Posts Tagged USCENTCOM

Publications: Contractor Support Of USCENTCOM AOR, 3rd Quarter FY 2013

This is the latest DASD program support report. Here are the highlights from the report.

Afghanistan
In 3rd quarter FY13 there were approximately 101.8K DoD contractors in Afghanistan. The overall contractor footprint in Afghanistan decreased by 5.5% from 2nd quarter FY13.
The contractor to military ratio in Afghanistan is 1.43 to 1 (based on 71.5K military as of June 7, 2013).
There will be substantial contractor reductions over this fiscal year, as a result of base closures, the return to expeditionary standards, and transition of security to the APPF.
Local Nationals (LN) currently make up 36.7% of the DoD contracted workforce in Afghanistan. The use of LNs remains important to COIN strategy.

The big one in Afghanistan is that there are more contractors than military folks there. It’s a contractor’s war now and local nationals make up a huge portion of that work force.

Iraq
In 3rd quarter FY13, the total number of contractors supporting the U.S. Government in Iraq (DoD + DOS) was approximately 10.3K. There will be substantial contractor reductions in 2013 reflecting consolidation of sites, completion of ongoing activity, and increased utilization of host country service and labor.
The DoS and DoD continue to refine the requirements for contract support. Some contractor personnel employed under DoD contracts are supporting State Department and other civilian activities under the Chief of Mission, Iraq. These DoD contractors are provided on a reimbursable basis.

In Iraq, the name of the game is DoD and DoS working with one another and using each other’s resources in order to accomplish the mission. Which makes sense because the former military resource everyone depended upon is gone, so now it’s all about supporting one another with the limited resources that are there.

The other thing to factor into the contractor equation is all the turmoil going on throughout these regions. For Iraq, Syria is being closely watched and monitored. The current presence in Iraq is vital for that mission and contractors will be very much in need to secure that effort and supply the beans/bullets/bandages.

Not to mention that as Al Qaeda gets stronger in Syria, they will be taking that capability back into Iraq to clean house. The raids they are doing in Syria and becoming more complex and bold and they are using that knowledge and applying it in Iraq. As a result, Iraq is definitely seeing a pick up in violence and complex attacks. A great example is the recent prison assault at Abu Ghraib in which 500 Al Qaeda prisoners escaped as a result. But check out how they did it.

Monday’s attacks came exactly a year after the leader of al Qaeda’s Iraqi branch, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, launched a “Breaking the Walls” campaign that made freeing its imprisoned members a top priority, the group said in a statement.Sunni Islamist militants have in recent months been regaining momentum in their insurgency against Iraq’s Shi’ite-led government, which came to power after the U.S. invasion to oust Saddam Hussein.The group said it had deployed suicide attackers, rockets, and 12 car bombs, killing 120 Iraqi guards and SWAT forces in the attacks in Taji, north of Baghdad, and Abu Ghraib, the prison made notorious a decade ago by photographs showing abuse of prisoners by U.S. soldiers.Interior ministry and medical sources said 29 police and soldiers were killed, and 36 wounded.

 12 car bombs? That is quite the assault! (the Taliban were able to release 400 prisoners in the Sarposa prison escape.)DoS is concerned about the surge in violence as well. Here is a quote.

The attacks on the prisons at Abu Ghraib and Taji were carefully synchronized operations in which members of the Qaeda affiliate used mortars to pin down Iraqi forces, employed suicide bombers to punch holes in their defenses and then sent an assault force to free the inmates, Western experts said.

We are concerned about the increased tempo and sophistication of Al Qaeda operations in Iraq,” said a senior State Department official, who requested anonymity because he did not want to be seen as commenting on Iraq’s internal affairs.

The use of mortars is interesting and we saw this weapon used in the Benghazi attack. An effective mortar team can do a lot of damage very quickly if they are able to get in close and have the targeting data.

I wanted to bring these examples up in this post because it is relevant to contractor usage. With increased danger comes more dependence on solid security and defenses. If we want a presence in Iraq to monitor Syria or Iran or the internal developments in Iraq, then security contractors and support will be needed to continue that mission. Or we could pull out altogether….or send troops back in, and I don’t think neither of these options are of national interest.

For Afghanistan, the Taliban will continue to apply the pressure as more troops pull out. They will also do all they can to test the government and show how ineffective they are by making things more chaotic and dangerous. Much like what is going on in Iraq now. Contractors will be there to fill the vacuum left by these departing troops and they will have to deal with this increased danger. (contractor deaths are up to 3357 as of June)

Contractors will continue to train, continue to finish building projects, and continue as normal. We are essential to the massive logistics game of leaving Afghanistan as well. From breaking down camps or equipment deemed too costly to ship, or supporting those who are left, contractors will keep the machine running. -Matt

 

Contractor Support Of USCENTCOM AOR, 3rd Quarter FY 2013

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Publications: Contractor Support Of USCENTCOM AOR, 1st Quarter FY 2013

For those looking for the source of this data, here is a link to the DASD Program Support that puts these reports together every quarter. They have been very useful and I have put everyone of them into my Scribd if you would like to reference and check this stuff out.

