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Senate DPC Hearing-Iraq Electrocutions 7-11-08 – Debbie Crawford Testimony

I am an IBEW Local 48 Electrician. It was very difficult to keep my emotions in check after hearing the heartbreaking testimony of Cheryl Harris and Larraine McGee. I was nervous at first, then angry and by the time I read my last paragraph it was difficult to keep my emotions under control. This is my testimony.

Senate Democratic Policy Committee Hearing

“Contractor Misconduct and the Electrocution Deaths
of American Soldiers in Iraq”

Debbie Crawford

Former KBR Electrician

July 11, 2008

My name is Debbie Crawford. I’m a journeyman electrician and have been in the trade nearly 30 years. I hold a journeyman license in both Oregon and Washington.

I worked for KBR/SEII in the Green Zone in Iraq from July 2004 to July 2006. During my first year, I worked as an electrician performing electrical work and supervising local Iraqi electricians. During my second year, I worked as an Administrative Specialist in the same organization where one of my primary responsibilities was coordinating the department’s safety program.

The lack of proper tools and material was a consistent problem. The most basic tools and equipment were not always available or were of poor quality. Some craftspeople brought their own personal tools from the States. Even the most basic material such as electrical tape and wire nuts were at times scarce. This lack of tools and material forced work to be done in a less than professional manner. It also encouraged hoarding by employees, which only compounded the problem.

Most work done in the Green Zone was awarded to sub-contractors. The subcontractors employed third country national and local national workers who were not familiar or skilled in U.S. quality standards, U.S. safety standards and installation techniques, or U.S. codes. It was not uncommon for KBR electricians to go in after a subcontractor had supposedly completed a job, to actually complete it or repair their work. The construction of small, temporary “man camps” was a particular problem and I personally received several complaints from Blackwater employees that they were being shocked in their trailers.

The KBR employees supervising these electrical contractors often had no electrical experience at all. It was not uncommon for a labor foreman with no electrical experience to supervise Iraqi electrical subcontractors or third country nationals doing electrical work.

While working in Iraq, I saw green wire, which was specifically designated by the National Electric Code (NEC) as ground wire, used as a “hot” wire. I brought this to my foreman’s attention but my complaints were totally disregarded. When I pressed him I was told that was all they had, make it work, and don’t worry about it. This was just one of countless examples of poor leadership and poor workmanship by KBR in Iraq.

There are many qualified and competent KBR electricians. But not all KBR electricians were qualified to do this kind of work. When I applied in 2004 the job posting stated a license was required. No one in Houston asked to see my license or checked my job references, and no qualification test was given. The current KBR job posting has no licensing requirements and states, “Typically requires 2-5 years of related experience.” In the United States, five years of experience barely gets you through an apprenticeship program.

We had one new hire show up in Iraq as a journeyman electrician to do construction and maintenance work. He installed telephone lines in the United States. He was concerned about his safety because he clearly was working outside his area of expertise. He told me his qualifications were clearly stated on his resume. I contacted our foreman and he was transferred to the communications department. It is safe to assume he was not the first or the last electrician hired and expected to perform work outside their area of expertise.

Supervision by KBR was also sorely lacking. My electrical general foreman at the Palace was not even an electrician. And yet he would argue with qualified electricians about quality, code and safety issues. He insisted I work on energized circuits in order to not inconvenience the client, but then questioned my qualifications if I got shocked. It got to the point that I would not inform him of everything I was doing, in order to ensure I could do it correctly and safely. How can you effectively supervise electricians when you don’t understand what they are doing or what the potential ramifications are if it is not done correctly?

Qualified electricians found it difficult to deal with the complacency, the lack of leadership, the lack of tools and materials, and the lack of safety. Many didn’t make it a month before they quit and went home. Many of those who were committed to completing their contracts found themselves in constant conflict with supervisors, engineers and the safety department – some just gave up and complied with their instructions.

