Defense Base Act Compensation Blog

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Posts Tagged ‘Afghanistan’

Mystery lung illness affecting Iraq and Afghanistan veterans

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on November 27, 2012

Due to the large number of contractors contacting us about Lung problems after working in Iraq and Afghanistan we’ll be investigating and posting all information we can find on this topic.  Please forward any information you may have to dbacasualty@yahoo.com.

Channel 4 News from August 2011

US soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan with an apparently untreatable and incurable lung disease are being dismissed as out of shape because tests appear normal, writes Sarah Jones.

A civilian physician who has diagnosed more than 50 soldiers with constrictive bronchiolitis says the life-altering disease is linked to service in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Dr Robert Miller, of Vanderbilt University, says: “This scarring of the small airways in the lungs is common in people who have had bone marrow transplants or lung transplant rejection not people who have passed military fitness exams.

I get shortness of breath and painful burning in my lungs after running just a quarter of a mile, I can’t run any more Dr Sylvia Waters

“What we can say is that this disorder is linked to service in the Middle East. But we haven’t been able to definitively link what the cause is for the black lacy pigment. It’s something that’s inhaled that shouldn’t be there.”

Last month the New England Journal of Medicine published a study by Dr Miller and colleagues which documented the condition of soldiers who had served in Iraq and Afghanistan and were diagnosed with constrictive bronchiolitis.

However, their analysis doesn’t reveal how common the condition is in troops or positively identify the cause of constrictive bronchiolitis in troops.

‘Black lacy pigmentation’

The diagnoses were made after lung biopsies. At least half the soldiers have left the service with a disability rating making them eligible to receive anywhere between $123 to over $3,100 per month depending on the level of their disability and number of dependents.

In certain instances the Department of Veterans Affairs recognises a link between the disorder and service. But compensation is based on pulmonary function testing (PFT) and soldiers with constrictive bronchiolitis have normal PFT results despite having scarring of the airways, black lacy pigment in their lungs and severe exercise limitations.

A further complication is that deployed troops do not receive pre- and post-deployment pulmonary function tests that could help doctors know the extent of lung damage.

Dr Sylvia Waters serves in the US army and is a practicing anaesthetist. She used to run every day but after serving in Iraq she had to give up her passion.

“After a six-month tour in Mosul, Iraq I get shortness of breath and an excruciating burning in my lungs after running just a quarter of a mile. I can’t run any more.”

Army physicians tried routine tests including X-rays, pulmonary function tests and chest CT scans. They tried inhalers and steroid treatments but nothing worked and all tests results kept coming back normal.

At times, Dr Waters says she doubted herself: “I felt like I was going crazy because all these physicians kept telling me everything was coming back negative.

“It was only the fact that I was a physician and I knew other doctors that I even got diagnosed because I don’t know how else I would have done it.”

Please read the entire story here

 

Posted in Afghanistan, Burn Pits, Cancer, Civilian Contractors, Defense Base Act, Iraq, Toxic Exposures, Veterans | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Overseas Contractor Count – 4th Quarter FY 2012

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on October 27, 2012

Thanks to Danger Zone Jobs for this Post

This update reports DoD contractor personnel numbers in theater and outlines DoD efforts to improve management of contractors accompanying U.S. forces. It covers DoD contractor personnel deployed in Afghanistan (Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF), Iraq, and the U.S. Central Command (USCENTCOM) area of responsibility (AOR).

In 4th quarter FY 2012, USCENTCOM reported approximately 137,000 contractor personnel working for the DoD in the USCENTCOM AOR. This total reflects no change from the previous quarter. The number of contractors outside of Afghanistan and Iraq make up about 13.7% of the total contractor population in the USCENTCOM AOR. A breakdown of DoD contractor personnel is provided below:

A breakdown of DoD contractor personnel is provided below:

