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Posts Tagged ‘Contractor Deaths’

At Least 59 Civilian Contractor Deaths Filed on in Second Quarter of 2012

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on July 3, 2012

See New Third Quarter Numbers HERE

WE ARE THE BEST KEPT SECRET OF THE WARS

According to the Department of Labor’s Defense Base Act Claim Summary Reports there were at least 59 Civilian Contractor Deaths filed on in the second quarter of 2012.

Keep in mind that 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.

Many foreign national and local national contractors and their families are never told that they are covered under the Defense Base Act and so not included in the count.

6 Contractor Deaths this quarter were in Iraq

42 Contractor Deaths  were in Afghanistan

1 Contractor Death is Nation Pending

1 Contractor Death  in the United States

1 Contractor Death in the  United Arab Emirates

2 Contractor Deaths in Qatar

1 Contractor Death in Columbia

1 Contractor Death in Pakistan

1 Contractor Death in Liberia

1 Contractor Death in Mozambique

1 Contractor Death in Tajikistan

At least 2, 685  Defense Base Act Claims were filed during this quarter

At least 59 were death claims

At least 1074 were for injuries requiring longer than 4 days off work

At least  92 were for injuries requiring less than 4 days off work

At least 1460were for injuries requiring no time off of work

A total of 87, 505  Defense Base Act Claims have been filed since September 1, 2001

Contact dbacasualty@yahoo.com for questions regarding these numbers

Posted in Afghanistan, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties and Missing, Defense Base Act, Defense Base Act Insurance, Department of Labor, Iraq, Political Watch | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

Should we care if a contractor dies in a warzone?

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on April 25, 2011

“I’ll say it, because it’s true. If a few contractors get killed nobody seems to care,” he said. “We’ve over-relied on contractors because they’re, like, free.” 

Christopher Shays Commission on Wartime Contracting

How vital are contractors to U.S. operations in Iraq and Afghanistan?

By Matthew Weigelt at Federal Computer Week

A former senior Defense Department official said April 25 contractor employees, who encompass half of the workers overseas, are at least worth a notice from the government when they are killed during their work in contingency operations.

DOD sends out multiple notices each day about military casualties, particularly in war zones in southwest Asia. The announcements note the soldier’s age, hometown, rank and battalion. They also say in very general terms how the solider died.

Meanwhile, contractors are seen as expendable or of little consequence, although they are vital to fulfilling operations, said Jacques Gansler, formerly undersecretary of defense for acquisition, logistics and technology. He made the comment to the Commission on Wartime Contracting in Iraq and Afghanistan. DOD operations wouldn’t succeed without contractors, he said..

“Last week by coincidence I talked with the Department of Defense person who publishes the weekly listing of people killed, and I insisted that they also list the contractors,” he said, adding that more contractors have died often times than people in uniform.

Contractors are critical to the government’s success in contingency operations yet they’re undervalued despite being half of the total workforce and the crutch on which the government rests.

Gansler, who led the Commission on Army Acquisition and Program Management in Expeditionary Operations and is now with the University of Maryland’s Center for Public Policy and Private Enterprise, said language matters in how contractors are described in publications and reports — or the lack of any mention — from the government.

If contractors are depicted only as the default option, they will continue to be cast in the same light, he said.

Christopher Shays, co-chairman of the commission and former House member, agreed with that view of contractors.

“I’ll say it, because it’s true. If a few contractors get killed nobody seems to care,” he said. “We’ve over-relied on contractors because they’re, like, free.”

Does the government — particularly DOD — need to give more attention to the deaths of contractors in combat zones? What do you think? Please click here to see the original post and to leave your comments

Posted in Afghanistan, Civilian Contractors, Commission on Wartime Contracting, Contractor Casualties and Missing, Exclusive Remedy, Injured Contractors | Tagged: , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Contractor Deaths Accelerating in Afghanistan as They Outnumber Soldiers

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on April 14, 2010

by T. Christian Miller, ProPublica – April 14, 2010

A recent Congressional Research Service analysis [1] obtained by ProPublica looked at the number of civilian contractors killed in Afghanistan in recent months. It’s not pretty.

Of the 289 civilians killed since the war began more than eight years ago, 100 have died in just the last six months. That’s a reflection of both growing violence and the importance of the civilians flooding into the country along with troops in response to President Obama’s decision to boost the American presence in Afghanistan.

The latest U.S. Department of Defense numbers show there are actually more civilian contractors on the ground in Afghanistan than there are soldiers. The Pentagon reported [2] 107,292 U.S.-hired civilian workers in Afghanistan as of February 2010, when there were about 78,000 soldiers. This is apparently the first time that contractors have exceeded soldiers by such a large margin.

Using civilian contractors to haul food, prepare meals and act as bodyguards has kept the Pentagon’s official casualty figures lower than they would have been in past conflicts, where contractors were not as heavily used.

