David Isenberg: DynCorp Begs to Differ
David Isenberg – Huffington Post
Author, Shadow Force: Private Security Contractors in Iraq (Praeger Security International)
Posted: April 20, 2010 09:57 AM
In regard to my April 16 2010 post “The Contractors that Couldn’t Shoot Straight?” I received the below email yesterday.
At DynCorp International, we appreciate your ongoing coverage of, and interest in, contractor issues and Afghan National Police training. However, many points in the article you posted today, “The Contractors That Couldn’t Shoot Straight”, are factually incorrect:
1. The issue of faulty marksmanship training has unfortunately been perpetuated after it appeared in a Newsweek story. It is just plain wrong, and I have attached for your information a brief discussion of the facts of this issue.
2. The figure of $6 billion is regularly mentioned in the context of Afghan National Police training, with the implication that DynCorp International has received that amount for its work. That is not correct. DynCorp has received an aggregate of approximately $1.2 billion over the last 6 years. This represents a tremendous investment in the human and physical infrastructure required to build the Afghan National Police for the future. Here is a summary of the broad range of work included under CIVPOL in Afghanistan:
• The Afghanistan program supports approximately 700 police advisors and mentors at 53 sites throughout Afghanistan, including the Central Training Center in Kabul, seven Regional Training Centers, and a separate facility for the Afghanistan National Civil Order Police and those embedded at U.S. military forward operating bases in police districts around the country. 85% of our advisors and mentors are outside the training centers at regional and district levels. Roughly 1500 employees serve in support functions, including life and mission support, security and IT and communications.
• Beyond the number of personnel and the experience level required to execute the contract, DynCorp International manages and accounts for over 75,000 items of equipment, including close to 375 vehicles, and maintains 17 dining facilities – capable of being supported by air if ground travel is not possible. The company also provides independent fuel and other base support services at each facility. Our employees often are subject to hostile fire and other risks. This is a large and complex operation, and our record of supporting this undertaking is outstanding.
• Through this contract we have worked seamlessly with our customer to refine curricula; construct and operate the Regional Training Centers; develop a cadre of Afghan instructors; mentor and monitor Afghan district police in the field; and advise senior officials in the Ministry of Interior.
3. The contract to which you refer from Combined Security Transition Command-Afghanistan (CSTC-A) reflects DynCorp’s good standing with that organization, which would be unlikely to award a contract for new work if DynCorp were performing poorly. At today’s (4/19/10) Commission on Wartime Contracting Public Hearing, Commissioner Robert Henke stated that when Members of the Commission asked CSTC-A Commanding General William Caldwell if CSTC-A had been dissatisfied with DynCorp International’s performance, LTG Caldwell responded that CSTC-A has been satisfied with the contractor’s performance.
4. DynCorp welcomes strong and effective government oversight of its work. Existing audit and oversight activities are ongoing: embedded Defense Contract Audit Agency representatives; Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction; the Inspectors General from the Department of State and Department of Defense; multiple Congressional committees; and many other organizations have reviewed and continue to review our performance. Your article references various government audits from last year or earlier that have criticized the oversight of the CIVPOL contract. We have implemented corrective action plans for each area identified in those reports as needing correction. These action plans are pending comment and approval by auditing entities. DynCorp International will continue to respond quickly and comprehensively to any issues identified by oversight authorities to ensure the taxpayers are receiving the best possible performance and value for our services.
We hope that you will correct your article accordingly, and welcome any questions you may have.
Acting Director, Media Relations
Before I respond to the above let me make a couple of points.