DoD Contractor Personnel in the USCENTCOM AOR

Total Contractors U.S. Citizens Third Country Nationals Local & Host Country Nationals
Afghanistan Only 109, 564 31,814 39,480 38,270
Iraq Only* 9,000 2,314 4,621 2,065
Other USCENTCOM Locations 18,843 8,764 9,297 782
USCENTCOM AOR 137,407 42,892 53,398 41,117

*Includes DoD contractors supporting U.S. Mission Iraq and/or Office of Security Cooperation-Iraq

Afghanistan Summary

The distribution of contractors in Afghanistan by contracting activity are:

Theater Support – Afghanistan: 16,973 (15%)
LOGCAP: 40,551 (37%)
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers: 7,647 (7%)
Other:* 44,393 (41%)
Total: 113,736
*Includes Defense Logistics Agency, Army Materiel Command, Air Force External and Systems Support contracts, Special Operations Command and INSCOM.

OEF Contractor Posture Highlights:

There are currently approximately 109.5K DoD contractors in Afghanistan. The overall contractor footprint has decreased 3.7% from the 3rd quarter FY12.

The contractor to military ratio in Afghanistan is 1.13 to 1 (based on 84.2K military).

Local Nationals make up 34.9% of the DoD contracted workforce in Afghanistan.

Iraq Summary

Contractor Posture Highlights:

The total number of contractors supporting the U.S. Government in Iraq (DoD+DoS) is now approximately 13.5K, which meets the USG goal of reducing the contractor population at the end of FY 2012.

The Department of Defense and Department of State continue to refine the requirements for contract support. Some contractor personnel employed under DoD contracts are supporting State Department and other civilian activities under the Chief of Mission, Iraq. These DoD contractors are provided on a reimbursable basis.

General Data on DoD Private Security Contractor Personnel in Iraq and Afghanistan

USCENTCOM reports, as of 4th quarter FY 2012, the following distribution of private security contractors in Afghanistan and Iraq:

Total* U.S. Citizens Third Country National Local & Host Country National
DoD PSCs in Afghanistan 18,914 2,014 1,437 15,413
DoD PSCs in Iraq 2,116 102 1,873 191

*These numbers include most subcontractors and service contractors hired by prime contractors under DoD contracts. They include both armed and unarmed contractors. They do not include PSCs working under DoS and USAID contracts.

Posted in Afghanistan, Civilian Contractors, Department of Defense, Iraq | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Canadian man and American woman kidnapped in Wardak Afghanistan

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on October 12, 2012

Khaama Press  October 12, 2012

According to reports two foreign nationals were abducted by unknown gunmen in central Maidan Wardak province of Afghanistan.

A local security official speaking on the condition of anonymity said the two individuals were kidnapped in Syedabad district.

The source further added the two individuals including a Canadian Man and an American woman were civilians.

They were kidnapped while they were on their way from eastern Ghazni province to capital Kabul.

No group including the Taliban militants has so far claimed responsibility behind the incident.

Afghan government officials yet to comment regarding the report.

Please see the original and read more here

Posted in Afghanistan, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties and Missing, Contractors Kidnapped | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Contractors in War Zones: Not Exactly “Contracting”

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on October 9, 2012

There are more contractors than troops in Afghanistan

Time’s Battleland  October 9, 2012 by David Isenberg

U.S. military forces may be out of Iraq, but the unsung and unrecognized part of America’s modern military establishment is still serving and sacrificing — the role played by private military and security contractors.

That their work is dangerous can be seen by looking at the headlines. Just last Thursday a car bomb hit a private security convoy in Baghdad, killing four people and wounding at least nine others.

That is hardly an isolated incident. According to the most recent Department of Labor statistics there were at least 121 civilian contractor deaths filed on in the third quarter of 2012. Of course, these included countries besides Iraq.

As the Defense Base Act Compensation blog notes, “these numbers are not an accurate accounting of Contractor Casualties as many injuries and deaths are not reported as Defense Base Act Claims. Also, many of these injuries will become deaths due to the Defense Base Act Insurance Companies denial of medical benefits.” To date, a total of 90,680 claims have been filed since September 1, 2001.

How many contractors are now serving on behalf of the U.S. government?

