Showing posts with label defense contractor. Show all posts
Showing posts with label defense contractor. Show all posts

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

64% of Military families want out of base poor housing

Most Army Families Say They'd Move Off-Base If They Could to Escape Poor Housing
By Richard Sisk
9 Sep 2019

A large majority (64%) of Army military families would move off base if they could afford it to escape poor housing conditions, a lack of oversight by commanders, and the petty harassment of private housing managers, according to a report published Sept. 5 by the office of the Army Inspector General.
Fort Meade housing. Army photo

At 48 of 49 installations surveyed by the IG, residents in privatized housing cited concerns with "environmental" issues, including mold, lead-based paint, asbestos, water quality, open sewage and radon gas, the report states.

Families who complained to property managers said they often faced retaliation, reprisals and petty harassment from the private management companies, according to the report.

"Examples from residents included additional move-out fees, fines due to yard maintenance or other discrepancies, and threats to call or involve the chain of command in various issues," IG investigators wrote. "In each case, residents described these types of actions immediately or shortly following a negative encounter with the private companies/property management team."
read it here

Sunday, August 25, 2019

"Thank You For My Service" by veteran Army Ranger

Review: ‘Thank You For My Service’

The Washington Free Becon
Jeffrey Cimmino
AUGUST 25, 2019

From Balad to Black Rifle
He doesn't discount the reality of PTSD or survivor's guilt among some veterans, but he takes issue with the media-made notion that every veteran story is an "endless parade of horribles" and veterans are "ticking time bombs waiting to explode." 
Mat Best is an American man's man, someone who loves "man s—t like beards and whiskey and guns and hot chicks in American flag bikinis." Beneath layers of playful, irreverent humor, Best’s memoir Thank You For My Service is a serious book about a former Army Ranger navigating his way back into civilian life, overcoming an addiction to war, and trying to support his fellow veterans.

Best's book covers everything—his decision to join the military out of high school, his deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan, and more than a modest portion of his sex life. After serving multiple deployments in Iraq, he wrestled with the question of whether to stay in the military.

"Was I going to age too rapidly and burn myself out over here and miss all of my twenties if I stayed? Probably. Would it be more rewarding to stay? Maybe. Would I regret not giving the carefree twenties a shot? I didn’t know," Best writes.

Yet the transition proved challenging. College initially seemed compelling, but an afternoon on a campus listening to students' conversations—and their "fundamental lack of understanding of how the world works"—dissuaded him from that path.

He then opted for a job in private security that ended in a booze-filled sex-fest during a party at the home of a Gatsby-esque Los Angeles billionaire. Best blasts Los Angeles for its "selfishness, rudeness, and disrespect," observing that "it's incredibly mind-blowing how quickly that town can break you down."
read it here

Monday, June 18, 2018

More to story after arrest of Deputy for bank robbery

"A former Davidson County deputy accused of bank robbery worked security there prior to robbery" on Salisbury Post headline may begin the judgement of this man, but there is so much more to the story.

"Jeffrey Dean Athey, 51, entered the F and M Bank at 418 W. Main St. about 3:35 p.m. on Feb. 6 and showed a Glock 41 semi-automatic handgun. He requested $1,000 and then left the bank."
He is accused of robbing the bank he worked for. Think about that one. Top that off with he only wanted $1,000 and knew exactly what the penalty would be for that. Why would he choose to do it there?

After hearing of the news, Davidson County Sheriff David Grice terminated Athey the same afternoon. He’s worked for the Davidson County Sheriff’s Office for a number of years, left to work for the private military company formerly known as Blackwater, and then returned to the Davidson County Sheriff’s Office.
He not only joined law enforcement, he worked for a defense contractor.
Court documents show Athey was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and depression. He recently married and lived with his wife and her two children.
Was this a scream for help? He had 2 jobs plus a new family. If this was not a man who was willing to risk his life, but change it for the better as well, it would be easy to just pass it off as a good guy gone bad. Taken everything into consideration, now we know there is so much more to this story.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Travis Air Force Base Psychologist accused of rape

