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Funds for SIGIR, agency charged with oversight of Iraq reconstruction, set to expire in March

Ernesto Londoño – (The Washington Post) – January 19, 2013 – George Lee, a Kuwait-based U.S. defense contractor who was reaping millions as America’s quagmire in Iraq deepened, sent an e-mail to an Army major who awarded bids in Baghdad, warning her not to visit him.

“None of us want Uncle Sam, or anyone else, looking where they should not be looking,” he wrote in one of the trove of messages and intercepted phone calls that exposed the biggest fraud conspiracy from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

So far, 22 people have been indicted and $67 million has been recovered in that single scheme, which remains under investigation.

But the little-known agency that uncovered the scam is about to close its doors, even though Lee remains a fugitive and 91 additional criminal investigations into the disappearance of Iraq reconstruction funds remain unsolved. Read the remainder of this entry »

Military sorts through material from Iraq drawdown

Michael O’Connell – (Federal News Radio) – December 27, 2011 – The drawdown from Iraq is in its final stages. We know how the troops are getting home, but how is all the stuff getting back to the U.S?

“At the height of the drawdown, we were estimating that there were probably about 44,000 containers worth of stuff still in country that needed to come out,” said Twila Gonzales, director of disposition services at Defense Logistics Agency. “We’re talking about a wide variety of a lot of things, from nuts and bolts to MRAPs [mine resistant ambush protected armored fighting vehicles].”

Gonzales joined The Federal Drive with Tom Temin and Amy Morris on Friday to discuss DLA’s role in processing the material coming out of Iraq.

“The military services are responsible for determining how they’re going to get the stuff out of country,” Gonzales said. “The things that they feel that need to come out, the things that were going to be shifted over to the Iraqis and then those things that weren’t worth bringing out and would be taken care of in country.”

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Troops home from Iraq & other reasons to give thanks on Thanksgiving

Guard members home in time for Thanksgiving
Conrad Wilson – (Minnesota Public Radio) – St. Cloud, Minn. – November 24, 2011 – Hugs and smiles reunited family members and friends inside a large military hanger at the St. Cloud airport as 70 members of the Minnesota National Guard returned home from nine months duty in Iraq.

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Kuwait’s Agility denies winning Canadian military contract

  • Firm says it did not win contract
  • Agility shares had rise for four straight sessions
  • Shares were suspended on Monday

Eman Goma –  (Reuters) –  Kuwait – October 11, 2011 – Kuwaiti logistics firm Agility on Tuesday denied reports that it had won a military contract worth up to $700 million that had sparked a four-day rally in the group’s stock, before trading was suspended.

“The firm wants to clarify that it is normal for it to compete on tenders and contracts within the context of its operations, and it always announces its deals according to the disclosures law,” Agility said in a statement on the Kuwaiti bourse website.

Kuwaiti daily newspaper al-Rai said in an unsourced report on Monday that information had been circulating that Agility won a military contract worth between $600 million and $700 million.

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ITT employee, Benjamin Davine killed in accident in Kuwait

Hampstead veteran killed in Kuwait accident

Jason Schreiber – (Union Leader Correspondent) – Hampstead, NH – August 5, 2011 – The Hampstead community is mourning the death of a local Air Force veteran who was killed in an accident Wednesday while working as a civilian contractor in Kuwait.

Benjamin Davine, 27, died when his car was struck by a fuel tanker, his family told WMUR-TV.

A graduate of Pinkerton Academy in Derry, Davine was the son of Nancy and Howard Davine, a former Hampstead selectman and school board member.

Davine was reportedly working for ITT Mission Systems, providing support for military operations as a contract firefighter.

According to his Facebook page, Davine served as a firefighter for six years in the military before becoming a contractor.

Davine’s death overseas is the third to strike this small community in recent years. Read the remainder of this entry »