Posts Tagged British

Industry Talk: Basra Contracts With Aegis To Help Stop Wave Of Terrorism

Anxious to rid itself of the lawlessness that still plagues Iraq’s southern capital, Basra’s governor has hired a private military company run by a British general who helped capture the city from Saddam Hussein.
Maj Gen Graham Binns, who is the chief executive of Aegis Defence Services, commanded the 7th Armoured Brigade when it led the siege of Basra in 2003.
Four years later he supervised the handover of the city to Iraqi security forces. Now, amid growing concern about a fresh wave of terrorist violence across the country, Basra’s governor has invited Maj Gen Binns’s company back to assist at a “strategic level”.
Aegis will be asked to provide help with setting up specialised CCTV detection and checkpoint systems across the city, establishing a “ring of steel” security system to thwart suicide bombers.
It will also set up an academy to help security forces improve coordination and intelligence-gathering techniques.
As Basra’s economy promises to boom, Britain’s consulate prepares to pull out.

A hat tip to Mark over at facebook for finding and sharing this news. This is a big story because Iraq is turning to private industry to help solve this immense threat that has been growing in their country. Iraq is awash with terror attacks this last year, thanks to the mess that is going on in Syria.

Basically, Syria has turned into a jihadist factory, where Al Qaeda has definitely taken advantage. This violence is also spilling over the borders into places like Lebanon and Iraq. ISIS or Al Qaeda of Iraq and Syria is gaining territory, manpower, and weapons, and they are on the war path. There have also been some significant prison breaks that have certainly helped add to the ranks.

A prime example of what I am talking about is that ISIS has just captured Fallajuh and is working on Ramadi–two places that coalition forces fought really tough fights during the war. Iraq’s military and police are having a hard time competing with this, and they are losing ground. There is also a sectarian element to this. These areas are primarily sunni, the government of Iraq is led by shia, and because of the actions of the jihadists to fuel this animosity between the two, that it is very easy for ISIS to get refuge in sunni areas.

Another point to bring up is that the governor of Basra is contracting Aegis’ services because of Maj Gen Graham Binns background and experience in Iraq. He was the commander of all British forces in Iraq, at the time the British signed over Basra’s security back over to Iraq, December of 2007. This is quite the thing to bring back this General, but as a contractor. Which brings up an interesting thought.

Will General Binns be able to do what he wanted to do in this contract, that he couldn’t do in the military doing the same mission? Will he have more flexibility and be more innovative in the way he accomplishes the mission, or is he a one trick pony as they say? We will see, and if Aegis or General Binns would like to comment on this contract, we look forward to hearing from you. Congrats to the company and good luck to General Binns. Be sure to check out all three articles below, to include one written by General Binns himself. –Matt

Edit: 01/07/14 -Here is an interview that the governor of Basra gave about the the status of his city and why he is contracting services, versus using local. He just took office and it seems corruption is very bad, and security is not dependable.

Al-Monitor: How do you see the security situation in the province?
Nasrawi: The security problem is no different from the contract problems we talked about, for there is a lack of planning in both cases. The mechanisms in place for fighting terrorism are basic, limited and non-innovative. Thus, we decided as an initial step to contract a British security consulting company. I believe that the problem of terrorism cannot be solved via a military leader, but rather through security experts, surveillance technology, and training and developing the capabilities of the intelligence [agencies]. For example, we have a plan to buy sophisticated explosives-detection devices, but who determines the specifications and standards for these devices? Will we make the same mistake as Baghdad, which imported [explosives-detection] devices that didn’t work? Who will choose the weapons and sniffer dogs? To answer these questions, we turned to a global consulting firm that works in the security field.
Al-Monitor: Have you encountered any objections to this contract from the ministries concerned with security or the office of the commander in chief of the armed forces?
Nasrawi: The law allows the province to do this, and the contracts are paid using Basra’s money, not funds from Baghdad.
Al-Monitor: You talk about security as though it’s a purely technical issue, but what about the social problems feeding disorder?
Nasrawi: This is correct. Security cannot be achieved though arrests alone. First, it costs a lot of money to put large numbers of people in prison. Most importantly, however, we must address the motives for crimes and the cultural and social reasons standing behind these crimes — and we must work to address them. A culture of security must spread in society, so that each citizen becomes a part of the ingredients for security in the country and is not afraid or reluctant to report any security breach.
Al-Monitor: What about the malfunction within the security establishment?
Nasrawi: The causes [of this malfunction] are known. There is corruption as well as political and partisan intervention in the work of the security services. Recently, Basra was able to rein in a large gang involved in theft, blackmail and kidnapping, which was led by a senior police officer. We were under pressure not to arrest [members of the gang], but we were determined to bring them to justice. We will not allow for a shuffling of cards in Basra. We will not stray from our path to purify the security services of any breaches.


