Posts Tagged contractor

Cool Stuff: A Russian Contractor Gives The Low Down On His Industry

After posting my deal on Russia’s PMSC market, I got some interesting feedback from the readership. Specifically, I got a great message on Facebook from a Russian security contractor whom has been working in his industry since 2005. He was kind enough to send me his input about the state of the Russian PMSC market and his opinion on the various players in that market. And as you can see below with his post, the western media tends to put a slant on things. lol

On this blog, I try to cover the international security contracting scene and it can be very difficult to get a good read on the various markets out there. I am an American, and have worked for American companies overseas and that is it. So the market in China or Russia or wherever is not my area of expertise. So like everyone else, I have to count on the available open source information (in english) and the feedback from my readership (which are mostly western). Hopefully this blog can attract the experts in those markets, and get their help on getting the story right. Or at least let them give their side of the story, which is something I try to do for all of the posts here.

With that said, here it is. Also, on a side note, I have never met this individual or worked with them, so I cannot vouch for them personally. Out of respect for the author’s wishes, I have not listed their name here. Enjoy. –Matt



Members of the Slavonic Corps in Syria.


First of all, I’ve been reading your website and FB for ages. One of the top spots on a web to read about PMSC and all the things related. Thanks a lot for all the effort you put in!

Just recently saw your post on Russian PMSC. With all due respect and understanding that Russian mercs are exotic beasts for your audience, sometimes we get a lot of laughs reading BS about us. ))

I’ve been doing PMSC since 2005 with Russian companies. I’m Russian. V’been in Iraq, Syria, Somalia, Afghanistan and Central Asia. I know what I’m talking about.

Russian PMSC market simply doesn’t exist. RSB Group that you mention is not very big, though they try hard and do some nice online marketing. The only real and good professional team made of Russian mercs today is Moran Security, based in St.Petersburg, and the only cool thing about them is that they really do a lot of cheap marsec jobs in Indian ocean.

And that’s all. All the Russian real business PMSC-market consists of about 50 people and most of them have a dual citizenship (including US, UK, NZ and etc) and we don’t visit Russia for years.

“Grey area” Russian geopolitics and all the blah-blah-blah is for journos.

In Iraq for example Russian oil companies prefer to sign contracts with British PMSC, not Russian PMSC, and thus they justify huge budgets on security. Half of the money they sip off for security fog is nicely landing in Malta and California villas for top-management of Lukoil.

In Iraq in 2009-2011 we’ve done few security jobs for local warlords and Kurds, but not too much of serious staff. Our peak activity was in 2005 when we were securing regular truck convoys going from Turkey to Basra in the south.

In Central Asia small Russian proto-PMSC were simply slaughtered by islamists and in-prisoned by official local intelligence services.

In Syria the infamous Slavonic Corps was a joke. In Russia we are having a lot of giggles reading the western overstated mass-media reports on its “mighty force of 200 fighters”. It’s a joke. Divide by ten. )))

In Afghanistan we had only a couple of small jobs securing convoys very close to the northern border.

UN approached us for a few gigs in Iraq but it didn’t materialized.

As to Ukraine – it has nothing to do with Russian PMSC. All the fighters from Russian side who go to Donbass to fight are tightly controlled by FSB, have FSB-controlled training camps close to the border and they have nothing to do with PMSC, business or market issues. It’s a Russian version of patriotic ideological madness and Russian version of state-controlled ISIS.

We had a few small contracts guarding Russian mineral companies in Africa, but that was on a minor scale as well. Nothing to be proud about.

So for the last 10 years we have no real Russian PMSCs succeeding in international market and all the Russian mercs apart from those 50 people from RSB and Moran Groups today are trying to join some western security companies with very little success.

There is no reason to exaggerate Russian PMSCs presence anywhere as they simply do not exist as business units. But it’s a lot of fun to tickle western audience with fairytales about exotic Russian mercs roaming Middle East and Africa. )))

Once again, thanks a lot for your blogging and info-sharing.

All the best and huge regards, FJ!