Time and time again we heard, “This is not the States, OSHA doesn’t apply here,” “You’re in a war zone, what do you expect,” and “If you don’t like it you can go home.” The threats to send employees home were so prevalent that KBR corporate had to remind its supervisors and managers that it was against company policy to threaten employees. It was very common to threaten an employee with a transfer to a more hostile camp as a deterrent to raising concerns.

During the two years I was in Iraq working for KBR – from July 2004 to July 2006 – I had not heard of any deaths due to accidental electrocution. To the best of my knowledge, there were no official KBR statements asking electricians and other personnel to take extra precautions. The electricians were not asked to heighten their level of awareness to potential shock hazards. There was no supplemental training given on effective grounding and bonding.

KBR has claimed that its contract did not cover fixing potential hazards – only repairing items after they broke down. It is my professional opinion that reported electrical shocks are not a potential hazard. It is an imminent hazard that needs immediate attention to prevent serious injury and death.

KBR claims to have “an unwavering commitment to safety” but chose not to make these necessary repairs because the company claimed it was “not part of the contract.” As part of this commitment to safety, did KBR prohibit its own employees from entering the buildings where electrical shocks were taking place? I suspect not. The deaths we are discussing could just as easily have been a KBR employee, most likely an unsuspecting plumber.

It saddens and angers me that at least 11 American soldiers and two civilian contractors have died due to electrocution. Not in combat, but at camps and bases where they should have felt the safest. As licensed electricians, we are bound to protect human life first and foremost. We did not do that and I feel we have failed them. (END OF TESTIMONY)

Senator Casey asking me questions after my testimony.

Ms Sparky

my image

30 Comments

  1. Comment by iamfarmer:

    Sounds like an axe to grind. Get done does not mean do it unsafely! Get it done means accomplish the end with what you have available. If you don’t have colored conductors, use colored electrical tape to wrap the feeder ends. What no colored tape? Then consider labeling it.
    I admire you served for 2 years but with one year working in safey could you have used your 20 years of experience to find creative solutions?

    Ms Sparky’s Response:

    No ax to grind. I just feel for the Millions or Billions KBR is paid, they could have done MUCH better. And maybe soldiers and civilians wouldn’t have died needlessly. I know it is difficult for those who weren’t there to understand. Some did do the best they could. We did our best to make it mechanically sound and safe with what you had available. Even the most basic hand tools and material weren’t available. Tape??? Maybe. Labels??? Not Even. This was but one simple example for the non-electrical people at the hearing. I know it’s hard to fathom for US electrician. But there was no supply house in town. KBR could have done a much better job of pre-planning, stocking and ordering tools and material.

    The only thing we had in abundance was heat and sand.

    Thanks for the comment.

  2. Comment by pj:

    Deb as having served with you in Iraq for those 2 years and althought I am not an electrician, I have heard you complain many countless times about the electrical problems over there. So I am glad you have a chance to speak out as the truth needs to be told.

    You go girl,
    PJ

    Ms Sparky’s Response:

    Girl…I would never have made it two years without you!!! Thank you!!

  3. Comment by JTL:

    way to go ms sparky. you got guts. KBR sent me home because i stood up for my own safety. i got to be one of those problem employees because i didn’t want to get hurt. their safety record speaks for itself. oh that’s right, we are in a war zone so it’s ok.

    Ms Sparky’s Response:

    Thanks for the great comment!

  4. Comment by Jenna:

    It sounds like it was very scary to testify. Thank you for letting us know what it’s really like over there.

    Ms Sparky’s Response:

    Thanks for the great comment!

  5. Comment by Bruce:

    Debbie I think I met you in in Dubai at Biggles Bar at the Millennium Hotel. It had to be you. I know there aren’t too many women electricians in Iraq. I worked for KBR in Baghdad. I read iamfarmer’s comment. He obviously has never worked for KBR. Another armchair quarterback. Things we take for granted in the States are luxuries in Iraq like electrical tape and when we did get it in it is that cheap “jap crap”. I would have killed for a good screwdriver. I had to teach our TCN’s how to use wirenuts!!