Maj Gen Graham Binns when he was in the military.


Basra invites British back for security role
Six years after the last British troops left amid a barrage of bombs and mortars, the Iraqi city of Basra is to re-enlist UK military expertise to oversee its security again
By Colin Freeman
03 Jan 2014
Anxious to rid itself of the lawlessness that still plagues Iraq’s southern capital, Basra’s governor has hired a private military company run by a British general who helped capture the city from Saddam Hussein.
Maj Gen Graham Binns, who is the chief executive of Aegis Defence Services, commanded the 7th Armoured Brigade when it led the siege of Basra in 2003.
Four years later he supervised the handover of the city to Iraqi security forces. Now, amid growing concern about a fresh wave of terrorist violence across the country, Basra’s governor has invited Maj Gen Binns’s company back to assist at a “strategic level”.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Blogs: One Hired Gun

A big hat tip to James over at DVM for this one. This is a very experienced British security contractor and is good people. Most of all, he is one of the few that is writing about the maritime security industry from an insider’s point of view. Check it out and definitely put him on your RSS reader. –Matt

Edit: 06/02/2011– Hey folks, it looks like this blog went private. 

The author on assignment.

One Hired Gun

private militaries, jihadis and pirates
“Mercenaries”, “Guns for Hire”, “Soldiers of Fortune”, “Dogs of War”. Private forces and the people who work for them are part of the second oldest profession in the world.
This is a blog about the modern-day mercenary business, from Private Security Companies (PSCs) to Private Military Companies (PMCs) and everything else in between.
The author is a British security consultant who has spent the last eight years plying his trade in Iraq, Afghanistan, and now in anti-piracy, facing off Somali pirates in the Indian Ocean. This is the view from the coal face, warts and all, anything relating to the business is covered – news, views and reviews.
Comments are always welcome
Link to blog here.

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Letter Of Marque: Thomas Jefferson On Privateering, July 4, 1812

Today is the birthday of Thomas Jefferson, and I thought it would be cool to post his original paper on the concept of privateering, and why it should be used during the War of 1812.  I plan to link to this page often in the future, when ever I talk about the history of the concept and how important it was to the US strategy back then.

The other thing I wanted to point out is the article written in 1882 about the paper that Thomas Jefferson wrote, and the statistics the author presented. I have not seen these statistics before, and they are pretty interesting.  Of course the author of the article was certainly impressed with the concept of privateering and it’s effects on an enemy. The author made this point in the article, that really stuck out for me. That the British were certainly concerned about American privateers:

One at least of the London journals, the Statesman, foresaw the danger from privateers in 1812. When war was threatened, it said: “America cannot certainly pretend to wage a maritime war with us.  She has no navy to do it with.  But America has nearly a hundred thousand as good seamen as any in the world, all of whom would be actively employed against our trade on every part of the ocean, in their fast-sailing ships of war, many of which will be able to cope with our small cruisers; and they will be found to be sweeping the West India seas, and even carrying desolation into the chops of the Channel.”
All this, and more, the two hundred and fifty privateers accomplished.  They cruised in every sea, and wrought such havoc with British commerce as had never been known before.  Coggeshall’s history of the service enumerates about fifteen hundred prizes taken by them in the two and a half years of war, and these were not all of the captures by privateers alone; while the government war-vessels, in their cruises, added considerably to the number.  The fortunes of the privateers were of the most varied kind.  Some of them made long cruises without falling in with a single British merchantman of which they could make a prize.  Others took enough to enrich every man of the crew.

