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DynCorp Cited By U.S. For Afghan Base Deficiencies
Tony Capaccio – (Bloomberg) – March 27, 2011 – DynCorp International Inc., the largest U.S. contractor in Afghanistan, was warned by Pentagon officials in January that it is failing to adequately inspect and repair in a timely manner potential electrical hazards at U.S. bases, according to a document.
DynCorp also filed reports indicating that it fully completed repair work on potential life, health or safety electrical problems “even though parts are on order and the work is not complete,” Lieutenant Colonel David Schoolcraft, a military contracting officer, wrote to DynCorp on Jan. 7 in a formal “Letter of Concern.”
The Pentagon’s contract oversight agencies have increased their scrutiny of issues related to electrical wiring at U.S. bases in Iraq and Afghanistan after 18 troops were electrocuted in Iraq either in accidents or in connection with faulty construction or grounding of equipment.
There is no indication that military personnel have been electrocuted in Afghanistan. DynCorp management, in a Jan. 31 response, outlined the company’s plans to address the issues. The warning to DynCorp may be highlighted today during a hearing of the congressionally mandated Commission on Wartime Contracting.
Falls Church, Virginia-based DynCorp is working under a July 2009 contract worth as much as $5.7 billion if all options are executed. It took over from incumbent KBR Inc. (KBR) the job in southern Afghanistan of facilities management, inspection, maintenance and installation for electrical power, water, sewage, laundry, food services and motor pool supervision.
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By Steve Johnson – September 5, 2010 – A growing deluge of millions of counterfeit chips is posing peril to the military and the general public — and perhaps nothing illustrates it better than a scheme federal prosecutors recently revealed that stretched from Southern California to Silicon Valley.
Mustafa Aljaff and Neil Felahy, a Newport Beach pair indicted in October, have admitted importing from China more than 13,000 bogus chips altered to resemble those from legitimate companies, including local firms Intel, Atmel, Altera and National Semiconductor. Among those buying the chips was the U.S. Navy.
It wasn’t the first time the military has been hoodwinked. Separate studies this year by the Commerce Department and the Government Accountability Office concluded that the armed forces — which use chips in everything from communications and radar systems to warplanes and missiles — is alarmingly vulnerable to fakes.
Commerce officials partly blamed the Iraq and Afghanistan wars for diminishing the supplies of chips the military normally uses for equipment repairs and forcing it to rely on questionable dealers for replacement parts. Moreover, both studies cited serious flaws in the Pentagon’s procedures for spotting sham components.
Whether any of the fakes sold by Aljaff and Felahy went into vital defense systems isn’t clear. The Navy declined to comment, saying the case remains under investigation. Nonetheless, recent reports have described several close calls the military has had with bogus chips.
Because the microprocessors it needed for its F-15 warplanes’ flight-control computer were no longer made by the chips’ original manufacturer, the military obtained them from a broker, only to discover they were counterfeit, according to the GAO’s study in March. Air Force technicians spotted the bad chips before they were installed on the planes’ computers.
That same month, Tobyhanna Army Depot in Pennsylvania discovered it had malfunctioning chips intended for use in military communications systems. “The counterfeit chips failed during testing” and weren’t put on any equipment, said depot spokesman Anthony Ricchiazzi.
In November of last year, a Florida business that makes a device to keep injured pilots from becoming entangled in their parachutes reported finding a counterfeit chip in one of the devices and other fakes in its supply chain. None of the devices were known to have failed, however.