    I hope you will keep going on this. I’m really not surprised that people have died.

    Ms Sparky’s Response:

    Sorry Bruce..I remember Biggles but having a problem remembering you specifically. Thanks for the comment!

  6. Comment by NLN:

    You fucking bitch. You should’ve just stayed home where you fucking belong. Not all electricians have a licence. If you are really good you don’t fucking need one. If you knew what you where doing you wouldn’t have had no fucking problems in Iraq. I have been here for almost a year and I haven’t had no fucking problems. If KBR starts to push this licence thing that is really going to piss me off.

    NLN (NO LICENCE NEEDED)

    Ms Sparky’s Response:
    If you are a really good electrician, you can get one. I can understand why you wouldn’t want to have to test for a “LICENCE”. You misspelled “LICENSE”….b–ch!!!

    • Comment by Linda Warren:

      This comment is precisely the kind of employees KBR wants….an electrician with no qualifications just sucking the government teat.

  7. Comment by Wishwords:

    Your story sounds so familiar. These are the same things my husband went through as an electrician (he is a licensed journeyman also). As for the first commenter, colored tape? Are you kidding? Who had colored tape? They were lucky if they had any electrical tape at all.

    People who have never been there really can’t fathom that “supply problems” means we couldn’t get even the basics. I was an admin and there were months that we went without paper or pens, never mind the trades who needed tools and equipment. I knew an electrical foreman in Fallujah who had to make a breaker box out of an ammo box. Everyone at Al Asad teased him, but it was the only thing he could come up with. I remember my husband showing me the screwdrivers they were issued. The tips had chunks missing out of them because they were the cheapest screwdrivers that could be found.

    He thinks you’re very brave, by the way, and commends you for telling the truth. He even contacted our Representative to offer his testimony along with yours.

    Ms Sparky’s Response:

    It is sooooo great to hear from someone that was there. Thank You!!! Tell your husband Thank You!!!

  8. Comment by Dale:

    Wow Deb it sounds like that NLN guy is the one whos work you were following around and trying to repair. No license needed? I wonder if he does heart surgery on the side, or maybe a little plumbing. One thing is for sure, his english skills (lack of) show he is probably from KBR’s home office. I never have been a nonunion Brown and Root fan. Did Bechtel have those kind of problems?

    Ms Sparky’s Response:

    I didn’t want to screen my comments…good or bad. He was a doozy! I’d bet you $100 I have worked with this guy!!! You know…..I’ve never worked for Bechtel. Bummer! Thanks for the comment.

  9. Comment by ms sparky:

    I get asked this question a lot. So I want to clarify. I am a Union Electrician. I served my apprenticeship in Local 112 from 1979-1984. I am currently a member of IBEW Local 48 Portland, Oregon.

    Unfortunately the IBEW does not have jurisdiction outside the US and Canada. I wish they did. There were a lot of great IBEW members in Iraq and Afghanistan. I talked to my Business Manager before I went over and got the “go ahead”.

  10. Comment by kenny:

    I am also an electrician that served in Fallujah, I can testify to the fact about no materials and supplies. Searchin thru the trash dump to make junction boxes and or distribution panels out of. If it werent for the Marine ENGRS, in camp we would not have a had a single ligth bulb.!!!!!
    But also i can attest to the fact of work installed by others. Dont know who , but has anyone seen a turtle>? if you have, you know what it is? what about wrapping a damaged underground cable in an MRE bag and a plastic bag from the PX? this was battlefield mentality and completing the mission. and yes i have seen the supposedly union and nonunion electricians that both dont know what they are doing. most electricians are not familiar with working around generators or let alone live circuits. GOd bless the Marines i just know i did the best with what i had to work with.