Very cool stuff and there is way more in this old, but extremely informative article. Check it out. –Matt

Thomas Jefferson On Privateering
July 4, 1812
“What is war?  It is simply a contest between nations of trying which can do the other the most harm.  Who carries on the war?  Armies are formed and navies manned by individuals.  How is a battle gained?  By the death of individuals.  What produces peace?  The distress of individuals.  What difference to the sufferer is it that his property is taken by a national or private armed vessel?  Did our merchants, who have lost nine hundred and seventeen vessels by British captures, feel any gratification that the most of them were taken by his Majesty’s men-of-war?  Were the spoils less rigidly exacted by a seventy-four-gun ship than by a privateer of four guns?  And were not all equally condemned? Read the rest of this entry »

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History: George Washington And The Royal American Mercenary Regiment

     The (Royal American) regiment was intended to combine the characteristics of a colonial corps with those of a foreign legion. Swiss and German forest fighting experts, American colonists and British volunteers from other British regiments were recruited. These men were Protestants, an important consideration for fighting against the predominantly Catholic French. The officers were also recruited from Europe — not from the American colonies — and consisted of English, Scotch, Irish, Dutch, Swiss and Germans. It was the first time foreign officers were commissioned at British Army officers.

     So here it is, in all of it’s hidden glory.  It seems old George Washington cut his teeth working under a mercenary army formed by the British back in the early days of the colonization of America.  Guys like the former Swiss Guard Henry Bouquet introduced the strategies and tactics necessary to fight in the forests of America, and guys like George Washington learned from this experience. The battles the Royal American Regiment fought against the French and Indians, are all elements of George Washington’s background and combat experience.

    I also wonder how George Washington was inspired by this international fighting force?  Here were men from all over the world, with unique experiences in war fighting from their country’s wars, and all contributing their expertise to these battles in early America. I can’t help but to think that George Washington would come out of that experience with some excellent ideas on how to fight.  And I am sure this experience really came into play when General George Washington was battling against the British during the Revolutionary War. Interesting stuff and definitely check out all the cool stories below. –Matt

A Swiss mercenary who served Britain in America

Battle of Fort Duquesne

King’s Royal Rifle Corps

Bouquet (wearing a hat) negotiates the treaty of 1764 with Native Americans. (Ohio Historical Society)

A Swiss mercenary who served Britain in America

by Marie-Christine Bonzom

Dec 3, 2010

A Swiss soldier in the service of the British king defeated the French to open up the way to the conquest of the American west.

In 1756 Henry Bouquet, a colonel from western Switzerland, commanded the 60th British regiment, the so-called Royal Americans, which was essentially made up of German, Dutch and Swiss mercenaries, recruited to help in the colonisation of America.

“Bouquet has played an important role in shaping Pennsylvania and the push toward the West,” Conrad Ostertag, standing on the corner of Bouquet Street in Pittsburgh, told“He’s one of the founders of Pittsburgh, he removed the French from what will become Fort Pitt, he routed the Indians away and so, he opened the West to the British,” explained Ostertag, an active member of the local Swiss-American community.“Bouquet is a heroic figure, he was not only a very good military tactician but also a great leader able to surround himself with good officers,” added Andrew Gaerte, Education Department manager at the Fort Pitt Museum, which is to stage an exhibition about Bouquet in 2013-2014.

