Posts Tagged DynCorp

Industry Talk: Two DynCorp Contractors Killed In VBIED Attack In Afghanistan

Rest in peace to the fallen and my heart goes out to the friends and family of both men. Very tragic that these guys were going home when this happened. Michael was on his way to getting married this Valentines day.

A VBIED is what killed the two men, and no word on the condition of everyone else that was wounded. -Matt

 

Michael Hughes.

 

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Paul Goins.

 

Two Killed in Kabul, Afghanistan
February 10, 2014
On February 10, 2014, two DynCorp International personnel working on the Combined Security Transition Command – Afghanistan (CSTC-A) program were tragically killed in an explosion near Kabul, Afghanistan.
Paul Goins, 62, of Crosby, Texas, joined DI in February 2013. A veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps, Mr. Goins had more than 35 years of experience in the correctional and compliance fields, working with the Department of Justice, the Federal Bureau of Prisons, and in the private sector. His professional contributions were made at home in the United States, and abroad in Iraq and Afghanistan, where he worked to share his knowledge with developing countries.
Michael Hughes, 38, of Washington, Montana and Nevada, joined the DI team in Afghanistan in November 2010. Having worked for several years with the Department of Corrections in Washington State, Mr. Hughes’ areas of expertise included training, emergency management, incident command, as well as hostage and crisis negotiations.
DynCorp International chairman and chief executive officer Steve Gaffney commented, “The world lost two heroes in this attack. They volunteered to travel to places they had never been, to help people they had never met. I ask that you please keep them, along with their families, loved ones, and colleagues who continue to support the mission, in your thoughts and prayers.”

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Industry Talk: DynCorp International Honors Defense Of Freedom Medal Recipients

Speaking on behalf of the Department of Defense was Lieutenant General William N. Phillips, and from the Department of State were Ambassador Patrick Kennedy and Ambassador William R. Brownfield.
“There about 17,000 DynCorp personnel serving in a combat theater today. They are serving alongside our warfighters and protecting our freedom. Bottom line – contractor personnel and all they do remains vital to our nation. We depend on them, we rely on them, and they are extraordinary for their execution of the mission,” Phillips said.

Good on DynCorp for honoring their fallen and I certainly hope other companies will follow the same path, if they haven’t done so already. I have written in the past about the process companies and families/friends of the fallen can go through in order to get the Defense of Freedom Medal for their fallen and I highly encourage folks to do this. We must honor the sacrifice of the fallen….

I was also intrigued by this bit of news that came out during the ceremony. The State Department will be building a memorial to honor civilians/contractors that were killed, defending the DoS in the war. Very cool.

During his remarks, Ambassador Brownfield announced that, later this year, the Department of State will unveil a new memorial at the U.S. Department of State to honor civilian personnel, including contractors who have lost their lives serving on police training missions abroad.
“On the thirteenth of May this year, with the support, assistance and my personal gratitude to Under Secretary Kennedy, I hope we will unveil and dedicate a memorial to all those civilian police personnel who have given their lives up in overseas operations,” said Brownfield.

With that said, I certainly hope the new Secretary of State John Kerry will be in attendance, once this memorial is unveiled and dedicated? Better yet, Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of State John Kerry and the new Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel should all be in attendance. Because all of them owe their lives to the brave actions of security contractors who rescued them off a mountain in Afghanistan! For that matter, most of congress and our senior leadership should be in attendance–past and present, because most of them have been protected by contractors in some capacity in Iraq or Afghanistan, and at some point in this long war. -Matt

 

 