    Ms Sparky’s Response:
    Kenny-It sounds like you did do the best you could. It would have been nice to have some material. I understand when a mortar comes in and blows something up and you need to get it fixed now…anyway you can. You fix it temporary, but it turns out to be permanent because you can’t get the parts and material in to fix it right.

    And yes….God Bless the Marines!

    Thanks for the great comment.
    Ms Sparky

    • Comment by Linda Warren:

      Wow, and to think I was asking for ground fault circuit interruptors for my laundry in Baghdad! My Iraqi contractors had no idea what they needed them for, whilst walking around bare-footed in water and sticking bare wires in open outlets. . .

  11. Comment by kandsfarm:

    WOW!!! F—ing B–ch!!! Pretty harsh words coming from NO LICENCE NEEDED who has been there for what did he say? ALMOST a year? I am impressed that KBR hired such an educated and literate electrician. My hat is off to you…

    NOT!!!!!!

    Maybe if KBR hired licensed (yes, that is with an “S” not a “C”) electricians that new what they were doing then maybe things like this wouldn’t happen:

    “During just one six-month period — August 2006 through January 2007 — at least 283 electrical fires destroyed or damaged American military facilities in Iraq, including the military’s largest dining hall in the country.”

    “Two soldiers died in an electrical fire at their base near Tikrit in 2006, the records note, while another was injured while jumping from a burning guard tower in May 2007.”

    “And while the Pentagon has previously reported that 13 Americans have been electrocuted in Iraq, many more have been injured, some seriously, by shocks, according to the documents.”

    “Electrical problems were the most urgent noncombat safety hazard for soldiers in Iraq, according to an Army survey issued in February 2007. It noted “a safety threat theaterwide created by the poor-quality electrical fixtures procured and installed, sometimes incorrectly, thus resulting in a significant number of fires.”

    Do I need to go on? There are many more stories just like these….

    I could only hope and pray that KBR is forced into hiring ONLY LICENSED ELECTRICIANS and purchasing adequate tools and supplies for the LICENSED ELECTRICIANS to do their jobs in a professional manner. If this pisses you off then I suggest you trot right on over to the licensing department and try to get yours before the line gets too long…. but, I would learn to spell license before I applied for one…. JMHO

    Karin

    Ms Sparky’s Response:
    Damn Karin….you really shouldn’t hold back. Say what’s on your mind girl! LOL BTW….what does JMHO mean? THANK YOU!!
    Ms Sparky

  12. Comment by kandsfarm:

    I always speak my mind when it is right to do so.

    From one craftsperson to another, I would like you to know that you are doing the right thing. Keep it up.

    JMHO “Just My Humble Opinion”

    Karin

  13. Ping from Iraq electrocutions higher than previously reported « The Defense Base Act Blog:

    […] website from a former KBR electrician. Ms. Sparky (Debbie Crawford) recently testified before the Senate Democratic Policy Committee on Soldier Electrocutions and seeks to bring attention to safety conditions in Iraq.  She is looking for former contractors […]

  14. Comment by nonameneeded:

    I was in Iraq and Afghanistan with the same company you worked for. I was in the QA/QC department for about a year now doing inspections on the very work in which you’ve talked about. In my opinion there are more reasons for the type of work done here than is noticed. One great example is the Quality department for which I work. We have people promoted from administrative assistants (secretaries) to construction inspectors doing audits on the trade departments and also inspecting multi million dollar construction projects. There are also HUGE problems with soldiers taking it upon themselves to do their own electrical work. Thanks for your time, and hope I can help…..

  15. Comment by second thoughts:

    suggest “no licence needed” is not american, but probably from the uk.

    Ms Sparky’s Response:
    I figured he was from Texas…..same thing!

