Date published: 1/16/2011 Fredericksburg.com
While shopping in Wegmans a few weeks ago, my son called. My husband and I quickly ended our shopping trip so we could talk to him without dropping the call.
My husband took the call, and I stayed to pay for our groceries. Phone calls from our son are precious, as he is in Afghanistan for the second Christmas in a row.
I mentioned it to the cashier, and the gentleman in line behind me thanked me for my son’s service. I told him that my son was not military, but a civilian contractor who volunteered to go for his company.
The gentleman again told me to “thank him for his service.” It touched my heart so very much, and I told my son as soon as I got on the phone with him.
Ryan really appreciated that man’s kindness, as do I. You see, I think people forget that along with our military there are many civilian contractors who have volunteered to put their lives in danger for this country. They, too, have families here that went through the holidays without their loved ones.
So for all who serve this country, the military, the contractors, and their families, I ask you to keep them all in your prayers. May God comfort them, and may they come home safely.
In 3rd quarter FY 2010, USCENTCOM reported approximately 224,433 contractor personnel working for the DoD in the USCENTCOM AOR. There was a decrease in contractors AOR wide of ~10% this quarter (from 250K to 224K), with significant decreases in Iraq and a steady state in Afghanistan.
A breakdown of those personnel is provided here. This update reports DoD contractor personnel numbers in theater. It covers DoD contractor personnel deployed in Iraq, Afghanistan, and the U.S. Central Command (USCENTCOM) area of responsibility (AOR).
The main categories of contracts in Iraq and the percentages of contractors working on them are displayed below:
|Translator / Interpreter||5,165||(6.4%)|
|Logistics / Maintenance||488||(.6%)|
OIF Contractor Posture Highlights:
- There was a ~17% decrease (from 95K to 79K) in contractors in Iraq compared to the 2nd quarter FY 2010 census due to ongoing efforts to reduce the contractor footprint in Iraq.
- USF-I remains on track to reduce the contractor footprint to 50K-75K by Sep 30, 2010.
- The military to contractor ratio in Iraq is 1 to 1.14
- We expect a steeper decrease in the number of overall contractors as FOBs close and military footprint is reduced throughout FY 11
- DoD and DoS are planning for post-2011 contract support
The main categories of contracts in Afghanistan are similar to those shown in the Iraq summary. We are working to present a similar detailed breakout for Afghanistan. We are currently capturing data by contracting activity as follows:
|Joint Contracting Command- Afghanistan||…||19,181||…||(18%)|
|U.S. Army Corps of Engineers||26,191||(24.5%)|
*Includes Army Materiel Command, Air Force External and Systems Support contracts, Special Operations Command.
OEF Contractor Posture Highlights:
- The total number of contractor personnel in Afghanistan has remained constant in the first three quarters of fiscal year 2010.
- The military to contractor ratio in Afghanistan is 1 to 1.07.
- The number of local nationals employed on DoD contracts in Afghanistan is 68% of the overall contractor mix, just below the commander’s goal of 70%; CENTCOM is analyzing methods to enhance LN percentage to support COIN goals.
General Data on DoD Private Security Contractor Personnel in Iraq and Afghanistan
USCENTCOM reports, as of 3rd quarter FY 2010, the following distribution of private security contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan:
All our best to you and your son
To the Editor,
As we enter the 10th anniversary of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, one group is never mentioned. That group, of course, are the private contractors assigned to Iraq, Afghanistan and surrounding countries. If we are to truly understand the continuation of these senseless wars, we must educate ourselves on the “Disposable Army.”
Private corporations are not required to broadcast the number of private contractors currently working in Iraq and Afghanistan. Reliable resources estimate it at 200,000-250,000 personnel, although it may be more. The number of deaths to private contractors is not known, but estimated to be at 1,753 as of December 2009. The number of injured requiring evacuation, again estimated, is over 39,000 contractors. Private contractors are subject to the same injuries and illnesses as military personnel.
When people think of private contractors, they assume most are security personnel. In actuality, most perform duties once performed exclusively by the military. Mechanics, electricians, building contractors, interpreters, computer programmers, food and laundry service members are some of the jobs that are provided by American private contractors in these areas. The private corporations often pay their employees in excess of six figures to work in these areas.
When interviewed, many private contractors are simply family members trying to make a living wage. Many are military veterans who have been unable to find work in the United States at all, let alone a living wage. They have had to encounter war zone dangers overseas, and problems with health and disability insurance when they return home.
It is time that we admit that our continued presence in Iraq and Afghanistan is against our and their best interests. We need to invest in rebuilding our own crumbling infrastructure, putting our own citizens back to work at living wages, and advancing our country in a positive direction.
If you have a family member in Iraq or Afghanistan,this website has invaluable information on many of the concerns of the “Disposable Army” at http://www.americancontractorsiniraq.org /
If you can find it in your heart, send a prayer my son’s way. He leaves for Afghanistan in two weeks, unable to find a job in the U.S.A. that pays a living wage. I will pray for him and his co-workers 24/7 until they are all home safely.
WASHINGTON — Three weeks before a Jordanian double agent set off a bomb at a remote Central Intelligence Agency base in eastern Afghanistan last December, a C.I.A. officer in Jordan received warnings that the man might be working for Al Qaeda, according to an investigation into the deadly attack.
But the C.I.A. officer did not tell his bosses of suspicions — brought to the Americans by a Jordanian intelligence officer — that the man might be planning to lure Americans into a trap, according to the recently completed investigation by the agency. Later that month the Qaeda operative, a Jordanian doctor, detonated a suicide vest as he stood among a group of C.I.A. officers at the base.
The internal investigation documents a litany of breakdowns leading to the Dec. 30 attack at the Khost base that killed seven C.I.A. employees, the deadliest day for the spy agency since the 1983 bombing of the American Embassy in Beirut. Besides the failure to pass on warnings about the bomber, Humam Khalil Abu-Mulal al-Balawi, the C.I.A. investigation chronicled major security lapses at the base in Afghanistan, a lack of war zone experience among the agency’s personnel at the base, insufficient vetting of the alleged defector and a murky chain of command with different branches of the intelligence agency competing for control over the operation.
Some of these failures mirror other lapses that have bedeviled the sprawling intelligence and antiterrorism community in the past several years, despite numerous efforts at reform. Read more here