DynCorp International Honors Defense of Freedom Medal Recipients
February 28, 2013
DynCorp International hosted the families of 17 employees who were killed while serving U.S. government missions abroad as they received the Department of Defense’s Defense of Freedom medal, posthumously recognizing the contributions their loved ones made for their country. The honorees were killed while working on U.S. Department of State police training missions in Iraq and Afghanistan between 2004 and 2011. The award recipients’ families, representatives from the Department of State and Department of Defense, along with nearly 200 DI personnel were in attendance at the ceremony held February 11, 2013, in the Washington, D.C. area.
Speaking on behalf of the Department of Defense was Lieutenant General William N. Phillips, and from the Department of State were Ambassador Patrick Kennedy and Ambassador William R. Brownfield.
“There about 17,000 DynCorp personnel serving in a combat theater today. They are serving alongside our warfighters and protecting our freedom. Bottom line – contractor personnel and all they do remains vital to our nation. We depend on them, we rely on them, and they are extraordinary for their execution of the mission,” Phillips said.
During his remarks, Ambassador Brownfield announced that, later this year, the Department of State will unveil a new memorial at the U.S. Department of State to honor civilian personnel, including contractors who have lost their lives serving on police training missions abroad.
“On the thirteenth of May this year, with the support, assistance and my personal gratitude to Under Secretary Kennedy, I hope we will unveil and dedicate a memorial to all those civilian police personnel who have given their lives up in overseas operations,” said Brownfield.
Steve Gaffney, chairman and CEO of DynCorp International, placed a special emphasis on the family members who were in attendance, “Each of the 17 individuals who we honor tonight had a profound and lasting impact – not just on our company but on our country – and we often talk about their bravery and strength. But I also want to highlight the bravery and strength of those family members who are here tonight, and who continue to share the stories of their loved ones.”
The Defense of Freedom Medal, the civilian equivalent of the military’s Purple Heart, was presented to the families of the following DI personnel:
Roland Carroll Barvels of Aberdeen, S.D.
Brett Patrick Benton of Dry Ridge, Ky.
Brian Morgan Brian of Camden, Ark.
Michael Wayne Butler of Rembert, S.C.
Mike Dawes of Stilwell, Okla.
Arsenio Ducusin Domingo of Wadmalaw Island, S.C.
Richard Thomas Hickman of Cave Springs, Ga.
Leon Vincent Kimbrell of Boiling Springs, S.C.
Deborah Dawn Klecker of Redman, Ore.
Rudy Guerrero Mesa of Maxwell, Texas
William Lawrence Juneau of Orange County, Calif.
Douglas Stephen Thomas of Lexington, S.C.
Robert McDonald Timmann of Tallahassee, Fla.
Donald Bruce Tow of Lake Havasu, Ariz.
Darrell Leroy Wetherbee of Raymond, Maine
Gary Wayne Willard of Resaca, Ga.
Ronald Austin Zimmerman of Glenwood, Ind.

Link to post here.

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Industry Talk: DynCorp Police Mentor Joseph Griffin Killed In Afghanistan

Rest in peace to the fallen and my heart goes out to the friends and family of Joseph Griffin. What makes this green on blue incident different from others is that it was a female police officer that shot him. -Matt

 

DynCorp International Police Mentor Killed in Afghanistan
FALLS CHURCH, Va. – December 24, 2012 – Joseph Griffin, 49, of Mansfield, Ga., was tragically killed in Kabul, Afghanistan, on December 24, 2012, while supporting the Afghan Ministry of Interior and Afghan National Police Development Program (AMDP). Mr. Griffin worked in support of several of the company’s global training and mentoring programs since November 2000; he began his most recent assignment in July 2011. A veteran of the U.S. military who served in various U.S.-based law enforcement positions over the years, Mr. Griffin was an experienced professional who will be missed by his colleagues.
“Joe spent his career helping people all over the world, most recently working to help the Afghan people secure a better future,” said Steve Gaffney, chairman and CEO of DynCorp International. “The loss of any team member is tragic but to have this happen over the holidays makes it seem all the more unfair. Our thoughts and prayers are with Joe’s family, loved ones and colleagues during this difficult time.”
Under the AMDP contract with the U.S. Army, DI assists the NATO Training Mission-Afghanistan/Combined Security Transition Command-Afghanistan (NTM-A/CSTC-A) by providing training and mentoring services for the Afghanistan Ministry of Interior and Afghan National Police.
Press Release here.