Contractor casualties are, by and large, invisible to the public, disguising the full human cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. They are not reported in totals given by the government. If they were, the death toll in Afghanistan would have surpassed 1,000 — 848 soldiers, 289 civilian contractors — from 2001 to 2009, a milestone that has gone entirely unmarked.

The number of contractor dead are released only though the Labor Department, which keeps count as part of an insurance program for contractors known as the Defense Base Act. And these numbers, agency officials have admitted and our reporting has shown, undercount fatalities. As David Isenberg [3] pointed out in the Huffington Post recently, a new database designed, in part, to track contractor deaths is still not being used to do so.

Staff researcher Lisa Schwartz contributed to this report. Original here

Posted in Contractor Casualties and Missing, Department of Labor, T Christian Miller | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Remember Them, Too

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on May 25, 2009

Don’t Contractors Count When We Calculate the Costs of War?Contractor Casket

  An Arlington National Cemetery caisson carries the body of retired Air Force Col. Michael W. Butler, who was killed while working as a private contractor in Iraq. (2007 Photo By Charles Dharapak — Associated Press)

By Steven Schooner

Monday, May 25, 2009

Despite the light that Memorial Day will shine, briefly, on the U.S. death tolls in Iraq and Afghanistan, don’t expect an accurate accounting of the real human cost of our military actions abroad. The numbers you’ll see — mostly likely just under 5,000 fatalities — won’t tell the whole story.

As of June 2008 (the most recent reliable numbers available publicly), more than 1,350 civilian contractor personnel had died in Iraq and Afghanistan supporting our efforts. About 29,000 contractors had been injured, more than 8,300 seriously.

But don’t expect President Obama to remember or thank the contractor personnel who died supporting our troops or diplomatic missions. Instead, expect to see contractor personnel in Iraq and Afghanistan continue to be portrayed as expendable profiteers, adventure seekers or marginalized members of society who are not entitled to the same respect or value given to members of the military.

That portrayal, of course, is neither accurate nor fair. Most contractors perform tasks that a generation ago would have been done by uniformed service members. A significant number of these contractors are former members of the military who believe they’re answering the same call they would have answered had the crisis arisen while they were on active duty.

Many of the victims are Iraqis and other foreign nationals working under U.S. government contracts. But whether or not they are U.S. citizens, the central fact remains: If our military was less dependent on contractors, these fatalities probably would have been of uniformed service members

An honest, accurate tally is important because the public — and, for that matter, Congress — does not grasp the level of the military’s reliance on contractors in the battle area, nor the extent of these contractors’ sacrifices. Simply put, the contemporary, heavily outsourced U.S. military cannot effectively fight or sustain itself without a significant, if not unprecedented, presence of embedded contractors. In Iraq, our contractor-to-troop ratio has exceeded 1 to 1. The State Department admitted last summer that it could not remain in Iraq without heavy reliance on private security.

An accurate tally is critical to any discussion of the costs and benefits of our efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan. War proponents benefit from the massive contractor presence because it permits them to suggest that our military presence is smaller than what is actually required. And to the extent that the public cares about military fatalities, the human cost of our efforts in Iraq appears much smaller than it would if we didn’t rely so heavily on contractors.

In 2006 and 2007, the contractor death rate climbed dramatically. After much smaller numbers during the first three years of the Iraq war, at least 301 civilian contractors died in 2006. At least 353 civilian contractors died in Iraq in 2007, while 901 U.S. military personnel died there. In other words, in 2007, contractors accounted for more than one in four deaths associated with the U.S. occupation.

If anything, the number of contractor deaths is understated. Last year, for the first time, Congress began to require the Pentagon, the State Department and the Agency for International Development to keep track of how many contractors are working in Iraq and Afghanistan and how many have been killed and wounded. The Defense Department recently conceded that it is trying but is not yet up to the task.

The Labor Department generates but does not publish data quarterly on contractor deaths, but only because insurance claims are filed with its Division of Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation. (American contractors are required to provide Defense Base Act insurance, which falls under that program.) If a contractor’s family or employer does not seek insurance compensation, that death isn’t counted. There’s no doubt that the allied death toll is significantly higher than reported and that contractors bear a far greater burden in this regard than the public appreciates.

In a representative democracy, public awareness of the human cost of our engagements abroad is critical. If we’re going to tally the human cost of our efforts, the public deserves a full accounting.

The writer, a retired Army Reserve judge advocate, is co-director of the Government Procurement Law program at George Washington University. He was a White House procurement policy official from 1996 to 1998. He published an academic article, “Why Contractor Fatalities Matter,” in the Autumn 2008 issue of the Army War College’s quarterly journal, Parameters.

Why Contractor Casualties Matter

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , | 6 Comments »

 
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