George Washington

Bouquet’s officers included a certain George Washington. The future founding father of the American nation and first president of the United States was, according to Gaerte, “a young and very arrogant man at this time”.“Bouquet is really annoyed with George Washington but he keeps him because Washington is a good captain.”Bouquet’s first hour of glory came in 1758. British Prime Minister William Pitt wanted to take Fort Duquesne, a French military post located close to the far frontier of what was then European-settled territory. The fort was built on a spit of land at the confluence of the Monongahela and Allegheny rivers, which meet to form the Ohio. The site was eminently strategic.“This spot was the gateway to the West, a unique access point because the Ohio flows into the Mississippi, therefore whoever controlled that confluence could control trade with the Indians and ways to settle the vast territory beyond, plus have a tremendous influence on world affairs,” explained Alan Gutchess, the director of the Fort Pitt Museum.

6,000 men

Although only second in command to the British general, John Forbes, it was Bouquet who led the operation to capture Fort Duquesne as Forbes was gravely ill. The Swiss recruited and trained German settlers and Cherokees who, supported by his own troops, advanced westwards, mapping out a route and building forts.Very soon Bouquet was leading 6,000 well-disciplined men who constituted such a formidable strike force that the French decided to raze Fort Duquesne and abandon the area. Bouquet ordered the construction of a new fort over the ashes which Forbes named Fort Pitt in honour of the British premier, and the founding of a village to be named Pittsburgh.

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Industry Talk: Attack On British Security Firm In Mosul Iraq Kills Four

    Rest in peace to the fallen.  As more information comes in, I will make the edit. –Matt

Edit: 07/20/2010- The company was Aegis.

Edit 07/21/2010- The name of the British security contractor was Nicholas Crouch.


Attack on British security firm in Iraq kills 4

Mon Jul 19, 2010

A suicide car bomber plowed into a convoy of a British security company in northern Iraq on Monday, killing four foreigners and wounding five Iraqi civilians, Iraqi security officials said.

The British embassy said one of the dead was a Briton. The nationalities of the others were not known.

The suicide bomber targeted the last vehicle of the convoy in restive Mosul, a dangerous city where al Qaeda remains active, and the force of the blast threw the armored vehicle 40 meters (yards) into a ravine, killing everyone inside, police said.

“I saw the other members of the convoy bring out four dead foreign civilians from the smashed car. One of them was beheaded,” an Iraqi military officer, asking not to be named, said by telephone from the site of the attack in northern Mosul.

“We can confirm that a British national was killed in an attack on a British private security company convoy in Mosul this morning. We have offered consular assistance,” the British embassy said in a statement.

Mosul is on the front line of a longstanding feud between Iraq’s Arabs and minority Kurds over land, power and oil wealth.

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Jobs: Maritime Security Officers, Mediterranean And Persian Gulf

     Sounds like a great opportunity for the guys across the pond.  Please note that this company is seeking ‘former members of the British armed forces’. It is also nice to see the company will be fielding positions that are ‘armed’ as well.

     I am not the POC or the recruiter for this job, and please follow the blue links below in order to apply.  The company also provided phone numbers and emails for contact info if you want.  Good luck. –Matt


Maritime Security Officers

Date Posted: 15/06/2010

** Immediate Contracts Available **

Securewest International are seeking applications from candidates to conduct onboard ship security watch keeping services for commercial and military clients on long term contracts operating primarily in the Mediterranean and Persian Gulf.Security duties will include watch keeping at the gangway access to the ship and on launch boats when in service.

** All candidates should be former members of the British Armed forces with exemplary service records.**

Maritime experience will be an advantage.Full training and uniform is supplied. Some contracts require full weapons qualifications.

Contact Information: Please complete the online application attaching your current CV. Interviews will be held at our UK office and applicants must be prepared to travel to the UK for interview.

Contact Name: Mr Les Smith


Phone: 44 (0)1548 856001

Recruiting office: 2 Duke Street Court Bridge Street Kingsbridge Devon TQ7 1HX

Apply for job here.

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