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NATO soldiers, civilian contractor killed E. Afghanistan

(Global Times) – June 2, 2013 – Two soldiers and a civilian contractor of the NATO-led coalition forces were killed Saturday in two separate incidents in eastern Afghanistan.

“One International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) service member and one ISAF Civilian was killed during a direct fire attack in eastern Afghanistan today,” said the NATO-led ISAF in a press statement.

Another coalition service member was killed in an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) attack.

However, it did not reveal the nationalities of the victims under the ISAF policy.

The Taliban insurgent group, which has been waging an insurgency of more than one decade, launched in late April an annual rebel offensive against Afghan and about 100,000 NATO-led forces stationed in the country.

The latest casualties bring the number of foreign soldiers killed in Afghanistan to 70 this year. (Click HERE for original article)

We Served Too: Remembering Civilian Sacrifices Made on Behalf of Country and Honoring Those Who Serve Alongside the Military in Conflict Zones

Anne Speckhard – (Huffington Post) – May 28, 2013 – This Memorial Day all Americans send a heartfelt salute to all those warriors who fought and died so gallantly in recent and far off wars in behalf of our freedoms and safety.  On behalf of those who died, we can never thank them or their families enough for the ultimate sacrifice they made for our country. Alongside that salute we now also need to begin to honor the oft forgotten civilians who also serve in war and high threat security environments alongside the military, supporting their efforts and working in concert with them — especially all those civilians who served in the two recent U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan — as many civilian workers have also lost their lives while serving our country.

While we don’t often remember the sacrifices of civilian workers in conflict zones, or have a holiday to commemorate their service, we do need to honor that they too serve their country.

A little known fact is that in September 2007 there were more contractors in Iraq than combat troops.  According to a 2013 report of the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction (SIGIR) reports that, “In September 2007, the United States had more than 170,000 combat personnel in Iraq as part of the counterinsurgency operation, with more than 171,000 contractors supporting the mission.”  These contractors are credited in the report for supporting “the counterinsurgency mission in unstable, yet strategically significant, areas such as Baghdad, Anbar, and Babylon provinces.”

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Callous Indifference From Military Contractor in Iraq, Family Says

Cameron Langford – (Courthouse News) – Houston – April 29, 2013 – A military contractor in Iraq shipped a worker’s body home in pieces, without the heart, then after “painful negotiations” but “no apology,” tried to charge his family for shipping home the heart, the family claims in court.

In addition to the insult and agony, the family of the late Chuck L. Doherty claims, the company made it impossible to collect on life insurance because of the mutilation of the body and the missing heart.

Doherty’s family sued his employers, FrontierMEDEX, and Pacific Architects and Engineers dba PAE Group, in Harris County Court.

FrontierMEDEX is a logistics company that provides “proactive medical, safety and security solutions” for clients around the world, according to its website.

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Afghanistan: Bomb kills 15, including 6 Americans, 2 soldiers & 4 working for DynCorp

Four Killed in Attack in Kabul, Afghanistan

FALLS CHURCH, Va. (May 16, 2013) – Four DynCorp International personnel working on the Combined Security Transition Command – Afghanistan (CSTC-A) program were tragically killed by an explosion in Kabul, Afghanistan earlier today. Three others were injured but have been treated and released. The company extends its deepest sympathies to the families and loved ones of those who lost their lives. Out of respect for their privacy, we will not be providing further information at this time.

Under the CSTC-A contract the company provides mentors and trainers to support the development of the Afghanistan Ministry of Defense. DI provides mentoring, training, subject matter expertise, and program support to CSTC-A staff and the Afghanistan Ministry of Defense. The program supports development of organizational capacity to assist the Afghanistan MOD and Afghan National Army forces in assuming full responsibility for their own security needs.~ Press Release, DynCorp website

May 16, 2013 – (Associated Press) – KABUL, Afghanistan – A suicide car bombing tore through a U.S. convoy in Kabul on Thursday, killing at least 15 people including six Americans in a blast so powerful it rattled the other side of the Afghan capital. U.S. soldiers rushed to help, some wearing only T-shirts or shorts under their body armor.

A Muslim militant group claimed responsibility for the morning rush hour attack, saying it was carried out by a new suicide unit formed in response to reports that the U.S. plans to keep bases and troops in Afghanistan even after the 2014 deadline for the end of the foreign combat mission.

The group, Hizb-e-Islami, said its fighters had stalked the Americans for a week to learn their routine before striking — a claim which raises questions about U.S. security procedures.

Two children were among nine Afghan civilians killed in the attack.

“I can’t find my children. They’re gone. They’re gone,” their father screamed before collapsing to the ground as neighbors swarmed around to comfort him.

Two American soldiers were killed, as were four American civilian contractors with DynCorp International. DynCorp, a U.S. defense contractor based in Falls Church, Va., said its employees were working with U.S. forces training the Afghan military when the blast occurred. Read the remainder of this entry »

Family of Oklahoma contractor who died in Iraq seeks help getting his body returned (Updated)

Michael David Copeland: Iraqi law prevents his remains from leaving the country until an autopsy is performed – Photo Tulsa World News

Lara Jakes – (Associated Press) – BAGHDAD – June 26, 2012 – The body of an American contractor who was found dead in Baghdad was flown back to the U.S. on Tuesday after a two-week bureaucratic debate over whether the Iraqi government would perform an autopsy on his remains.

Officials said Michael David Copeland, 37, is among a handful of Americans working for the U.S. government to die in Iraq since December. That’s when a security agreement between the two nations expired, eliminating immunities that shielded the U.S. military from local laws.

Copeland’s case is a snapshot of the new reality of working in Iraq for Americans who, over the years, were accustomed to vast privileges and influence that disappeared when the U.S. troops left. (Click HERE for article)

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Family members of a civilian contractor who died in Iraq this month are asking for government officials to put pressure on the Iraqi government to release the body to them.

Jerry Wofford – (Tulsa World News) – June 19, 2012 – Michael David Copeland – from Colbert in southern Oklahoma, who served in the Marines and with the Oklahoma Air National Guard – was found dead June 9 in his living quarters in Baghdad. His cause of death has not been released, said Ashley Burke, the vice president of communication for DynCorp International, the company at which Copeland worked.

Michael Wayne Copeland, his father, said his family has spoken with officials from the U.S. State Department and the congressional delegation, but he hasn’t seen results.

“Everyone is sorry for our loss and his concern; however, his remains are still in Baghdad,” his father said. “All we’re interested in is knowing what happened to him and getting him home to lay him to rest.”

Copeland’s father said he was contacted June 9 by DynCorp officials and notified of his son’s death. He said his son had been in Iraq working as an airplane mechanic about a week before his death.

Copeland, 37, served two tours of duty with the Marines before he left and joined the Oklahoma Air National Guard, where he served on another tour. His total military career spanned 13 years, his father said.

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