According to the most recent quarterly contractor census report issued by the U.S. Central Command, which includes both Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as 18 other countries stretching from Egypt to Kazakhstan, there were approximately 137,000 contractors working for the Pentagon in its region. There were 113,376 in Afghanistan and 7,336 in Iraq. Of that total, 40,110 were U.S. citizens, 50,560 were local hires, and 46,231 were from neither the U.S. not the country in which they were working.

Put simply, there are more contractors than U.S. troops in Afghanistan.

These numbers, however, do not reflect the totality of contractors. For example, they do not include contractors working for the U.S. State Department. The CENTCOM report says that “of FY 2012, the USG contractor population in Iraq will be approximately 13.5K.  Roughly half of these contractors are employed under Department of State contracts.”

While most of the public now understands that contractors perform a lot of missions once done by troops – peeling potatoes, pulling security — they may not realize just how dependent on them the Pentagon has become.

Please read the entire post here

Posted in Afghanistan, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties and Missing, Defense Base Act, Department of Defense, Iraq, KBR, State Department | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Civilian Contractor, Kyrgyz national, killed in Afghanistan

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on September 19, 2012

The Voice of Russia  September 18, 2012

A Kyrgyz national died in a terrorist attack in Afghanistan earlier today, according to the Russian Embassy in Kabul.

The authorities are now checking up on the number of those injured.

Posted in Afghanistan, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties and Missing, USAID | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Eight South African Civilian Contractors killed in Afghanistan Blast named

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on September 19, 2012

SHOUT  September 19, 2012

The SA government releases the names of those tragically killed in Kabul.

Permission was obtained from their families.

They are:

Christian Johannes Justus PRETORIUS, aged 30, Pretoria, Gauteng

Fraser Angus CAREY, aged 31, Johannesburg, Gauteng

Brandon Quinn BOOTH, aged 47 , Balgowan, KwaZulu-Natal

Johan Abraham VAN HUYSSTEEN, aged 31, Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape

Johan Frederick BOUCHAUD, aged 30, Johannesburg, Gauteng

Johannes Judenis HUMPHRIES, aged 65, Centurion, Gauteng

Steven LEONG, aged 31, Johannesburg, Gauteng

Jenny Margaret AYRIS,aged 46, Scotland, United Kingdom

We remember them, we mourn their passing and we will never forget them. Rest in Peace. SHOUT

Posted in Afghanistan, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties and Missing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Jeni Ayris,South African Civilian Contractor of Edinburgh, killed in Afghanistan Attack

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on September 19, 2012

SOUTH AFRICAN born Jeni Ayris, who lived in Edinburgh, was killed in the blast in Kabul.

The Daily Record  September 19, 2012

A WOMAN who was killed in a suicide bomb attack in Afghanistan was due to return home this week.

Jeni Ayris, 46, who was born in South Africa but held a British passport, died in the blast in the capital, Kabul, yesterday, when a female insurgent drove a car full of explosives into a minibus carrying mainly foreign workers.

Her friend, Kirsten Bennett, from the Isle of Mull, said Ms Ayris was expected to return to Edinburgh this weekend.

Ms Ayris worked as a customer relations manager for South African aviation company ACS/BalmOral.

In a statement, the firm said: “ACS/BalmOral is deeply saddened by the loss of the lives of some of our staff in Kabul, Afghanistan, due to a suicide bombing attack that occurred on September 18.

“We are in the process of notifying the next of kin and our main focus now remains with the families of the innocent victims who tragically lost their lives. Our prayers and thoughts are with them and all our staff remaining in Kabul.”

Ms Ayris lived in the Morningside area of the Scottish capital for about 17 years.

She was born in the Durban region of South Africa, but left the country many years ago and had dual citizenship with the UK.

Ms Ayris ran a South African themed cafe in the Tollcross area of Edinburgh, Ndebele, for about a decade.