Travis AFB Psychologist Accused of Sexually Assaulting Vets Pleads Not Guilty
NBC Los Angeles May 26, 2018
Heath Sommer is accused of raping and sexually assaulting at least three patients, including Air Force veterans suffering from PTSD and who had already survived sexual assaults. "This man is a monster," Iraq War veteran Kelly Shufeldt-Rodriguez said about Sommer.
May 15, 2018
In a statement released by Travis Air Force Base, spokesperson Traci Keller confirmed that the U.S. Air force had contracted Sommer to work at the base's David Grant Medical Center, but said he was "no longer employed there."
A psychologist contracted to help trauma victims at Travis Air Force Base in California left his patients "even more traumatized" by his own alleged sexual attacks, prosecutors say. CBS Sacramento reported Monday that Dr. Heath Sommer was arrested earlier in May and entered not guilty pleas to multiple felony sexual assault and battery charges.

On Monday, prosecutors filed their official complaint against the clinical psychologist, detailing allegations that he used a technique known as exposure therapy on his patients -- inflicting the same sort of abuse on his patients that would have landed some of them in his office in the first place.

CBS Sacramento says the alleged abuse occurred between 2010 and 2016, and that Sommer faces charges including sexual battery, rape, and oral copulation. It was not clear how many alleged victims there were, or how many of them were already victims of sexual abuse before they sought treatment at the Air Force base.
read more here

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Heartless contractor won't help PTSD veteran keep lifeline--his dog!

Veteran with PTSD wins battle to buy work dog 

Disabled veteran fights to buy dog that helps with his PTSD
FOX 5 News
Evan Lambert
February 2, 2018

ALEXANDRIA, Va. - Bobby Kling did two tours of duty in the Middle East, was awarded a Purple Heart and spent eight years serving his country. Now, he is battling his former employer to purchase a dog that helps with his post-traumatic stress disorder.
Kling worked for government contractor Inter-Con Security as an explosive detection K-9 handler before leaving for a new position a few weeks ago. Kling said upon leaving, most officers are given the opportunity to purchase the canine companions they have bonded with while on the job.

When Kling asked to purchase Silox, Inter-Con initially refused, according to an email provided to FOX 5. Eventually, the company made Kling an offer, but told Kling he would have to pay more than $10,000 for the 5-year-old dog. Kling feels he is being nickel and dimed and said he can't afford that price.
read more here

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Air Force One Savings Questioned by the Air Force?

Air Force Stumped by Trump's Claim of $1 Billion Savings on Jet
by Anthony Capaccio
February 22, 2017
Cost estimates for a new Air Force One still being refined
Service awards next contracts for design, aircraft by June 30
The Air Force can’t account for $1 billion in savings that President Donald Trump said he’s negotiated for the program to develop, purchase and operate two new Boeing Co. jets to serve as Air Force One.

“To my knowledge I have not been told that we have that information,” Colonel Pat Ryder, an Air Force spokesman, told reporters Wednesday when asked how Trump had managed to reduce the price for the new presidential plane. “I refer you to the White House,” Ryder said. A White House spokesman didn’t respond to repeated inquiries about Trump’s comments.

Trump has boasted that he’s personally intervened to cut costs of two military aircraft -- the F-35, the fighter jet built by Lockheed Martin Corp., and Boeing’s Air Force One.

“They were close to signing a $4.2 billion deal to have a new Air Force One,” Trump said at a rally on Saturday in Florida. “Can you believe this? I said, ‘No way.’ I said, ‘I refuse to fly in a $4.2 billion airplane. I refuse.’”