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Mission to help costs Griffin man his life
By Craig Schneider
The pain had a precise beginning for the family of Joseph Griffin: the moment on Christmas Eve morning when government agents came to the door, bringing his wife, Rennae, the news dreaded by every wife of a man at war.
When the pain will ease, nobody can say, because it is compounded by the strangeness of his death and the lengthy process of unraveling why he died.
Griffin, a Newton County resident working as civilian adviser to the Afghan police, was shot and killed Monday at police headquarters in Kabul by a woman described as a police sergeant.
Questions have been swirling since: Who is the woman? Did she have permission to be there and carry a gun? What was her motive? Was the killing without either political overtones or personal connections, as authorities have said?
This week, the family struggled with their grief. They had a Christmas anyway at the family farm near Cedartown, if only to let the kids open gifts.

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Industry Talk: As The Wars Wind Down, How Will The Industry Adapt?

The most vulnerable firms, many in industry say, may be those who have relied on ongoing U.S. military work that is now drying up as the Pentagon “Operational Contingency Allowance” – the additional funding earmarked for the wars – tapers off.
At its peak, the U.S. Commission on Wartime Contracting, a bipartisan legislative commission established to study wartime contracting in Iraq and Afghanistan, estimated there might have been as many as 260,000 contractors in the two countries...
“At the moment, everyone is looking for work that is not OCA-funded,” one industry executive told Reuters on condition of anonymity, saying he expected an era of mergers and even bankruptcies. “It’s going to be like when the tide goes out at the beach and you suddenly find out who has been naked.”

With this post I wanted to identify some trends in the industry that I am seeing as the wars wind down and budgets get tighter. I have posted a couple of articles below that will give you an idea as to what companies are doing and what their strategies are for survival or for growth.

What is interesting with DynCorp and EODT, is their focus on maintaining dominance as to what they are good at. DynCorp is all about aviation and EODT is all about mine clearing. Although both companies do other things in the industry, it is obvious in the posts below that they are taking actions in the market that position them as leaders in these niches.

EODT merging with Sterling International, to form a new company called Sterling Global International is an example of the kind of mergers the top quote was referring too. What is interesting with this move is that for mine clearing operations in the worst parts of the world, you need all sorts of folks to make that happen. From the security to protect those mine clearing technicians to the logistics tail to support an operation. These are all things that EODT did in Iraq and Afghanistan, and by joining forces with SI, they are able to reach other markets. Here is a hint to what they are looking at.

The release said Sterling manages a $175 million weapons removal and abatement program for the State Department, and Kaye said that in comparison to EODT, the Virginia firm is more involved in the work of nonproliferation.
“While the activities that (EODT does) are nonproliferation, they’re much more in a mass-quantity stockpile reduction,” he said. “Sterling is on the forefront of … assisting countries with treaty compliance (and) establishing mine action centers.”
Kaye said Sterling has approximately 150 employees, and the new company will have about 3,500 employees.
After a round of layoffs earlier this year, EODT said it had 250 American employees and 3,000 foreign nationals.
Kaye said Sterling International’s program manager for conventional weapons destruction will remain in that position with the new company……The release said the combined companies will continue to serve existing customers, but will also expand into markets including energy exploration and development and judicial and criminal justice support.

So this new mega mine clearing company will continue to pursue munitions destruction and assist countries in compliance with treaties. I also imagine the Arab Spring is leaving a lot of unexploded munitions all over the place, which if investors want to do business in some of these places, someone needs to remove this dangerous trash of war.

But the big one that perked me up is the mention of energy exploration that was talked about in the next article. One company mentioned was Garda World and their work in Iraq.

