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DynCorp Let Off Hook by U.S. for Poor Work, Audit Finds

Severe soil settling has caused this guardhouse to lean and its surrounding walls to crack. SIGAR has recently identified significant soil stability issues at the construction site of the Kunduz ANA garrison. (SIGAR photo)

Tony Capaccio – (Bloomberg) – October 25, 2012 – The Army Corps of Engineers freed DynCorp International Inc., one of the largest U.S. contractors in Afghanistan, of responsibility for construction at an Afghan Army garrison even though long-standing deficiencies remain, according to an inspector general’s report.

In a 2010 audit, Pentagon inspectors identified failings at the camp in northern Afghanistan that included “poor site grading” and “serious soil stability issues.” Inspectors returned in March of this year to find “additional structural failures, improper grading and new sinkholes,” the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction said in an audit issued today.

DynCorp, a unit of New York-based Cerberus Capital Management LP, oversaw the construction at Camp Pamir in Afghanistan’s Kunduz province. The DynCorp project was part of a U.S. effort to train and house the Afghan Army, which is growing this year to 195,000 personnel.

“Despite the unsatisfactory performance of the contractor, DynCorp,” officials from the Army Corps’s District North region in Afghanistan “released DynCorp from further contractual liability,” John Sopko, the inspector general, wrote in today’s report. The company was paid $70.8 million on the contracts, “releasing it from any further liabilities and warranty obligations.”

DynCorp’s Comment

“We absolutely disagree with several of the report’s conclusions concerning the causes for the issues experienced at this site,” Ashley Burke, a DynCorp spokeswoman, said today in an e-mail. “Further, work was completed and this contract was closed out last year so we are unable to comment on 2012 site conditions that may or may not exist today.”

DynCorp turned over responsibility for the site in 2011, and the current occupants have been accountable for maintenance and care of the facilities since then, Burke said.

Other contractors were doing additional construction and grading work by the time inspectors returned, she said. The company was still reviewing the report, which it didn’t see in advance of its release, Burke said.

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USACE awards KBR, Louis Berger and IAP $490M electrical contracts in Afghanistan…..Really?

On September 30, 2011 KBR, along with Berger/Cummins JV and IAP Worldwide Services, Inc. were awarded contracts by the The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to provide electrical services for contingency operations in Afghanistan. This $490 million dollar contract is to perform electrical services for prime power operations in support of any location within the Afghan Theater of Operations. This contract supports any and all U.S. facilities in Afghanistan, as required, up to the maximum capacity of $500 million.

The contract includes generator set Operations and Maintenance (O&M), preparation, transport, installation, preventive maintenance, scheduled maintenance, emergency maintenance, service, fueling, relocating and recovering generator sets, associated fuel systems (if required), and all transmission/distribution system maintenance including the underground or overhead system at the U.S. Facilities from the generators to the transformer and associated switchgear.

USACE, who has had their own employee issues lately, acts as if there are no other contractors out there who can do this work! Not to mention, I suspect these three contractors will load up on cheap third world or Afghan labor to perform this work instead of licensed electricians, further propagating US sponsored human trafficking.

Let’s take a look at these contractors one by one. Read the remainder of this entry »

Who needs Wikileaks – we have NASA and other news

NASA sells computers without erasing sensitive data
Brian Kalish – December 09, 2010 – As part of an effort to shed excess property as the space shuttle program winds down, NASA sold off 10 computers without first making sure highly sensitive data had been removed, an internal audit has found.

“The weaknesses we identified in NASA’s [information technology] sanitization policy and procedures put NASA at risk of releasing sensitive information that could cause harm to its mission and violate federal laws and regulations that protect such information,” said the audit, which the agency’s Inspector General Paul K. Martin released earlier this week.

NASA is required to remove information from electronic storage devices before selling, transferring or discarding them. During the sanitization process, the data can be overwritten or destroyed. Officials must double-check their work by attempting to access and recover the information they erased. (Click HERE for article)

Northrop to pay fine for withholding information about faulty paint system
LOS ANGELES – December 8, 2010 – (Xinhua) — Defense contractor Northrop Grumman will pay 5.21 million dollars for trying to conceal information about its faulty paint system for the B-2 “Stealth” bomber, federal prosecutors announced on Wednesday.