Instead, Trump said, “we got that price down by over $1 billion, and I probably haven’t spoken, to be honest with you, for more than an hour on the project. I got the generals in, who are fantastic. I got Boeing in. But I told Boeing it’s not good enough. We’re not going to do it. The price is still too high.”
read more here

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving Sailors, You Get Life Lock After Data Hacked

Names, Data of more than 134,000 Sailors Compromised
Stars and Stripes
by Erik Slavin
Nov 24, 2016

The names and social security numbers of 134,386 sailors were accessed by "unknown individuals" from a contractor's laptop computer, the Navy announced Wednesday.
U.S. Navy sailors stand on the deck of the aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower on Nov. 22. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)
The Navy said it was notified by Hewlett Packard Enterprise Services on Oct.27 that one of its employees supporting a Navy contract had a laptop compromised, according to a service statement.

There is no evidence for now that the personal data has been misused, according to the preliminary results of an ongoing Naval Criminal Investigative Service investigation.

"The Navy takes this incident extremely seriously -- this is a matter of trust for our sailors," Chief of Naval Personnel Vice Adm. Robert Burke said, according to a Navy statement. "We are in the early stages of investigating and are working quickly to identify and take care of those affected by this breach."
read more here

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Marine Veteran Killed As Contractor, GoFundMe Account Used By Selfish "Friend"

After their dad died, a family friend set up a GoFundMe account to help. Then she raided it.
Washington Post
By Cleve R. Wootson Jr.
October 17, 2016
Holder pleaded guilty on Wednesday to felony theft by conversion. She will spend two years in prison and eight on probation.
This cached photo shows Barry Sutton’s daughters as they appeared on a GoFundMe site made by a woman who bilked a town out of nearly $5,000. (Via GoFundMe)
Barry Sutton was working as a civilian contractor when he was killed by a car bomb in Afghanistan last year, but he received a soldier’s homecoming.

Police escorted his casket from the airport to a funeral home in Rome, Ga. People stood on either side of the procession route, waving flags. An honor guard presented colors at his funeral — paying tribute to the former police officer and sheriff’s deputy.

Amid the fanfare, Brandy Holder, a family friend, told people that she wanted to organize something special.
According to his obituary, Barry Dean Sutton had served in the Marines Corps and worked in law enforcement, first with Georgia’s Floyd County Police Department, then with the Floyd County Sheriff’s Office. He was also a school resource officer at Armuchee High School, his alma mater. He was working for DynCorp when he was killed in Kabul at the age of 46, the obituary said.
read more here

Friday, August 19, 2016

IAVA Commander-in-Chief Forum

Whenever there is an election we're pretty much forgotten about. Candidates never seem to have any plans, or even understand what military, veterans and families, go through. Sure there are a lot of issues they have to pay attention to but we're all pretty tired of hearing how much they value us without ever seeing any proof of it. The IAVA is trying to do something about that.
IAVA Commander-in-Chief Forum
Joint Candidate Event to Highlight National Security, Military and Veterans Issues
Live in Primetime on NBC and MSNBC on Wednesday, September 7, 2016

AUGUST 18, 2016 – Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) will host both major party presidential nominees, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, for a live televised primetime forum to focus exclusively on issues the next president will have to confront as Commander-in-Chief.

The event will take place in New York City and will be simulcast on NBC and MSNBC in primetime on the evening of September 7, 2016.

The candidates will appear back to back during the one-hour event. They will take questions on national security, military affairs and veterans issues from NBC News and an audience comprised mainly of military veterans and active service members.

“IAVA is proud to lead this historic event for our veterans community and all Americans,” said Paul Rieckhoff, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of IAVA. “On the cusp of the 15th Anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, New York is a fitting stage to give voice to American veterans and service members that are all too often shut out of our political debate. IAVA members world-wide, 93% of whom say they’ll be voting in November, and many deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan right now, are ready to hear from the candidates and hold them accountable. IAVA is honored to join with NBC on this significant event that will ensure that America’s next Commander-in-Chief, at least for one night, addresses our nation’s moral obligation to support and empower its 22 million veterans, our servicemembers and our military families.”
learn more about IAVA here

They tried ranking politicians before but it did not do much good considering the rest of the population does not have a clue about any of the Bills politicians write. This time, we may get some answers. Hopefully they actually paid attention all along.