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Iraq: Contractor Randy Michael Hultz Released By Militia After Nine Months, Two Other Security Contractors Remain Captive

The official said two other Americans who worked as contractors for security firms still are being held by militants. He did not elaborate, and spoke only on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to release the information.

Fantastic news and I am very happy that these militants finally gave Michael up. But what I am really hoping for is that these two other American security contractors also get released. I have to think that DoS is now pressing for the release of these other two contractors now that the ice has been broken for releases.

I do not know the details behind this and if anyone knows anything about Michael or these other two security contractors, or the company they all worked for, I am all ears.  What kills me is that Michael was not listed as a POW and I have no record of it. That to me is shameful, and how could the company or the government not make mention of this? Unbelievable…. –Matt


In this image taken from TV Saturday March 17, 2012, showing a man identified as Randy Michael, who is purported to be an American contractor, in Baghdad, Iraq, after he was released from captivity, handed over to the United Nations by Shiite lawmakers representing the hardline followers of anti-American cleric Muqtada al-Sadr. The United Nations mission in Iraq confirmed Saturday that it took custody of a man who was described as a U.S. citizen, who had been held captive by an Iraqi militia group for about nine months. US man captured by militia in Iraq released to UN

US man captured by militia in Iraq released to UN
March 17, 2012
Wearing a U.S. Army uniform and flanked by Iraqi lawmakers, an American citizen announced Saturday that he was being released from more than nine months of imprisonment by a Shiite militia that for years targeted U.S. troops.
The man did not identify himself. But at a bizarre press conference outside the Green Zone in Baghdad, lawmakers showed U.S.-issued military and contractor ID cards that identified him as Randy Michael Hultz.
Speaking calmly and tripping over Arabic names in a monotone voice, Hultz said he was grateful for his release.
“It was explained to me that this is a gift to me, my family and to the American people who oppose the war,” he said at the press conference that was held for Iraqi media.

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Military News: Marine Dakota Meyer To Receive The Medal Of Honor

Outstanding news and I am glad to see Dakota be recognized for his actions. I was also interested in his statement about what he has been up to since he has left the Marines. In this video below, he mentioned that he was contracting? Very cool and I certainly hope that whatever company he is working for, is doing a good job at taking care of him and his co-workers? Because if said company has been poorly treating this Marine and his co-workers, you are soon to get a whole bunch of negative attention and press placed on how poorly you treated a national hero. Not that this is the case, but I figured I would mention this just as a reminder of why ‘taking care of your people’ is one of the best business practices out there. Semper Fi. –Matt

Edit: Hey, thanks to Federico on FB for sending me this link. I guess Dakota works at Ausgar Technologies.

Meyer took a job with Ausgar Technologies, a military contractor based in San Diego. He travels from Kentucky to bases across the U.S., spending most of his time training snipers on optics.
Meyer said he sometimes thinks about re-enlisting, but thinks better of it because he has a supportive girlfriend who has read all the investigative reports and saw “the aftermath” of his deployment.
“I don’t know if I’d want to do that to her,” he said. “It’s hard to find a girlfriend who can put up with waking up in the middle of the night the way I do sometimes.”


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Industry Talk: DynCorp Contractor And Former Police Officer Brett Benton Killed In Afghanistan

Rest in peace to the fallen. Brett was part of a very important effort in Afghanistan to train the Afghan police forces. He has paid the ultimate sacrifice and the US and Afghanistan both owe him and all contractors whom have paid the ultimate sacrifice in this war a tremendous amount of gratitude. My heart goes out to the friends and family… –Matt

Brett Benton

Kenton PD mourns loss of former sergeant

Jun. 6, 2011

By Brenna R. Kelly

No one wanted Brett Benton to leave the Kenton County Police Department.The well-liked officer had been there for 10 years, started the department’s K-9 program and had been promoted to sergeant.“He was one of the best and brightest that we have, no question about it,” said Chief Ed Butler. “He was the kind of police officer you like to have work for you as the chief.”But Benton had a plan.He and his wife of nearly nine years wanted to move to from their Dry Ridge home to Madison County.

