Posts Tagged Guards

Space: SpaceX’s Success May Lead To Military Contracts

In this article, they mentioned ULA as the only certified company to launch military payloads. But if SpaceX can get certified, they will be the second.

The reason why I am excited about this stuff, is that for both ULA and SpaceX, they will need some heavy duty security to guard these military satellites as the rockets are being prepared, and protect the launches. So expect to see everything from basic security, all the way up to special response teams or SWAT type teams to protect this stuff. Because once you get into the realm of defense related space contracts, national security depends upon the successes of these launches and the integrity of the satellites.

I have not seen any job ads or news about this type of security, but I expect we will as time goes by.  Of course private protection forces for space launches are not a new concept, and I mentioned KSC SWAT guys protecting NASA launches a long time ago. So I will definitely keep my eyes open for space related security gigs…..and the future is now. –Matt


Members of the Kennedy SWAT team are ready and well equipped to keep the Space Center safe. Image credit: NASA/KSC

SpaceX’s Success May Lead To Military Contracts
By Richard Stalker
SpaceX made history 2 weeks ago becoming the very first private company to launch a capsule into space and have it dock with the International Space Station. Now that the Dragon has successfully returned to earth, SpaceX can start working on it’s contract through the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The resupply contract for the International Space Station has it making 12 runs, and since it is reusable, they will have the ability to ferry items back and forth, not just trash but experiments.
This launch was the second one for the Falcon 9 and after a third successful one they will be allowed to bid for military contracts to launch satellites into space. “The new entrant criteria did say three launches are required (for Falcon 9) before certification can happen for national security payloads,” said SpaceX Communications Director Kirstin Brost Grantham.

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Industry Talk: PSC That Handled The White House’s ‘Burn Bag’, Files For Bankruptcy

This isn’t good. lol I mean a lot of attention is put on overseas security contracts, but what about stuff like this? I am not familiar with TW & Co. but it is odd to me that they would owe this much in taxes and no one, to include the Secret Service, did not know about this? Or they knew what was going on, and they just looked the other way. Who knows?

Which also begs the question, why is a company like this even allowed to ‘sell off’ it’s contracts, and especially after showing such irresponsibility? How about kicking them off the contract, and re-bid the thing using ‘best value’ as a tool to get the best deal for the White House?

The 617-worker company said it would use the bankruptcy case to shut down its operations and sell off its 22 contracts for the best price it can find.

And if the Secret Service is in charge of this stuff, that maybe they should keep a little closer tabs on the companies that operate this close to the Presidency? (although they have been busy with their own problems recently….)

In my view, every company that works there, should be the best and most squeaky clean companies out there.  Hopefully, whomever they sell these 22 contracts too will be responsible folks that actually pay their taxes. –Matt


Security Firm Handled White House’s ‘Burn Bag’
By Katy Stech
April 30, 2012
The government contractor that disposed of the White House’s secrets kept one of its own: It hasn’t paid its taxes in full since 2008.
That admission came spilling out into bankruptcy court less than a week after Maryland-based security-guard provider TW & Co. filed for Chapter 11 protection owing nearly $3 million on its federal tax bill. The 617-worker company said it would use the bankruptcy case to shut down its operations and sell off its 22 contracts for the best price it can find.
“The end game is an orderly liquidation,” bankruptcy attorney James Greenan told Bankruptcy Beat.
So far, a bankruptcy judge has allowed the company to transfer management of its biggest contracts to a subcontractor, ensuring that the federal institutions like the historic Winder Building, some Smithsonian buildings and several Air Force bases don’t go unwatched as the company searches for a buyer to take on the work permanently.

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Israel: Security Companies Hold 40 Percent Of The Guns In Israel

This is an interesting story. I had no idea that private security held 40 percent of the guns in Israel? But I also understand why so many folks have weapons. That country has been in a constant state of war or threat of war. They constantly face threats inside their borders and outside, so it is not uncommon to see soldiers carrying their weapons all over the place. Or even settlers armed with weapons to defend their families. But I had no idea that the ratio was that high for PSC gun ownership.

With that said, I do not think it is wise for guards to lock up their weapons there. 24 people being killed in the last decade by guns of off duty guards in the last decade is a sad loss, but there is not mention as to how many lives were saved by guards on their off duty who were armed?

Especially as things become even more dangerous and unstable around Israel because of the Arab Spring. So to me, it is very logical to have as many armed individuals both on duty and off duty, just to deal with any potential threats. –Matt


Israeli armed guard, Falamiya village, West Bank.