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A rogue by any other name and other news

Afghan starts to close private security firms
HEIDI VOGT and RAHIM FAIEZ (AP) – KABUL, Afghanistan – October 3, 2010 – The Afghan government said Sunday it has started dissolving private security firms in the country by taking steps to end the operations of eight companies, including the firm formerly known as Blackwater and three other large international contractors.

“We have very good news for the Afghan people today,” presidential spokesman Waheed Omar told reporters in the capital. “The disbanding of eight private security firms has started.”

Afghan President Hamid Karzai announced in August that private security contractors would have to cease operations by the end of the year — wiping out an industry with tens of thousands of guards who protect military convoys, government officials and businesspeople.

Some security contractors have been criticized for operating more like private militias, and the government said it could not have armed groups that were independent of the police or military forces.

The eight companies that have begun the process include Xe Services — the North Carolina contractor formerly called Blackwater — Virginia-based NCL Holdings LLC, New Mexico-based Four Horsemen International and London-based Compass International, Omar said. Two large Afghan firms, White Eagle Security Services and Abdul Khaliq Achakza, are also on the list. The remaining two companies are small operations with fewer than 100 employees, so he declined to name them.  (Click HERE for article)

Ex-Laguna Construction Worker Pleads
Scott Sandlin – Albuquerque Journal – October 2, 2010 – An employee of the New Mexico-based Laguna Construction Co. admitted demanding and getting $847,904 in kickbacks from the company’s subcontractors on multiple projects in Iraq, according to the plea he entered Friday in U.S. District Court in Houston.

Ismael “Mike” Salinas, of Odessa, Texas, says in court documents that he caused Laguna to submit kickback-inflated billings from its New Mexico headquarters to the Air Force Center for Engineering and Environment, a support agency in the Defense Department.

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DynCorp – Ballhaus resigns

Dyncorp International President and CEO Announces Departure, Successor Named

FALLS CHURCH, Va. (August 20, 2010) – DynCorp International (DI) today announced that Steve Gaffney will become the company’s chief executive officer and president effective August 25, 2010, the date that current CEO and president, Bill Ballhaus, has announced that he will resign.  Mr. Ballhaus, who joined the company in May 2008, will continue to serve on the company’s Board of Directors as vice chairman and has accepted a position as a strategic advisor to DI’s new parent, Cerberus Capital Management L.P.

“Over the past two years the DI team has accomplished great things: we redefined our core values, strengthened our leadership programs, entered new business sectors and expanded our global footprint,” said Mr. Ballhaus. “The company is now in a position of strength and, while I am stepping down from my day-to-day role, I look forward to remaining actively engaged in DI’s future through my involvement on the Board and as a senior advisor to its owners.”

Mr. Gaffney, who already serves as chairman of DI’s Board of Directors and will operate out of the company’s Falls Church headquarters, joins DI from IAP Worldwide Services, Inc. (IAP), where he has served as CEO since January 2009.

“Bill and I have worked closely together over the past several months, discussing the company’s operations, management and future.  I look forward to continuing to work with Bill in his role as a key strategic advisor and on the company’s Board,” said Mr. Gaffney. “He deserves a great deal of credit for expanding the company’s global footprint and establishing a solid foundation of corporate goals and core values that will guide the company’s future success.”

Mr. Gaffney has more than 25 years of leadership experience in the defense industry. In addition to his experience with IAP, he served as senior vice president of ITT Corporation and president of ITT Defense Electronics and Services. Mr. Gaffney was responsible for establishing ITT’s strategic direction as well as financial and operating performances. Under his leadership, the company grew more than 60 percent as Mr. Gaffney executed both organic and acquisition strategies. He also had responsibility for driving Lean Six Sigma and Operational Excellence across all of ITT.

Early in his career, Mr. Gaffney led business segments at Litton Industries, AlliedSignal and Smith Industries.  He earned a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering degree from Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania, and is certified as a Lean Six Sigma Champion and Green Belt.

About DynCorp International

DynCorp International is a global government services provider in support of U.S. national security and foreign policy objectives, delivering support solutions for defense, diplomacy, and international development. DI operates major programs in logistics, platform support, contingency operations, and training and mentoring to reinforce security, community stability, and the rule of law. DynCorp International is headquartered in Falls Church, Va. For more information, visit www.dyn-intl.com. (Click HERE for press release)