Please read the entire article here

Posted in Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties and Missing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

14 killed in Afghanistan suicide attacks targeting foreigners includes Eight South Africans

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on September 18, 2012

CBS/AP KABUL, Afghanistan

Two separate suicide attacks in Afghanistan – both aimed at foreign workers or military forces, left at least 14 civilians dead and three U.S. troops wounded on Tuesday, according to Afghan officials.

The wreck of tje minibus in which eight South African airport contractors were killed in the suicide blast. Photograph: Keystone USA-Zuma/Rex Features

The U.S.-led military coalition in Afghanistan, ISAF, confirmed only that a suicide bomber wearing an explosives vest attacked in the Kunar province’s Watahpur district, wounding three foreign troops.

A senior Afghan security official tells CBS News that the bomber walked into a group of American soldiers and local residents who had gathered for a ceremony launching work on a new bridge. He said the ISAF troops wounded were Americans, and an Afghan civilian was also killed in the blast.

Earlier Tuesday, a suicide bomber rammed a car packed with explosives into a mini-bus carrying foreign aviation workers to the airport in the Afghan capital, killing at least 13 people in an attack that a militant group said was revenge for an anti-Islam film that ridicules the Prophet Muhammad.

A senior Kabul police official tells CBS News the dead include eight South Africans, four Afghan nationals and one person from Kyrgyzstan. Many of the victims were employees of an aviation company, including pilots. Two sources have told CBS News separately that the victims of the attack worked for a company contracted to fly U.S. State Department staff within Afghanistan, Aviation Charter Solutions (ACS),

Posted in Afghanistan, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties and Missing, Defense Base Act, Injured Contractors, USAID | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

At Least One Civilian Contractor Wounded in Camp Bastion Attack

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on September 17, 2012

In addition to the two U.S. Marines killed in the assault, eight military members and one civilian contractor were wounded.

Attackers in Afghanistan Wore US Uniforms  September 17, 2012

International coalition officials say the insurgents who attacked a British military base in Afghanistan Friday, killing two U.S. Marines, were dressed in U.S. Army uniforms and were armed with automatic rifles, rocket propelled grenade launchers and suicide vests.

The coalition said in a statement Sunday the 15 militants were organized into three teams and “executed a well-coordinated attack” against the airfield on Camp Bastion in Helmand province.

The alliance say the attackers destroyed six Harrier jets and “significantly damaged” two more. The militants also destroyed three coalition refueling stations and damaged six aircraft hangars.

International troops killed 14 of the insurgents and wounded one, who is in custody. Earlier reports said 18 militants died in the attack.

In addition to the two U.S. Marines killed in the assault, eight military members and one civilian contractor were wounded.

Posted in Afghanistan, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties and Missing, Defense Base Act, Injured Contractors | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

As many as Five “Other Americans” wounded, Camp Bastion Southern Afghanistan

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on September 14, 2012

KABUL Reuters  September 14, 2012

Two U.S. Marines were killed and other Americans were wounded on Friday during a Taliban attack on a base in southern Afghanistan where Britain’s Prince Harry is stationed, U.S. officials told Reuters, speaking on condition of anonymity.

A U.S. official told Reuters that an initial report estimated five Americans were wounded but added that the extent of their injuries was unclear. The official said that this was only an initial report and that the number could change.

Crighton said the attack took place between 9 p.m. and midnight on Friday and that NATO-led forces were still securing the area in and around Camp Bastion.

Posted in Afghanistan, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties and Missing | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Family of Daniel Saville still fighting for Defense Base Act Death Benefits

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on August 20, 2012

The family has also been told that Global Security, the company he was working for at the time, had refused to pay out his life insurance

Telegraph and Argus August 20, 2012

Family Battles for Truth About Fatal Plane Crash Two Years On

The family of a soldier turned bodyguard who was killed in a plane crash in Afghanistan more than two years ago is still battling for a full explanation as to what led to the disaster.

Rebecca Lake, said her family was being “kept in the dark” despite an on-going fight for justice for her brother Daniel Saville, 40, a former Coldstream guard, who was among three Britons who perished when Pamir Airways Flight 1102 crashed north of Kabul, Afghanistan, on May 17, 2010.