Among the questions I'd love to have answered are these.

What will the candidates do about housing civilians on military property?
Thirty-four other U.S. military installations have already brought in nonmilitary residents, and there have been no major security issues, said Mack Quinney, project director for the housing company.
And if they plan on ending this practice or leaving it the way it is?
In 2001, Fort Hood became the first U.S. military installation to hand over housing to a private operator when it entered into a deal with the Australia-based Lendlease Group to form the Fort Hood Family Housing company.

The deal has facilitated the building of hundreds of new homes on Fort Hood, where soldiers have complained about the quality of the housing stock, by allowing them to be financed with private construction bonds, Fort Hood and Lendlease officials said.

Do they plan on actually doing something about the rules and funding of the VA that Congress is in fact in charge of? 
When there is a backlog of claims, do they have any plans to make sure contractors hire to process the claims are not just trained to do it properly, but have enough staff to fulfill the commitment this country made to those who are willing to lay down their lives for the sake of her?
When private-contracted out doctors are evaluating claims, are there any plans to hold them accountable when they fail to put qualified practitioners in the positions or rate claims wrongly?

Do they have any plans to hold contractors accountable for failed programs, like suicide prevention, when clearly they do not work?  

Do they plan on hold any member of Congress publicly accountable for writing and funding Bills they pass when it has been tired and failed before.  Just look at the list of "suicide prevention" Bills coming out of congress in the last decade and you'll see what I mean.

Do they have any plans to hold veterans charities accountable?

Do they have any plans for holding the Joint Chiefs accountable for the rise in military suicides at the same time there has been a sharp reduction of enlisted personnel?

Do they have any plans for holding defense contractors accountable for the billions they receive for programs that do not work and do very little to prevent healing from traumas troops face?

What about ISIS, Iraq, Afghanistan, NATO, the rest of the world including humanitarian missions? Will anyone be held accountable for the mess we're in?

What do they plan on doing about Defense Contractors outnumbering military personnel?

Data compiled by the Congressional Research Service shows that private contractors outnumber U.S. troops in Afghanistan by more than a three to one margin.
The latest numbers covering just the first few months of this year show that there are still around 29,000 contractors in Afghanistan — well over three times the 9.000 troops.

The thing is, there are hundreds of questions all of us have, but unless these politicians are asked, we won't know if they even considered any of it or how much thought they gave to any of us.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Contractors Serving Side-By-Side-By-Side of US Troops in Afghanistan?

29,000 contractors versus 9,000 U.S. troops remain in Afghanistan
Digital Journal
August 18, 2016

Kabul - Data compiled by the Congressional Research Service shows that private contractors outnumber U.S. troops in Afghanistan by more than a three to one margin.

A detailed 12-page report called "Department of Defense Contractor and Troop Levels in Iraq and Afghanistan: 2007-2016" can be found at the Congressional Research Service website.

During the 2007-2016 period, the U.S. Defense Department spent more than $220 billion on contractors in both Iraq and Afghanistan for a large variety of services and support.

Even as early as the middle of 2011, when there were still many U.S. troops in Afghanistan, they were outnumbered by private contractors. The number of private contractors peaked in 2012 at more than 117,000 while there were around 88,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan. Almost 23 percent of contractors worked as supplementary security personnel. A whopping 70 percent were actually foreign nationals that received money from U.S. companies and agencies.
read more here

Monday, January 18, 2016

The Real-Life Heroes Behind '13 Hours

Former CIA chief in Benghazi challenges '13 Hours' film version of 2012 attack
The Washington Post
By Adam Goldman and Greg Miller
Published: January 15, 2016
The movie, “13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi,” is based on a book co-written by U.S. contractors hired to protect the CIA base in Benghazi.
John Krasinski as Jack Silva in the film, "13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi."
It is the most fateful moment in a movie that purports to present a searingly accurate account of the 2012 attacks that left four Americans dead in Benghazi, Libya: a scene in which the highest-ranking CIA operative at a secret agency compound orders his security team to "stand down" rather than rush off to rescue U.S. diplomats under siege less than a mile away.