  16. Comment by Mr. Dave:

    Ms. Sparky, thanks for bringing the reality home with you and speaking out. As an Army Engineer officer who is on his third tour here in Iraq (and my second involved in facilities and O&M), I can attest that the active duty does not have the required skilled electrical personnel within its ranks to be able to adequately identify, let alone mitigate, all of the electrical problems. The few active duty non-commissioned officers (and reservists with civilian electrical experience) are generally supporting missions “outside the wire”, where they are expected to assume the higher level of risk. The military relies on the LOGCAP contractor to provide safe facilities on the bases and/or at least clean up after Iraqi electricians install bad wiring. Ideally, the active duty military would have enough Engineer NCO’s and Officers that are skilled enough to ensure that bad wiring isn’t installed. However, with the current military’s practice of contracting out as many logistical functions it can, it takes the deaths of several individuals to bring about real action. This is currently going on the form of Task Force Safe, an initiative to have properly trained teams inspect all sites for proper wiring, grounding, and panel boxes and fire safety. Hopefully in future wars, the military will learn from its mistakes and not give the LOGCAP contractor the task to do the work and be its own inspector – it sounds nice and easy on paper, but doesn’t work in real life.

    Ms Sparky’s Response:
    Thanks for your insights and most of all…thanks for serving. I just wish that the DoD would stop protecting KBR.

  17. Comment by High Voltage Babe:

    second thoughts said,on December 21st, 2008 at 9:43 am suggest “no licence needed” is not american, but probably from the uk.

    Ms Sparky’s Response:
    I figured he was from Texas…..same thing!

    Dear Ms. Sparky
    That comment was rude and uncalled for…
    Wait – nevermind – I have a rude comment for you too…
    You were NEVER KBR material – you were an outsider who came to work for the company for big bucks like everyone else – So tell me – how did you enjoy the money over there? I see you did not one but 2 years…
    Blood must have washed off your hands with all the money that contractor job was able to buy you in soap.
    Feh- Come to Texas – come back to KBR – I have a “gift” for you…I’ll give you a hint—
    It’s electrical and has a water feature.
    Signed,

    High Voltage Babe

    Ms Sparky’s Response:
    You’re right, I was NEVER KBR material. You’re right, I was an outsider. I am licensed for one. I went through an approved apprenticeship for two. I have professional ethics for three. And I don’t threaten and intimidate…you are clearly KBR through and through. High Voltage Babe? Unlikely!

  18. Comment by High Voltage Babe:

    You sow what you reap –

    Bechtel wouldn’t want you – and word gets out pretty fast to other companies about folks who spew words about former employers.

    I’ll put you up on the same pedestal with other like minded females: Jamie Leigh Jones/Sherron Watkins/Linda Tripp….

    You’ve been labeled – now you get to wear that scarlet letter for the rest of your life.

    Best,
    One Hot Looking High Voltage Babe :-)

    Ms Sparky’s Response
    Oh no…not labeled….not the scarlet letter…say it isn’t so….stop….stop…no more!!! You could be one of my more humorous commentors yet…..

  19. Comment by peg smith:

    I am writing because my husband just accepted an offer at KBR as an electrician of 30 plus years and a Union man as well. I am just scared to death reading all of the comments about the company. Is any of it good? Is it really as bad? the safety and the fact that there are no supplies. Does Mgmt not care? If some one would write back I would be eternally grateful. Does it also mean if you are assigned to SEII you cannot take any vacation?

    Thanks

    Ms Sparky’s Response:
    He will be able to take R&R every 4 months. How bad it is depends totally on the camp. They can be as different as night and day.

  20. Comment by QueGee:

    My father worked for KBR way before the latest Iraq war started, and it dang near ruined his life! I was thrilled when he later went to Fluor-Daniel, which had a higher caliber of employee and attitude for the most part.

    I SO applaud you, Ms. Sparky, for standing up for what’s right, which is so much more important than one job! As you’re good, there’s no doubt you’ll keep working. I’m including you as a part of my Women’s History Month Blog.