William over at Danger Zone Jobs has been tracking this data over the years and he has put together some excellent graphics showing exactly what the trends are over the last seven quarters. Here are some samples below and there are more at his post.

 

Pretty interesting, and you can visually see the heavy use of contractors in Afghanistan, even as the war winds down. Probably the most interesting graph is the use of American contractors in Afghanistan.

Interesting stuff and check it out below. -Matt

 

Contractor Support Of USCENTCOM AOR, 1st Quarter FY 2013 by Feral Jundi

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Publications: Contractor Support Of USCENTCOM AOR, 4th Quarter FY 2012

The interesting part of this report is that there is very little change from last quarter as far as the overall numbers. In the 3rd quarter, there were 136,901 contractors overall, and in this quarter there are 137,407. So it is an increase, but by a small margin.

The other thing that jumped up at me was that contractor numbers actually increased in Iraq. In the third quarter we saw 7,336 and in this quarter we see 9,000!

We also see some numbers for the APPF force which was supposed to replace contractors in Afghanistan. The statistic that perked me up was the amount of ‘risk management consultants’–220– that was required to watch over the 2,407 APPF folks. These risk management consultants are contractors that represent the companies, and it is just funny that with all of this attention placed on the APPF being the solution, that they still need that many ‘consultants’. lol

The other interesting statistic is the Private Security numbers, or the armed contractors in both Iraq and Afghanistan. In Iraq, there is more use of security contractors from other countries other than the US. The local national use really hasn’t changed that much.

In Afghanistan, you see an increase in US private security use. In the 3rd quarter we saw 480 US security folks, and in the 4th quarter we see an increase to 2,014! Now I am going to speculate that perhaps the reason for this, is the increase in insider attacks and an increase in using Americans to guard FOB’s. The military is wanting to hand over the security of these bases so that it can save some money and use the remaining manpower for training missions or combat support for their other operations out there. -Matt

 

Contractor Support Of USCENTCOM AOR, 4th Quarter FY 2012

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Publications: Contractor Support Of USCENTCOM AOR, 3rd Quarter FY 2012

Here are the latest numbers for DoD related contractors. For those that are interested, a collection of all of these reports over the years are available at this link. You can also go through my Scribd page and check out my past postings about these statistics. -Matt

 

Contractor Support Of USCENTCOM AOR, 3rd Quarter FY 2012

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Publications: Contractor Support Of USCENTCOM AOR, 2nd Quarter FY 2012

Check it out. Contractor use has only increased in Afghanistan, and in Iraq we have seen a draw down from the last report. I thought what was equally interesting was the increase of contractor use in ‘other’ locations. 14,618 ‘other location’ contractors last quarter versus 24,765 for this quarter. It would be cool if they actually broke down these other locations? All said, the total amount of contractors are just a little more than last quarter, but not by much.(151,995 last quarter versus 152,959 this quarter)

What is also curious is the decrease in the use of local nationals from the last report, and the increase in the use of American and partner contractors in Afghanistan. I am wondering if that is a direct result of all of these incidents of green on blue attacks, or because of poor quality services performed by local Afghans?  Who knows, and it is hard to say what is happening with the numbers there.

As to security contractors, we have seen a huge increase in use for Afghanistan. Last quarter we were at 20,375 folks, and now we are at 26,612. So we must be doing something right.

Although Iraq has seen a pretty sharp decline in security contractor use. Last quarter we were at 8,995 and this quarter we are at 3,577. But that is still a significant security contractor presence presence in post war Iraq.  This might stabilize as well, after all of the ‘right size’ initiatives that DoS was working towards. But who knows and it might go lower.

The other cool deal in this publication was the mention of the new ANSI standard for security companies. Under Sec 833 of the FY2011 NDAA, the US government will use third party accreditation services to see what companies meet the ANSI standard.  So it will help the government in picking companies for contracts that at least meet ANSI. And if companies want to play, they will have to live up the ANSI standard. Or that is the theory, and we will see how all of this translates out in the field.

This is still a great deal, and in this report they mentioned the concept of ‘best value’ and how this ANSI standard can help them find the best value companies out there. But hopefully this will not be the only metric.  Reputation, and how they treat their contractors should be other areas of concern, as examples of how they should pick.

It was funny though that they threw in that other term ‘technically acceptable’.  It sounds like some in government are still hanging on to LPTA as the way to go for contracts, and that is just dumb. Lowest Priced, Technically Acceptable contracting is how you get these ‘race to the bottom’ gigs like TWISS, and it is just a dumb tool for security contracts. LPTA might work for finding a contractor to mow your lawn and no one really cares if they screw up.  No lives will be lost and the lawn will be cut regardless.

But for security, you want the best value for the dollar–just like you would choose a doctor or a lawyer.  Because with these types of contracts, lives ‘are’ on the line…-Matt

 

Contractor Support Of USCENTCOM AOR, 2nd Quarter FY 2012

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Publications: Contractor Support Of USCENTCOM AOR, 1st Quarter FY 2012

Contractor Support Of USCENTCOM AOR, 1st Quarter FY 2012

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