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Books: You Have To Live Hard To Be Hard, By Dan Laguna

I remember when the Blackwater Little Bird (MD 500) went down in Iraq, and it was a shock to all of us working in the industry at the time. This crash and the deaths that resulted, hit home to a lot of folks, to include the brother of one of the dead–Dan Laguna. Dan’s book goes into some of the details of this crash, and the life and sacrifices of this 160th SOAR pilot and contractor Little Bird pilot.

These Little Bird pilots and crews did some amazing and extremely dangerous work back then.  If you remember the battle of Najaf or the rescue of the wounded Polish diplomat, you get an idea of the type of missions and contracts they were involved with. Which by the way, I did not know that the Polish government awarded Dan their Silver Star for the rescuing of their diplomat? (see video)

But the other thing I wanted to highlight here is that Dan represents the kind of sacrifice that contractors make and have given in this war.  In this war alone, from 09/01/2001 to 03/31/2011, there have been 2,620 contractors killed.(Xe has lost 29 KIA according to the DoL statistics, 33 according to T. Christine Miller’s graph) That is 2,620 souls that had friends and families, all destroyed by the worst disaster they could ever experience–the loss of a loved one or friend. Not to mention entire towns mourned the loss of these men and women, and the memory of that loss is with everyone forever…

During this Memorial Day weekend, there will be many folks out there looking back on this loss and trying make sense of it all. For some, the pain and despair is a constant, and any and all sources of inspiration is needed to get through the days.  That is why I recommend books like Dan Laguna’s. He is a military veteran and contractor veteran, and he lost his brother and comrades to war. If you want to learn how he copes, or understand his struggle to better understand how you can work through your loss and struggle, then this book is for you.

This book is also a testament to the kind of every day heroic deeds that contractors performed in these wars.  It is also a testament to the heroic deeds of a 160th SOAR pilots. Which brings up another point.

A contractor is usually a military veteran.  Most often, they are military veterans with incredible backgrounds, multiple deployments in the war, and have lost comrades. Not to mention the hard lives of the families of veterans who had to keep things going at the home front all of those years.

These veterans make up a large contingent of contractors. Some are even retired military veterans who definitely gave their pound of flesh to country….and then some. And yet these same men continue to serve and die as contractors, and to me, that is inspirational and something to admire. –Matt

Dan Laguna’s blog here.

Buy the book here.

Facebook for book here.

Blackwater’s Little Birds blog here.

Find the book in the Jundi Gear Locker here.

Book Description from Amazon
On July 20, 1994, Dan Laguna and Carlos Guerrero of the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment SOAR were in a devastating helicopter accident. Carlos died and Dan spent months in the hospital recovering from 3rd and 4th degree full thickness burns and several broken bones. His story of survival is miraculous, inspirational and motivating. He returned to duty a year later and served seven more years in his unit before retiring.
After retiring from the Army and moving to Utah, Dan took a job working as a contractor for Blackwater USA in 2004. On January 23, 2007 his brother, Art Laguna, and four of his brothers in arms were killed when their helicopter was shot down over Baghdad, Iraq.
Dan Laguna’s helicopter had extensive damage due to small arms fire and was forced to land but after inspecting the helicopter and noticing dozens of insurgents racing toward them, he decided to take the risk and fly back to the Green Zone.
This book is a tribute to his fallen brothers whose, courage, bravery, and patriotism are what make this country what it is today.


Utah Helicopter Pilot Talks About Battle That Killed Brother
January 24th, 2007
First of all my brother is and was a HERO. All he ever wanted to do from the time I can remember as a child, was he wanted to fly. He became one of the most professional pilots you could have ever known. I recruited my brother to join us with Blackwater Aviation. We get a lot of resumes but only a few have the qualifications to join us. This is one of the most demanding jobs in Iraq. The military flies some every day, but we in Blackwater Aviation are up flying in the RED zone every day all day.

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Cool Stuff: Hero Contractor Pilot And Author Dan Laguna On The Loss Of His Brother And Comrades

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