Even with U.S. troops gone from Iraq and the number of government contractors down, some companies say they are finding strong demand from energy firms for protection, particularly around Basra in southern Iraq.
“We are as busy as ever and the need has never been greater,” said Pete Dordal, senior vice president at GardaWorld, a global risk management and security services firm. “I don’t want to say it’s a gold rush, but business is very good.”

A gold rush? Interesting, and I imagine that with unrest in the middle east, all energy companies are looking hard at their security and hardening up.  Iraq is just one example of the kind of risk that energy companies are willing to make when it comes to resource extraction in really bad places. Libya is another example, and capable PMSC’s that can protect these energy companies are essential. (11 plus years of war have definitely produced companies that are certainly capable of providing protection in war zones and third world countries)

Another area mentioned was maritime security and the demand for that. Although I am seeing that market getting extremely saturated with companies, all fighting over contracts. But it is an area to get into and I do not see piracy going away any time soon. An example of that is that piracy increased off the west coast of Africa.

The article made a mention of the whole private navies thing, and they are right. I have not seen this get off the ground yet. It’s close, and we will see if it ever sets sail.

One area of business that was brought up in the article was evacuation of clients from countries that have fallen due to the Arab Spring or other disasters. Check out the contract Control Risks had in Libya, and I imagine the company they did this for, paid a pretty penny.

Private security firms, insiders say, evacuated the vast majority of the thousands of foreign nationals plucked from Libya as its civil war erupted early last year. Most were contracted by other private firms, although governments also used them heavily. London-based Control Risks told Reuters last year that China hired it directly to fly hundreds of its nationals out by airliner.

Other areas mentioned or business that I think will add to the market is supporting UN missions like AMISOM, or supporting the post-reconstruction efforts in countries after wars or disasters. Yet again, thanks to the Arab Spring and the wars, and the destruction that has come out of that struggle, there are plenty of places requiring the services of capable companies.

The article ended with an excellent point by Edmond Mulet.

“In some places, contractors might be more effective than some of the troops from contributing nations,” said Edmond Mulet, U.N. Assistant Secretary General for Peacekeeping Operations.
“But the U.N. is simply the sum of its member states and some of them are opposed to the use of contractors in some roles,” he told the conference.

For companies to be marketable, they will have to continue to fight this poor image that the industry is painted with–thanks to the actions of the few. Things like the ISO standards or the ICoC are great for promoting the idea that the industry is trying to correct itself, but there is one thing missing in the industry that I have been hammering on since the beginning of this blog. Leadership.

I believe the secret sauce to the success for all companies, is a focus on fielding good sound leadership to support contracts. It is the leader that will ensure the contract is followed and that operations are sound. It is the leader that will work hard to take care of his people and prevent any actions that might embarrass the company or client. And it is the act of a smart company that supports or grows or hunts down outstanding leaders–and rewards these folks. Leadership, leadership, leadership, and I cannot say it enough.

Clients need good capable contracting leaders as well. Someone that actually cares about constructing a sound contract and cares more about best value and less about what is cheapest. You need a contracting officer who cares–who acts like they are constructing a contract for a doctor who would be assigned to their mother–or a body guard who would be assigned to their mother. Budget constraints will be difficult, but folks must have the courage to do what is right with this stuff.

So the final article is about Dyncorp’s Steven F. Gaffney and his thoughts on the future. I always like hearing what the leaders of companies say, and you can get a real feel sometimes as to what they are optimistic about or concerned about. Here are his thoughts on leadership and what is working in his company.

What have you been focusing on?
It really comes down to: Do you have the right people doing the right things? Are you organized the right way? And the business systems that you have in place — are they strong enough to support the pressures of the business? About 90 percent of our top three levels of leadership are either new to the company or they’re new in position. In two years, we’ve restructured twice around getting to the right market-focused, customer-focused type of organization. We stood up a new business development organization, and we were able to move our win rates from the low teens to close to 50 percent of everything that we bid.