Mr Saville, who grew up in Wilsden , Haworth and Allerton , Bradford, had been only a few weeks away from his return to Britain from working as a private security contractor for a US government agency trying to combat the cultivation of heroin.

A damning official report blaming the failure of the aircraft’s captain and Afghan air traffic control for causing the disaster has been obtained from the Foreign Office by the Telegraph & Argus using the Freedom of Information Act.

But Mrs Lake, 45, of Clayton Heights , Bradford, has made a fresh plea to the authorities to keep her family fully informed of developments as lawyers continue a compensation battle in the US for the British victims of the doomed plane which had been flying on false documents.

She said that, despite investigations in the war-torn country, it had been “difficult” for the Afghan authorities to fully investigate and bring to justice those who were to blame for causing her brother’s death.

The family has also been told that Global Security, the company he was working for at the time, had refused to pay out his life insurance.

Please read the entire article here

Posted in Afghanistan, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties and Missing, Defense Base Act, Defense Base Act Insurance, Department of Labor, Follow the Money, UK Contractor killed | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Burn Pit Lung Condition Added to Social Security List of Compassionate Allowances

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on August 12, 2012

Jon Gelmans Workers Compensation Blog  August 11, 2012

The Social Security Administration has added to its list of compassionate allowances a pulmonary condition that has been identified as arising out of exposures to burn pits fumes and dusts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The pulmonary disease, constrictive bronchiolitis, is also called obliterative bronchiolitis or bronchiolitis obliterates. Medical research has been identified the medical condition as being causally related to exposures to dust and fumes in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Compassionate Allowances (CAL) are a way of quickly identifying diseases and other medical conditions that invariably qualify under the Listing of Impairments based on minimal objective medical information. Compassionate Allowances allow Social Security to target the most obviously disabled individuals for allowances based on objective medical information that we can obtain quickly. Compassionate Allowances is not a separate program from the Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income programs.”

Click here to read more about burn pit claims for benefits and lawsuits.
Click here to request further information

Posted in Afghanistan, Burn Pits, Cancer, Civilian Contractors, Defense Base Act, Defense Base Act Insurance, Department of Labor, Iraq, LHWCA Longshore Harbor Workers Compesnation Act, Toxic Exposures, Veterans, Veterans Affairs | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Tribute to Troops, SEALS, Navy EOD killed in August 6, 2012 Chopper Crash

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on August 6, 2012

Casualty List

Photos of the Fallen

Posted in Afghanistan, Department of Defense | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Untreated PTSD puts family at risk

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on August 3, 2012

A presentence investigation found Ali has untreated mental illness, defense attorney Blair Nelson said. He said Ali had a good job as a civilian contractor for the military, but it ended when he developed post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and anxiety.

Moorhead man gets 27 months for trying to run over wife, daughter

Hisham Fazil Ali says he suffers from PTSD from time as contractor in the Middle East

A Moorhead man convicted of trying to run over his wife and daughter was sentenced to 27 months in prison Thursday, despite his tearful statements that he needs to care for his family and suffers from mental issues as a result of his civilian work in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Posted in Afghanistan, Civilian Contractors, Defense Base Act, Department of Labor, Dropping the DBA Ball, Iraq, Melt Down, PTSD and TBI | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Mark McGowan, Ex Soldier, Private Security Contractor, dies in Afghanistan

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on July 24, 2012

Ex-soldier dies in Afghanistan

Mr McGowan had previously served in the Parachute Regiment.

It is thought he left the Army to become a private security contractor, joining the lucrative “circuit”, as it is known.

The 32-year-old was engaged to be married and had two young children, Manus and Mila.

No details surrounding his death were available last night.

Luke Duffy  June 27, 2012

I regretfully announce the loss of yet another fallen comrade and great friend,

Marc McGowan, sadly passed away yesterday while in Afghanistan.

 

Posted in Afghanistan, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties and Missing | Tagged: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

 
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