    One matter of disagreement: I’ve visited both the UK and Texas (I even lived in Houston for a while), and they’re most certainly not alike! Texas is full of incredible, strong women, as is the UK, but I wouldn’t trade the UK’s weather or food (aside from Chicken Tikka Masala) for my beloved Texas brisket any day of the week!

    Ms Sparky’s Response:
    Thank you! Just so you know, I’m not from Texas. I am going to go check out your site.

  21. Comment by IBEW 369 electrician:

    I just caught your interview on the Rachel Maddow Show. And I was wondering if you would please elaborate on the picture shown as to what caused 180 volts to be present from a stream of water from a bathroom faucet. I am assuming that power provided to the trailers would be 120/240 or 120/208 volts. So why would 180 volts be present at all. I have my suspicions as I feel many other electricians viewing the show may be asking. But could you please clarify.

    Thank You
    Brian Vandenburg
    Master Electrician
    IBEW local 369
    Louisville Kentucky

    Ms Sparky’s Response:
    The voltage is 230/380 50 hz

  22. Comment by Phil:

    Debbie, I also just saw you on Rachel Maddow. Please don’t let idiots like “high voltage babe” get to you. Some stray currents probably fried his or her brain.

    Just because it’s a “war zone” you’re supposed to “make do” and ignore the most basic safety rules? Really?!?

    Well, if we hadn’t already blown nearly a trillion dollars on that insane war, then they might have a good excuse for green hot phases or joining wires without wire nuts.

    Every US camp in Iraq and Afghanistan should now be wired in pure silver for what we’ve been paying.

    The ONLY possible explanation is complete and utter incompetence and corruption from the top of W’s rotten administration all the way down. And don’t let anyone tell you differently.

    I didn’t see your testimony. Did you point out to the senators that shocks from a faulty 250V system can be a heckuva lot worse than from a 120V system in the US?

  23. Comment by Ken@Home:

    When we went through, they couldn’t make there minds up whether it was 230/380, 230/400 or 230/415. LoL

  24. Comment by DAB08:

    …in reply to One Hot Looking High Voltage Babe :- )
    Thank God for “whistleblowers!” They are heroic and step up to protect… AND have the courage to do what others would like to or can’t!

    So by YOUR forum name, we are to take you seriously? Send pics! Additionally, I’m sure we all want you working around electricity in your wet t-shirt! Or maybe the “hot” is referring to the horns and tail you show as you stand in the fire….

    Ms Sparky’s Response:
    No worries. It’s probably just KBR HQ.