This is very interesting, because he has identified a weakness of the company (I imagine it applies to other companies as well). 90 percent of your top three levels of leadership being new to the company or new in position is not something to cheer about. That is great that the company has re-organized and has achieved a higher ‘win’ rate for contracts, but how can these leaders possibly be effective in carrying out policy if they haven’t a clue about the company’s history or lacks any memory or experience working for the company?

I would also be curious as to why so many new leaders? Is that because of high attrition or is this because of expansion? That is great that the company is winning so many contracts, but if you do not have capable and experienced leaders to implement that stuff, the company is going to have problems.

The other part of interest was the future of the company as the wars wind down?

What’s your strategy as the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan wind down?
I joined the company knowing full well that the changes were going to happen in Iraq and Afghanistan. In fact, many of the programs that we have today — the goal is really to put yourself out of a job. In 2003, when we became one of the largest trainers of police in the Middle East, we knew that the goal was to train a country so that they could perform the function themselves. We’ve been thinking about this issue around what’s next for some time, and that’s why we’ve been working to rebalance our portfolio since I got here. Our aviation business, for instance — today it’s a third of our revenues and half of our earnings. That wasn’t the case two short years ago. A couple months ago, we made a small acquisition in the aviation business to fill a gap that we had, not for the business that we have today but to compete for business two years from now and also get us into the commercial space.

That’s their plan–to rally around aviation. Which is their ‘bread and butter’ and totally makes sense to me, but it would have been nice to hear the other areas of interest.

One area that was not talked about too much in all of these articles was the future of government service contracts as the war winds down. The US government still has a presence in places like Iraq and Afghanistan, and embassies and consulates there and around the world will still require armed security services and logistics. These contracts will continue to be highly competitive as the US continues to reduce involvement in those countries and the available re-construction/COIN related contracts decrease. Training gigs will still be present, but as budgets get tighter and involvement in those countries continues to be politically difficult, eventually that will go away. But we will see how it goes, and there will still be investments in those countries, and the US and it’s partners will still have interest there.

Pretty interesting stuff and we will see how it goes. If anyone has any other ideas or things that I have missed here, by all means please add to the post by commenting below. -Matt

 

Peruvian private security guard, Green Zone Iraq. -Artist Steve Mumford

 

EOD Technology merges with Sterling International
By Josh Flory
October 24, 2012
An East Tennessee defense contractor has joined forces with a Virginia firm.
Lenoir City-based EOD Technology announced Wednesday that it has merged with Reston, Va.-based Sterling International to form Sterling Global Operations.
The new company will be based in Lenoir City, and EODT CEO Matt Kaye will serve as president and CEO of the new venture.
Kaye said Wednesday that the combined companies form “the world’s preeminent conventional munitions disposal organization.”
Asked about the benefits of the deal to EODT, Kaye said that “it really diversifies our customer base. It strengthens our footprint around the world and provides us greater breadth and depth of resources.”
EODT got its start in 1987 as a company specializing in explosive ordnance disposal, and for years specialized in cleaning up contamination at former U.S. military sites. During the George W. Bush administration, EODT branched out into security operations and eventually became a major player in that market.
The company has also received some unwelcome scrutiny in connection with that work, though. In 2010, a U.S. Senate committee criticized EODT for its hiring practices in Afghanistan, and the following year it was revealed that the U.S. State Department had fired the company from a contract to guard the U.S. Embassy in Kabul.
EODT was raided by federal agents in 2010, although no charges have been filed in connection with that episode.
According to a news release, EODT’s employee stock ownership plan acquired Sterling International. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The release said Sterling manages a $175 million weapons removal and abatement program for the State Department, and Kaye said that in comparison to EODT, the Virginia firm is more involved in the work of nonproliferation.
“While the activities that (EODT does) are nonproliferation, they’re much more in a mass-quantity stockpile reduction,” he said. “Sterling is on the forefront of … assisting countries with treaty compliance (and) establishing mine action centers.”
Kaye said Sterling has approximately 150 employees, and the new company will have about 3,500 employees.
After a round of layoffs earlier this year, EODT said it had 250 American employees and 3,000 foreign nationals.
Kaye said Sterling International’s program manager for conventional weapons destruction will remain in that position with the new company.
Sterling’s website does not identify the company’s top executives, and Kaye declined to identify the founder or CEO of the company. “He’s asked not to be named,” Kaye said, adding that the individual would stay on as an executive adviser.
The release said the combined companies will continue to serve existing customers, but will also expand into markets including energy exploration and development and judicial and criminal justice support.
The new company will have annual revenues of $150 million.
Story here.
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As Iraq, Afghan wars end, private security firms adapt
Sun, Oct 21 2012
By Peter Apps
On a rooftop terrace blocks from the White House, a collection of former soldiers and intelligence officers, executives and contractors drink to the international private security industry.
The past decade – particularly the U.S.-led wars in Iraq and Afghanistan – provided rich pickings for firms providing private armed guards, drivers and other services that would once have been performed by uniformed soldiers.
But as the conflicts that helped create the modern industry wind down, firms are having to adapt to survive. They must also, industry insiders say, work to banish the controversial image of mercenary “dogs of war” that bedevil many firms, particularly in Iraq.