Knesset: Guards should leave weapons at work
MK Gal-On says security companies current hold 130,000 weapons, about 40 percent of the guns in the country.
MK Tzipi Hotovely (Likud), chairwoman of the Knesset Committee on the Status of Women, demanded on Monday that security guards be required to leave their weapons at work, following a report that 24 people were killed in the last decade by guns belonging to off-duty security guards.
The report was issued by Woman to Woman, the Jerusalem Shelter for Battered Women.
“Security companies seem to have received an exemption from the law that forbids guards to remove their weapons from their place of work,” Hotovely said.
The Likud MK said she would ask Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch to enforce the law and instruct security companies to allocate a secure place for guards to check their weapons.

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Industry Talk: FBO News–USSOCOM Looking For More Afghan Guards

Thanks to Danger Room for the heads up on this FBO solicitation. This sounds like a continuation of what USSOCOM has already been doing in Afghanistan. (I posted in the past about other contract guard force solicitations that USSOCOM made)

Now one thing that kills me here is that I still haven’t a clue as to what the deal is with PSC licenses in Afghanistan? The solicitation says that it will only do business with companies that are licensed by the Ministry of Interior, and registered with the Ministry of Transportation. Well on the MOI website, there is nothing linked at all about what companies are licensed?

So my suggestion to whomever is helping the Afghans run their website, or assisting the MOI, is to get them to set up a section on PSC’s and post what companies are authorized. Then the public and media will know exactly what companies to watch, and what companies the government supports through a license. It’s called transparency.

It would also be cool to see a blog set up on this, and then the government can actually introduce new companies that are licensed, or discuss where the government is at with the licensing process. Because from what I have heard, this licensing deal has been a huge pain in the neck for companies out there–both foreign and domestic.

I would also set up a tip line run by a third party, so that folks who have information about licensed companies can communicate those concerns. That third party could be a US inspector general or similar federal official that is tasked with helping the MOI. Using a contractor for that could be a conflict of interest. Either way, making the list and process open would help out big time. –Matt

Private Security Contract
Solicitation Number: H92237-11-R-1324_PSC_Gizab
Agency: Other Defense Agencies
Office: U.S. Special Operations Command
Location: Headquarters Field Assistance Division
Notice Type: Combined Synopsis/Solicitation
Posted Date: August 29, 2011
Response Date: Sep 10, 2011 2:30 am Eastern
Archiving Policy: Automatic, 15 days after response date
Archive Date: September 25, 2011
Original Set Aside: N/A
Set Aside: N/A
Classification Code: R — Professional, administrative, and management support services
NAICS Code: 561 — Administrative and Support Services/561612 — Security Guards and Patrol Services
Added: Aug 29, 2011 7:07 am

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Maritime Security: ICS And ECSA Compile Flag State Rules On Arms And Private Armed Guards

When this first came out, I thought it was a great idea and resource. The funny thing is, I couldn’t find the PDF for this thing at ICS or at the ECSA. Perhaps it was buried somewhere? Either way, I took the time to find it and get it on my Scribd for anyone to access and locate conveniently. Pretty cool. –Matt

ICS: Flag State Rules on Arms and Private Armed Guards
August 17, 2011
With the assistance of its members, the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) in association with the European Community Shipowners’ Associations (ECSA), has compiled a useful reference document collating the policy and rules of Flag States on the carriage of arms and private armed guards on board vessels.?The document, providing tabulated information on Flag States’ rules, has been added to the ICS website and is proving to be a popular reference tool for shipowners and other interested parties within the shipping community.

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Company Spotlight: G4S, The World’s Largest Private Security Company

These two deals I posted below are separate interviews, but they give you a good idea where G4S is standing right now. This company is amazingly large and successful. Not only is it the largest PSC in the world, but this company is the world’s second largest employer, right behind Walmart. That is impressive.

The thing I clued into is their business in the Middle East. That Saudi Arabia and the UAE were their top customers. The trend here, is these countries are serious about their security, and threats against oil and business are what drives this interest in security.

Mr. Buckles, whom used to work for Avon as an analyst, also mentioned in the interview the key to success for the company and why he stuck around:

‘The sensible one is that Securicor had a policy of developing internal talent and offering prospects for rapid promotion. But there was also the offer of a Ford Escort. A company car for a young guy was very attractive,’ he says. By 2005, he headed G4S. ‘The rules of best practice are the same for all businesses, including supplying security,’ he says.
‘Take staff with you by rewarding achievement, identify new markets, manage risk while taking up opportunities, understand your customers and have a strong culture of ethical dealing. Applying these principles has been key for me.’

That is an interesting list, and many of these ideas are just another way of saying ‘take care of your people’ and ‘customer service and satisfaction’. But he also focused on managing risk, which is cool. G4S has certainly gobbled up many companies in a short period of time, and because of the current global chaos and government austerity moves, their timing has been excellent. In other words, they positioned themselves with enough services to take advantage of increased security related opportunities. They have also been profitable during a time when many companies in the world are hurting.