  25. Comment by p120keeper:

    Reading several long blogs on electrical problems, in a war zone (Iraq). It’s not bad enough that you get shoot at, called all kinds of names from a so called religious group (that has by the way been fighting for 1,000’s of years).
    Retired NCO combat vet., two wars, Vietnam being the first. Scarred for life the first time. Did get picked for special jobs because of knowledge & experience. High Voltage, Diesel, Motor Generators, UPS systems & don’t forget just plan what the heck. Once had an Electrical Engineer (he was good most of the time) tell me it was my fault for the delay because there was AC ripple on a totally isolated DC “batteries” Circuit)..Yes, I found and fixed problem. Different types of Voltages (1 to 1,600) AC, DC; 400Hz, 60Hz, 50Hz. Neutral (return) even though I have seen people (both civ. & military) use it like a ground. Grounds: US, Europe & Asia; Regular, Tech, Equipment, Building, Protected, RF Equipment, Radar Grounds. Then there is a potently dangerous Floating ground, not liked but some times required, most be well marked & used correctly.
    It is not because it is “a war zone”, correct terminology is “use a bigger hammer” to fix it. It is amazing that KBR is still still in business.
    Had some Electrical work done by Brown & Root in 1980s. Found out a few months later that it was not done correctly, they Hired people off the street. Almost did get a electrician killed, he was hurt but alive, shock threw him out of the ceiling. Brown & Root wired a three foot jumper from one junction box to another. Wire size was correct but on marked; Then, you won’t believe this, maybe there are at least in this blog that would – could have been them. This person put standard 110 MALE PLUGS on Both Ends of a 220 AC Circuit.
    This was not overseas, not in a war zone, not even in a I need this yesterday. This was in California at a Military base, even military Has to live with electrical codes & follow. Lucky for me I had a Lt. that I worked with, That was a very good writer & electrical engineer (now a lawyer), told what I needed somethings to say and Presto Never had Brown & Root on a contract again. Yea, I took a lot of heat for, but safety & I Won in the end. Needless to say Brown & Root were upset. They did send two extremely good looking young women to talk to me & take me to lunch, short skirts and all. Funny IBM did the Very same thing when I started hitting there pocket books. I wasn’t there for either though. Being harassed for what I was doing was still better than the heat though. Also had access to two lawyers 24 hours a day. Have a lot of stories, funny but not good. Also have a nephew in Iraq. They all have enough to think about, without thinking can I shave, take a shower, walk into the latrine or just plan plug in my radio. I have lost count of the number of times I rushed or made a mistake, with my screwdriver, wrench or my hands. Even remember waking up after sailing about 10feet, with a cow licking my face. Yes, a cow & I still remember the rough tongue & dripping nose Every time I go to do any electrical work. Take your time & Watch what you are doing..!! KBR is not a good company, management is after only one thing, money, they don’t protect there workers or look after the good ones.. To me the money wasn’t in my best interest to go to work for KBR, I refused. But, some people might not have had a choice so they went (most cases not knowing about KBR & there management.) So, don’t be hard on the ones that did go, you are not in there shoes, they still have to live with themselfs & everytime a GI dies they at least know some of them tried to fix it.
    Then of course you have at least two (I know more) that didn’t & still don’t know what they are doing, all mouth & nothing upstairs, not even a conscious & bet no morals either.

    Sorry, for the length reading brought back memorys not all good..

    Electrician/ RF/Electronic Engineering Tech.

    Keep up the good work if you know it is against any code or common sense. There are only a few of us that will go out on limb while some greedy CEO VP or Other is trying to cut the limb off.

    Ms Sparky’s Response:
    Wow. Thanks for the awesome comment and great insights!

  26. Comment by MSG Rat:

    On behalf of many other troops I would like to thank you for your efforts to address the SWA electrical hazards issues. I’d also like to add that, as you are perhaps aware, the DoD electrical hazards and NEC noncompliance problems are not limited to OCONUS areas. Many CONUS sites, well funded and well supplied, experience significant and refurring fire/electrical regulation noncompliance conditions, and neither the installation facilities engineering agencies nor the installation commanders seem capable or willing to insist upon meeting the safety standards. Just as in your experience, those who attempt to bring deficiencies to the attention of higher authorities do so at great personal risk. As long as DoD contracts the lowest bidders for installation services, without due regard for assurance of compliant results an qualified specialists, we are going to see such hazards continue.

  27. Comment by Joey B:

    The companies that were responsible for the elctrocution of our soldiers, etc., should be held accountable in a military court. The CEOs, board of directors etc, of Bechtel, Halliburton, and KBR should be tried for murder.

    Unless we are able to directly hold them accountable for murder this heinous behavior will continue. I don’t want to see a dog and pony show before the Senate. I want them held accountable for murder.

    If anyone should dare hurt our soldiers & it is apparent that indeed it has happened then they should be repaid in the same way our soldiers suffered.

    • Comment by Linda Warren:

      I beg to differ with you, but I think the companies should be held to the Code of Hammurabi. Public execution day used to be Thursday. I was at Radwaniyah Palace Complex when humvees were filled with tainted fuel and they ended up stranded in the desert. KBR knew it was tainted. The TCNs told them so, but did they listen to a TCN? Nope

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