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Jobs: Project Security Team Member, Afghanistan

If you head over to the career page for DynCorp with the link I provided, you will see a bunch of these positions open. What is posted below is all I know about these positions, and if anyone has any inside scoop, please feel free to post below in the comments.

I am not the point of contact for this job, nor am I a recruiter for DynCorp. Follow the links below if you want to apply, and ask the company’s recruiters if you have questions.  Good luck with the job if you apply. -Matt

 

 

Project Security Team Member-1206053
Security Clearance: None
Job Summary
The Project Security Team Member provides close, mobile and static security/force protection. Delivers training for expats and cooperating country nationals.  Provides risk consultation, incident management and crisis management.
Principle Accountabilities
• Provides close protection.
• Briefs on mobile security team mission security details.
• Provides static security/ force protection management.
• Provides personal security training for expats.
• Provides professional capacity building and training for Cooperating Country Nationals (CCNs).
• Assesses formal threat, risk and vulnerability.
• Analyses intelligence pertinent to project activities.
• Provides risk consultation, incident management, crisis management.
• Briefs on mobile security team mission security details.
• Develops and refines standard operating procedures (SOPs).

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Somalia: MPRI In The News–US Trains African Soldiers For Somalia Mission

This is a cool little article that mentioned the work that MPRI is doing currently in Africa as part of the ACOTA program. It just shows how important companies like this, or Bancroft Global, Dyncorp, Halliday Finch or Sterling Corporate Services are to the task of trying to stabilize Somalia. -Matt

 

U.S. trains African soldiers for Somalia mission
By Craig Whitlock
May 13, 2012
The heart of the Obama administration’s strategy for fighting al-Qaeda militants in Somalia can be found next to a cow pasture here, a thousand miles from the front lines.
Under the gaze of American instructors, gangly Ugandan recruits are taught to carry rifles, dodge roadside bombs and avoid shooting each other by accident. In one obstacle course dubbed “Little Mogadishu,” the Ugandans learn the basics of urban warfare as they patrol a mock city block of tumble-down buildings and rusty shipping containers designed to resemble the battered and dangerous Somali capital.
“Death is Here! No One Leaves,” warns the fake graffiti, which, a little oddly, is spray-painted in English instead of Somali. “GUNS $ BOOMS,” reads another menacing tag.
Despite the warnings, the number of recruits graduating from this boot camp — built with U.S. taxpayer money and staffed by State Department contractors — has increased in recent months. The current class of 3,500 Ugandan soldiers, the biggest since the camp opened five years ago, is preparing to deploy to Somalia to join a growing international force composed entirely of African troops but largely financed by Washington.

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