According to the officer in charge of the CIA's Benghazi base that night, the scene in the movie is entirely untrue.

"There never was a stand-down order," said the base chief known as Bob, speaking publicly for the first time. "At no time did I ever second guess that the team would depart."

Nor, he said, did he say anything that could be "interpreted as equivalent" as an order to stand down.

In a lengthy interview with reporters from The Washington Post, Bob provided new details about the attacks and his interactions with J. Christopher Stevens, the U.S. ambassador to Libya who perished in them. He agreed to talk on the condition his last name not be used because even though he has retired, his cover has not been lifted.

"I thought I would regret it if I didn't," he said about finally speaking out. "So much of this information has been wrong."

“No one will mistake this movie for a documentary,” CIA spokesman Ryan Trapani said. “It’s a distortion of the events and people who served in Benghazi that night. It’s shameful that, in order to highlight the heroism of some, those responsible for the movie felt the need to denigrate the courage of other Americans who served in harm’s way.”
read more here
Linked from Stars and Stripes

The Real-Life Heroes Behind '13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi'
Jan 16, 2016

What happened during the 2012 Benghazi attack is the most scrutinized, most politically explosive “13 Hours” in recent history, and now the real-life American commandos who fought that night are coming forward to share their stories.

On Sept. 11, 2012, Ansar l-Sharia armed militants attacked a U.S. diplomatic compound and then a CIA annex in Benghazi, Libya, killing four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens. Mark “Oz” Geist was one of the six former elite military operatives who fought back that night.

"We knew to get out of there we were going to have to depend on each other, kill them before they kill you," he told "Nightline."
read more here

Saturday, December 19, 2015

How the US blew $17 billion in Afghanistan

Behold: How the US blew $17 billion in Afghanistan
By Megan McCloskey
Tobin Asher
Lena Groeger
and Sisi Wei
December 18, 2015
In 2008, the Pentagon bought 20 refurbished cargo planes for the Afghan Air Force, but as one top US officer put it, “just about everything you can think of was wrong.” No spare parts, for example. The planes were also “a death trap,” according to the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction. So $486 million was spent on worthless planes that no one could fly. We did recoup some of the investment. Sixteen of the planes were sold as scrap for the grand sum of $32,000. That’s 6 cents a pound.
Chairs at a school built, but never occupied, were stripped for firewood. Credit: SIGAR/Flickr
You’d think someone would have been in trouble.


Nothing happened to anybody in charge of that spectacular screw up. No general even had to make an embarrassing appearance on Capitol Hill. Congress made not a peep.

Even worse, such jaw-dropping waste without a shred of accountability is not an anomaly. It has happened in Afghanistan again and again, and, you guessed it, again. Some of the more outlandish examples have briefly seized the attention of the news media, but really, the running tab for the waste has mounted out of sight of the taxpayers footing the bill.

And what a bill it is. There’s a widely held idea of “just” as in “just a few million.” Like the military officer who wrote that the $25 million blown on a fancy headquarters nobody used was “probably not bad in the grand scheme of things.” But those millions add up. To billions.

The problem, contrary to popular assumptions, is not unscrupulous contractors. Follow the long trail of waste and you’ll be standing at the doors of the military, the State Department and the US. Agency for International Development. It’s their bad decisions, bad purchases and bad programs that are consistently to blame.

ProPublica pored over more than 200 audits, special projects and inspections done by SIGAR since 2009 and built a database to add up the total cost of failed reconstruction projects. Looking at the botched projects collectively — rather than as one-off headlines — reveals a grim picture of the overall reconstruction effort and a repeated cycle of mistakes.
read more here

Friday, November 6, 2015

Ex-Fort Bragg Officer Took More Than Money--He Took Trust

Ex-Bragg officer guilty of taking contractor bribes in Afghanistan
By Drew Brooks Military editor
November 5, 2015

A former Fort Bragg officer has pleaded guilty to accepting money from a contractor in Afghanistan.

