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LOGCAP IV – KBR Archive

Photo credit: Handout | U.S. Army veteran Alex Antiohos was released after being detained in Iraq since Dec. 9, said Rep. Peter King.

Officially, the US war in Iraq is over. On December 18, 2011, the last of our US war fighters crossed the border into Kuwait and all that remains are approximately 150 U.S. troops attached to training and cooperation missions at the U.S. embassy located in what was once known as the International Zone/Green Zone in Baghdad.

Although the vast majority of civilian contractors have left Iraq, most were employed by KBR under the LOGCAP III contract, there are still 1000′s of Americans, and citizens from other countries still employed in Iraq by US government contractors such as Triple Canopy, Dyncorp International and KBR under its LOGCAP IV contract.

Since US troops began exiting Iraq earlier this year, there has been a disturbing trend regarding civilian contractors. It appears the Iraqi government has been arresting and detaining US contractor employees at will.

Recently three security contractors, US Army veteran Alex Antiohos of West Babylon, New York, National Guardsman Jonas March of Savannah, Georgia, and Mark Fisher of Fiji were released by Iraqi army forces Tuesday after being held since December 9.  They were working for a security firm named Triple Canopy, when Iraqi Ministry of Defense officials rejected paperwork prepared on their behalf by the Iraqi Ministry of Interior. Republican Rep. Peter King of New York and the chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security has demanded a full report on the episode.

The New York congressman said he was concerned that U.S. military authorities had not been notified by the U.S. Embassy that the men were being held and that embassy representatives had not visited the men when he learned about it from Antiohos’ wife last week.

“We’re going to have thousands of contractors over there, including many Americans. Can the Iraqis just take them off the street and hold them? This is a terrible precedent. We have to get to the bottom of this,” says King. Read the remainder of this entry »

Glenna Herald | October 3, 2011

A Harris County resident is suing KBR, with an office in Memorial, over claims the company retaliated against him for reporting racial discrimination.

George Price filed a lawsuit on Sept. 23 in the Harris County District Court against KBR, Inc., with an office in Memorial, and Services Employees International, citing violations of the Texas Commission on Human Rights Act.

Price says that in February 2009, he filed an internal complaint with his employer, KBR, detailing the racial slurs and racial comments he was forced to endure while working as a heavy truck driver for the Iraq Theater Transportation Mission.

Immediately after filing his complaint, Price alleges his supervisor retaliated against him, singling him out and scrutinizing his work. Within 12 days of the investigation, Price was placed on a corrective action and a path to termination, according to the brief.

The suit alleges KBR’s retaliatory acts forced him to leave his position in Iraq and return to his home in the States.

Price is seeking back pay and front pay, benefits, damages, attorney’s fees and court costs. He is being represented in the case by Houston attorney John Lloyd.

Harris County District Court Case No. 2011-57510. (click HERE for original article)

Tony Capaccio – (Bloomberg) – September 30, 2011 – Fluor Corp. (FLR) has dropped a protest filed last month with the Government Accountability Office challenging a $500 million award to KBR Inc. (KBR) for a logistics support contract in Iraq, according to KBR and a government website.

Irving, Texas-based Fluor withdrew its protest Wednesday, according to the GAO’s website and KBR spokeswoman Gabriela Segura in an e-mail. Fluor spokesman Keith Stephens said the company had no comment.

The contract was on hold until the protest was resolved. The hold has been lifted, said Army Sustainment Command spokeswoman Linda Theis.

Houston, Texas-based KBR announced August 2 it will continue for the State Department its previous Iraq role providing base support after U.S. troops are scheduled to withdraw in December.

KBR will support the State Department’s embassy staff, including utilities management, fire fighting, food services, laundry, shuttle bus services, fuel and postal operations.

The one-year contract includes a one-year option.

KBR has not received any similar contracts for Afghanistan. (Click HERE for original article)

T. Christian Miller – (ProPublica) – September 27, 2011 – Private contractors injured while working for the U.S. government in Iraq and Afghanistan filed a class action lawsuit [1] in federal court on Monday, claiming that corporations and insurance companies had unfairly denied them medical treatment and disability payments.

The suit, filed in district court in Washington, D.C., claims that private contracting firms and their insurers routinely lied, cheated and threatened injured workers, while ignoring a federal law requiring compensation for such employees. Attorneys for the workers are seeking $2 billion in damages.

The suit is largely based on the Defense Base Act, an obscure law that creates a workers-compensation system for federal contract employees working overseas. Financed by taxpayers, the system was rarely used until the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the most privatized conflicts in American history.

Hundreds of thousands of civilians working for federal contractors have been deployed to war zones to deliver mail, cook meals and act as security guards for U.S. soldiers and diplomats. As of June 2011, more than 53,000 civilians have filed claims for injuries in the war zones. Almost 2,500 contract employees have been killed, according to figures [2] kept by the Department of Labor, which oversees the system.

An investigation by ProPublica, the Los Angeles Times and ABC’s 20/20 [3] into the Defense Base Act system found major flaws, including private contractors left without medical care and lax federal oversight. Some Afghan, Iraqi and other foreign workers for U.S. companies were provided with no care at all.

The lawsuit, believed to be the first of its kind, charges that major insurance corporations such as AIG and large federal contractors such as Houston-based KBR deliberately flouted the law, thereby defrauding taxpayers and boosting their profits. In interviews and at congressional hearings, AIG and KBR have denied such allegations and said they fully complied with the law. They blamed problems in the delivery of care and benefits on the chaos of the war zones. (Click HERE for original article) (Click HERE for complaint PDF)

Windfalls of war: KBR, the government’s concierge

Posted August 30, 2011 By Ms Sparky

KBR’s umbrella contract to provide everything from showers to rebuilding airfields tops $37 billion. “It’s like a gigantic monopoly,” says one critic.

Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld talks with troops in Iraq. KBR has been paid $37 billion to build infrastructure like this dining hall. Jim Watson/AP

After a decade of war, KBR’s umbrella contract tops $37 billion

Sharon Weinberger – (The Center for Public Integrity – iWatch News) – August 30, 2011 – The rush to war in the months following the terrorist attacks of 9/11 created an urgency in the Pentagon, not just for military operations but also for contracting.

When U.S. forces moved into Afghanistan in 2001, there was little, if any, infrastructure to support and house U.S. troops. The military needed someone to do everything from housing troops to rebuilding airfields. The solution was a contract called the Logistics Civil Augmentation Program, or LOGCAP, a type of umbrella contract the Army had been using to support is military bases overseas. In late 2001, the Army, after a competition, awarded LOGCAP III to KBR. The Houston-based firm [3], once a subsidiary of Halliburton, began providing everything from showers to dining halls.

Even beyond single-source contracts, the Pentagon has other types of contracts it can use to quickly award work without having to compete specific jobs. They include umbrella-type contracts, like LOGCAP, that allow the government to buy unspecified goods and services over long periods of time. “It’s the government’s way of saying ‘We don’t know what we want, and we don’t know how much it costs,’” said Laura Peterson, a senior policy analyst with Taxpayers for Common Sense, a watchdog group. “Instead they say, ‘we’ll put you on retainer and tell you later what we want and when we want it, and you just bill us.’ You become the government’s concierge, and it’s like a gigantic monopoly.”

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