putting this out there, both on their blog and over at Foreign Policy magazine.

As I read through this post, it looks to me like the company’s leaders have done a terrible job of listening to their guard force’s concerns about security or even about the day to day operations of the company. And if the actions of the company and these leaders are causing folks to leave, then that only creates more problems for the guys on the ground because they work more hours and get burned out.

Another point I want to bring up is that today’s security contracting industry is filled with combat seasoned contractors who know exactly what is needed to actually provide security in a war zone. If these guys are recognizing deficiencies in the security apparatus of the embassy, then it would behoove the leadership to listen to these concerns and make adjustments. Especially after such incidents like what happened in Benghazi.

They should be thanking these men for actually caring about the mission and the defense of the facility, and bringing these concerns forward. Instead, it looks like the ego of these leaders is more important and they have chosen to fire or reprimand those who actually spoke up. Shameful….

On that note, it makes no sense at all for a leader or leaders of a security force to not listen to this pool of combat veterans, security contractor veterans or police veterans, that when combined, would have years of experience and knowledge. It should be the goal of that leadership to tap into that pool of ‘human resource’, and take full advantage of that. To use that resource to build a better security apparatus or use it as part of their Kaizen or continuous improvement plan, and then reward that resource by giving them the credit and encouraging them to do it again and again. Call it collaboration or team work, and it works if you actually allow it to happen and know how to use it.

People will also support what they help to create, which is a Jundism. It is also a great way of showing that you are not a toxic leader.

Either way, we will see how this turns out? Obviously this is a black eye on the management of Aegis because it got to this level, and some changes are in order if they intend to hang onto this contract. -Matt

Edit: 01/24/2013- It sounds like four of the guards have filed a $5 million lawsuit against Aegis for being told to lie on their time sheets. The law firms they are using are The Employment Law Group and Lichten & Liss-Riordan. Here is a link to the court filing.

 

A “Mutiny” in Kabul: Guards Allege Security Problems Have Put Embassy at Risk
January 17, 2013
By Adam Zagorin
Private guards responsible for protecting what may be the most at-risk U.S. diplomatic mission in the world — the embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan — say security weaknesses have left it dangerously vulnerable to attack.
In interviews and written communications with the Project On Government Oversight (POGO), current and former guards said a variety of shortcomings, from inadequate weapons training to an overextended guard force, have compromised security there — security provided under a half-a-billion-dollar contract with Aegis Defense Services, the U.S. subsidiary of a British firm. “[I]f we ever got seriously hit [by terrorists], there is no doubt in my mind the guard force here would not be able to handle it, and mass casualties and mayhem would ensue,” a guard serving at the embassy wrote in a late November message to POGO.
“[I]f we ever got seriously hit [by terrorists], there is no doubt in my mind the guard force here would not be able to handle it, and mass casualties and mayhem would ensue.”
In July, dissatisfaction boiled over when more than 40 members of the embassy’s Emergency Response Team signed a petition sounding an alarm about embassy security, people familiar with the document said. The petition, submitted to the State Department and Aegis, expressed a “vote of no confidence” in three of the guard force leaders, accusing them of “tactical incompetence” and “a dangerous lack of understanding of the operational environment.” Two guards say they were quickly fired after organizing the petition, in what they called “retaliation.”
A State Department document obtained by POGO describes a “mutiny” among guards who defend the Kabul embassy — an apparent reference to the petition, though the document does not explicitly mention it. Dated July 18, 2012, and labeled “SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED,” the document says that the mutiny was “baseless” but that it “undermined the chain of command” and “put the security of the Embassy at risk.”

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Iraq: Aegis Defense Contractor Robbie Napier Killed, Others Wounded And Killed In Separate Incidents

   I had no idea that this happened several weeks back, and there is nothing on the Aegis company website or Army Corps of Engineers website about this death, or even the other attacks. Supposedly another contractor was killed by a sniper, and others severely wounded, but there is nothing in the news about it.  If a reader could please pass on the news link to the death related to that sniper, I will definitely make an edit to this post.

   The other deal with this, is that I found out about this because of a story a blogger put together, who also happens to be a contractor and artist.  Perhaps he can come over and fill in some of the blanks.  Good on him for at least writing the story up on this, because if it wasn’t for him, I would have never have known. I also checked the icasualties site, and others, and I could not find anything at all about these deaths. Yet again, if the Army Corps of Engineers or Aegis Defense posted a press release about this, I could have blogged about this awhile back–but there was nothing. (someone please correct me if I am wrong on this, but I found nothing in my searches)

   With that in mind, if you are reading this and you are seeing no attention at all about a security contractor death in your company, or a death you heard about somewhere else, please let me know and I will put it up on the blog.  I have a multitude of media folks reading FJ, and I will definitely get the word out.  These are our fallen brothers, and their deaths mean something.  But if know one knows that they were killed, other than their family, then no one will ever have an idea about that sacrifice.

   Iraq is also at a very interesting point in the war.  We are at the end there, but make no mistake about it, things are still dangerous and just because the media is not reporting it, doesn’t mean it is not happening.  With the draw down, it requires a lot of road work.  We are moving all this stuff out of theater, and contractors are going to be the guys doing it all–much like we were the ones that helped to bring it all in.  And as we see Iraq take more of the security duties, and Coalition forces take less, the possibility for attacks only increase, because the insurgency feels it has a better chance of getting in a punch or two as we are leaving. Watch yourselves out there. -Matt

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Wakefield bomb blast victim had just delivered baby

20 March 2010

By Stuart Robinson

A SECURITY contractor was killed in an explosion in Iraq just three months after delivering his baby daughter in the kitchen of his home.

Ex-Marine and father-of-two Robbie Napier, 36, from Wakefield, died after the explosion this month.

On Friday, his grieving father told the YEP that just last Christmas he had returned home and delivered his baby daughter at his family home in Stanley.

An inquest in Wakefield into his death heard that Mr Napier was a front seat passenger in the front of a three-vehicle convoy on March 10.

Coroner’s officer Anthony Lancaster told the hearing: “Mr Napier sustained fatal injuries in an explosion of a detonated explosive device.”

The court heard that following the explosion in Baghdad Mr Napier was taken to a nearby base but was pronounced dead a short time later.

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