Capt. David Anthony Kline, 32, lives in Colorado Springs, Colorado, according to U.S. Attorney Thomas G. Walker. Kline was back in North Carolina on Thursday, pleading guilty to solicitation and receipt of a gratuity and aiding and abetting the same in a Raleigh federal courthouse.

Following the plea, the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, John Sopko, said the crime undermined the U.S. mission in Afghanistan.

"Not only did Capt. Kline seek to defraud American taxpayers and abuse his position of authority as an officer, but he also put his fellow soldiers in harm's way by stealing vital resources that are needed for legitimate operations," Sopko said.

The charges against Kline are connected to a 2008-2009 deployment in which Kline served with Fort Bragg's 189th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, part of the 82nd Airborne Division Sustainment Brigade.

From January 2008 to April 2009, then-1st Lt. Kline served on Kandahar Air Field, Afghanistan, as officer-in-charge of a movement control team, according to the criminal information filed earlier this year.

In that position, he oversaw the movement of fuel and equipment, including food, within Afghanistan.
read more here

Monday, November 2, 2015

Britney Spears' former boyfriend killed in Afghanistan

Britney Spears' former boyfriend killed in Afghanistan 
“It’s heartbreaking – John went there to try to repair the country."
Australian Women's Weekly
by Caroline Overington
November 2, 2015
The Mirror reports that John Sundahl, 44, was shot down flying a helicopter from the capital Kabul where he had been working for several months as a private contractor ferrying officials across the war-torn country.
A pilot and former boyfriend of Britney Spears, who is credited with helping her overcome her addiction to alcohol, has been killed by the Taliban in Afghanistan. read more here

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Georgia SWAT Team Veteran Killed in Afghanistan

Former sheriff's deputy killed in Afghanistan
By La-Keya Stinchcomb, Digital Producer
Posted: Aug 22, 2015
A former Floyd County law enforcement officer was killed in Afghanistan Saturday.

Barry Sutton was a civilian contractor, working with DynCorp International. He was helping to train police officers in Afghanistan as part of NATO's resolute Support Mission, according to the Floyd County Sheriff's Office.

Sutton was one of 12 people who died after a suicide bomber attacked a NATO convoy traveling through a crowded neighborhood.

"Barry was a solid career officer, Floyd County Police Department SWAT veteran and deputy," said Floyd County Sheriff Burkhalter. "I am proud to have associated with him and I mourn with his family and extended law enforcement family."
read more here

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Former Navy SEAL Alleges Anti-Gay CIA

Former SEAL alleges anti-gay harassment in CIA
Brett Jones says he was bullied, called slurs, left outside in hot weather during deployment
San Diego Union Tribune
By Joshua Stewart
July 28, 2015
“I don’t tolerate racism or bigotry, and for some reason, that line of work attracts some people that are like that,” Jones said. “And because of the way the small units are, it goes unchecked.”

Former Navy SEAL Brett Jones discusses the importance of the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell and the continuing breakdown of boundaries for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) individuals during the 2015 Cultural Awareness Day observance, April 10, 2015.
(U.S. Air Force photo by Melanie Rodgers Cox/Released)

A former Navy SEAL who gained national attention for a memoir about being gay in one of the military’s elite communities has filed a complaint, saying he was the victim of homophobic bullying during a June deployment as a CIA contractor.

Brett Jones says when he arrived at his outpost in an undisclosed location in Afghanistan on June 11, he was forced to endure anti-gay bullying, including homophobic slurs, a crass PowerPoint presentation, and snide comments as people watched the news about the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that struck down bans on same-sex marriage.

The atmosphere was so toxic that he feared for his safety and had to return home early, he said.

The anti-gay comments came from a group of contractors and civil servants in the CIA’s Global Response Staff, Jones said. Many, like himself, are former members of special-operations units. A few of them took issue with working alongside a gay man, Jones said.
read more here

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

US Paid $14.7 For Empty Warehouse While Troops Got Empty Words?

