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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 »

Georgia man identified as victim of suspected Afghan insider attack

DynCorp International Police Mentor Killed in Afghanistan
FALLS CHURCH, Va. – December 24, 2012 – Joseph Griffin, 49, of Mansfield, Ga., was tragically killed in Kabul, Afghanistan, on December 24, 2012, while supporting the Afghan Ministry of Interior and Afghan National Police Development Program (AMDP). Mr. Griffin worked in support of several of the company’s global training and mentoring programs since November 2000; he began his most recent assignment in July 2011. A veteran of the U.S. military who served in various U.S.-based law enforcement positions over the years, Mr. Griffin was an experienced professional who will be missed by his colleagues.

“Joe spent his career helping people all over the world, most recently working to help the Afghan people secure a better future,” said Steve Gaffney, chairman and CEO of DynCorp International. “The loss of any team member is tragic but to have this happen over the holidays makes it seem all the more unfair. Our thoughts and prayers are with Joe’s family, loved ones and colleagues during this difficult time.”

Under the AMDP contract with the U.S. Army, DI assists the NATO Training Mission-Afghanistan/Combined Security Transition Command-Afghanistan (NTM-A/CSTC-A) by providing training and mentoring services for the Afghanistan Ministry of Interior and Afghan National Police. ~ Press Release, DynCorp International

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‘Unsatisfactory’ Mega-Contractor Re-Ups on Another Big Military Deal

We all remember Kosovo. Why is the DoD allowing Dyncorp to bid at all?

Spencer Ackerman – (Danger Room) – November 2, 2012 - Just days after an inspector general report revealed that a giant Pentagon contractor performed “unsatisfactory” work in Afghanistan, the U.S. Air Force awarded the firm another multimillion-dollar pot of cash.

Virginia’s DynCorp, which performs everything from private security to construction for the U.S. military, has re-upped with Air Force to help pilots learn basic flying skills on the T-6A/B Texan II aircraft, a training plane. The deal is only the latest between DynCorp and the Air Force on the Texan II: In June, the Air Force Materiel Command gave the company a deal worth nearly $55 million for training services. The latest one, announced late Thursday, is worth another $72.8 million, and lasts through October 2013.

But the Air Force’s lucrative vote of confidence in DynCorp comes not even a week after the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction blasted the company for performing “unsatisfactory” construction work at an Afghan Army base in Kunduz. The base was “at risk of structural failure” when the watchdogs initially inspected, but the Army Corps of Engineers chose to settle DynCorp’s contract, a move that awarded the company “$70.8 million on the construction contracts and releas[ed] it from any further liabilities and warranty obligation.” (.pdf)

A DynCorp spokeswoman, Ashley Burke, told Bloomberg News that the company disputed the special inspector general’s findings. For its part, the special inspector general took to tweeting photographs of what it called “DynCorp’s failed work at #Afghan #Army Base in #Kunduz.”

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Soldier of Misfortune

Photo (The News-Herald)

Claims of a cover-up in the killing of a metro Detroit man in Iraq

Curt Guyette - (Metrotimes) – June 6, 2012 – Five years ago, after surviving one tour of duty in Iraq and another in Afghanistan, Cpl. Justin Pope left the Marine Corps to take a lucrative, high-prestige job with a private military contractor providing security at the American embassy in Erbil, Iraq. 

From the time he was a kid growing up in Riverview, Pope always knew he would be in a uniform some day, protecting people. The new job would be an extension of that, providing the experience and advanced training that would further his career.

Instead, it brought an end to his life.

On the night of March 4, 2009, the square-jawed 25-year-old was in his room at the embassy compound when a single bullet from a 9-millimeter semiautomatic handgun fired at point-blank range entered his mouth, passed through his brain and exited the back of his skull.

That much, his family knows with heart-rending certainty, is tragically true. Read the remainder of this entry »

Situation Normal: Afghanistan Fouled Up

Photo from DynCorp International's Website

Mark Thompson - (Battleland Blog) – June 1, 2012 – A trifecta of trouble in three Pentagon inspector-general reports released Thursday concerning the U.S. military’s continuing struggle to build Afghan security forces so U.S. troops can come home.

Here is the first finding from each report:

– NATO Training Mission-Afghanistan/Combined Security Transition Command-Afghanistan (NTM-A/CSTC-A) officials did not develop adequate sustainment requirements for the 15 types of ANA individual equipment items.

– ACC officials did not properly award or manage 19 contract actions in accordance with regulations and did not include specific quality requirements in the contract for 13 contract actions because they did not perform all necessary contracting procedures when accelerating procurements.

– Army contracting officials at Army Contracting Command-Aberdeen Proving Ground (ACC-APG) did not appropriately award and administer the ANP contract in accordance with Federal and DoD guidance.

What the heck is going on here?

Here we are, a decade into this war, and the proper training and outfitting of the Afghan security forces is the key to leaving something worthwhile — worth the nearly 2,000 American lives and $640 billion we’ve invested in the place – when we depart, more or less, by the end of 2014.

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