And to further the theme of taking care of your people. When G4S goes into a new region, like Latin America, and they become the best paying gig in town, then of course that company becomes the popular choice of the locals. I guess they have learned the lesson of ‘pay better than the next guy, if you want to attract the best’. Which is great, because if you pay peanuts, you will get monkeys. Paying better and good training are both key aspects of keeping your folks happy, along with providing excellent leadership. Here is the quote:

Unlike most FTSE 100 chief executives, Buckles, 50, has responsibility for staff working in high-risk situations, so how does he handle the stress?
Looking relaxed at G4S’s headquarters in Crawley, West Sussex, he says: ‘The best training is provided and every assignment is assessed for risk and ways of minimising it. Pressure comes with the job, but I’ve been in the security business long enough to know the importance of teamwork and good communication to ensure we are on top of every contract.’
G4S revenues rose by 4.7 per cent in the first three months of the year, driven by the emerging markets of Africa, Asia and South America, where demand is rising for expertise in areas such as moving cash, guarding airports and providing personal protection.
In some developing countries we are seen as a stronger force in terms of training and pay than local police and a better option for providing security,’

The mention of South America also coincides with what the Small Arms Survey mentioned about Latin America. That PSC’s there are the most armed in the world, outside of the conflict zones. Security is huge business in Latin America, and especially because of the drug wars and poor economy. Speaking of which, G4S is also active in Iraq and Afghanistan. So they are definitely intertwined in many aspects of the industry.

Of course there are also incidents where G4S has had some hiccups. This is the extreme challenge of the ‘head knowing what the tale is doing’ within such a large company.  For a smaller security company, the ability to manage and watch each contract is a little easier than for a large mega-corporation to do so. Given that set of circumstance, G4S has done remarkably well. That doesn’t mean they haven’t had their share of issues come up, but still, for it’s size and exposure to risk, it has navigated those issues very well. Ask yourself how much negative news you hear in the media about G4S, compared to other much smaller companies, and you can see what I mean?

Finally, the one thing that I think is really important to emphasize, and some companies have a hard time understanding this. You can assemble a great team, pay them well, be an outstanding leader for them, etc., but if you don’t have some kick ass marketing and sales personnel hunting around for new contracts and actually winning them, then the company will not expand and get more revenue. Why is that important? Well, in order to pay those great salaries, offer good training, and attract kick ass leaders, then you need some cash coming in. Malcolm Gladwell identified these folks as the ‘salesmen’ in his book the Tipping Point:

Chapter 2: The Law of the Few: Connectors, Mavens, and Salesmen
The attainment of the tipping point that transforms a phenomenon into an influential trend usually requires the intervention of a number of influential types of people. In the disease epidemic model Gladwell introduced in Chapter 1, he demonstrated that many outbreaks could be traced back to a small group of infectors. Likewise, on the path toward the tipping point, many trends are ushered into popularity by small groups of individuals that can be classified as Connectors, Mavens, and Salesmen.
Connectors are individuals who have ties in many different realms and act as conduits between them, helping to engender connections, relationships, and “cross-fertilization” that otherwise might not have ever occurred. Mavens are people who have a strong compulsion to help other consumers by helping them make informed decisions. Salesmen are people whose unusual charisma allows them to be extremely persuasive in inducing others’ buying decisions and behaviors. Gladwell identifies a number of examples of past trends and events that hinged on the influence and involvement of Connectors, Mavens, and Salesmen at key moments in their development.(from wikisummaries)

 These salesmen are a vital component of any company. To put a former security contractor or a military guy in such an important position is a nice gesture, but if they do not have the talent to do the job, then you will not get the contracts. What you really need is a professional with a gift, who can ‘sell snow to an Eskimo’ as they say. (like maybe an Avon salesman? lol) It also reminds me of a quote that Donald Trump made recently about negotiators. Here it is:

“You know, I can send two executives into a room. They can say the same thing. One guy comes home with the bacon and the other one doesn’t. And I’ve seen it a thousand times. It’s the messenger.”

The question a company should ask is do they have the right messenger, negotiator, or salesman to win that contract for the company and increase that company’s standing in the market? And to bring this back to G4S, they obviously have some very talented people working on this for them. –Matt

NICK BUCKLES INTERVIEW: I deal with trouble in Kabul, Baghdad …and Wimbledon
By David White
18th June 2011
As the world’s top tennis players and half a million fans prepare for the glamour and glory of the 125th Wimbledon tournament starting tomorrow, their safety will be in the hands of Nick Buckles.
‘There will be 700 uniformed staff to search vehicles and bags, check tickets and provide on-court protection and escorts for players,’ says the boss of G4S, the world’s biggest private security company.

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