Why say it was wasted money? After all, the contractors got paid while troops ended up with pink slips under sequestration. Contractors got to take care of their families very well while troops and their families back home lived off food stamps. The contractors built this empty building while many servicemembers returned to the US and ended up living on the streets and in shelters. This money was only wasted if you consider our troops worthy of the money that could have been used on them.
Pentagon wasted $15mn on Afghan warehouse it never used
RT News
Published time: 22 Jul, 2015
“Although the $14.7 million DLA warehouse facility was well built, lengthy construction delays led to the facility never being used for its intended purpose,” SIGAR said. “Had the facility been completed on schedule, DLA would have been able to use the warehouse facility for more than 2 years before its mission ended in Kandahar.”

The US has invested $14.7mn in a warehouse facility in Afghanistan that now lies deserted since the Pentagon decided to wrap-up its mission but continued wasting US taxpayers money until the overdue construction was completed, a new audit report reveals.

According to the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) report, the Pentagon’s Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) finally accepted the multi-million warehouse facility into service, six months after the decision was made to end DLA’s mission in Kandahar. The 173,428 square foot climate-controlled distribution center was finished so late that it never fulfilled its intended use.

Now SIGAR is urging the Pentagon to figure out “who made the decision” to allow more spending on the warehouses after it became obvious the mission was wrapping-up.
read more here

Streamed live on Jul 21, 2015
As the longest running and one of the most expensive wars in U.S. history winds down, PS21 asks: just where did the money go? We are delighted to present a discussion with the man looking into that very question, Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction John F. Sopko, and Just Security.
Moderator to be confirmed.
John F. Sopko: Special Inspector General for Afghan Reconstruction
Andy Wright: Founding Editor, Just Security

Monday, June 29, 2015

Veterans Angry After Contractor Claimed To Be One Of Them

Veterans want apology from Sheriff's candidate 
The Advertiser
Claire Taylor
June 28, 2015
Mark Garber appears in military garb on campaign material used in his race for Lafayette Parish Sheriff.
(Photo: Claire Taylor, Daily Advertiser)

Mark Garber, a candidate for Lafayette Parish Sheriff who was awarded the Bronze Star for his work as a civilian interrogator with the Air Force in Iraq, has angered a couple of local military veterans who say he is pretending to be one of them.

The Southwest Louisiana Veterans Coalition board wants an apology, while one Lafayette veteran said Garber should withdraw from the Sheriff's race.

Garber is pictured in campaign material dressed in military gear with a gun; his Bronze Star medal also is shown. To make it worse, local veterans said, Garber stood up at a banquet recently when military veterans were recognized.

"He slapped the face of every veteran in Lafayette by portraying himself as a veteran," said Daniel J. Bentley, commander of American Legion Post 69 of Lafayette. "He is not a veteran."

Garber told The Daily Advertiser , "I have never, ever claimed to be a military veteran."

But the website for his private legal practice with attorney C. Ray Murry recently stated: "Mr. Garber and Mr. Murry are military veterans."

The statement was changed Thursday after The Daily Advertiser brought it to Garber's attention. He said the statement was written long ago and was worded improperly because his law partner is a veteran of the military.

While in Iraq, Garber wore a uniform and carried weapons like military personnel, and was deployed on missions with soldiers. He considers himself a veteran of Iraq, but not a military veteran, he said.
read more here

Monday, June 22, 2015

Maj. Gen. Dana Pittard Reprimanded After 3 Year Investigation

Just a reminder of who this General is, back in 2012, the year with the highest suicide record, Major General Dana Pittard lambasted soldiers at Fort Bliss,
“I have now come to the conclusion that suicide is an absolutely selfish act,” he wrote on his official blog recently. “I am personally fed up with soldiers who are choosing to take their own lives so that others can clean up their mess. Be an adult, act like an adult, and deal with your real-life problems like the rest of us.”

That was his answer to preventing suicides.

Looks like he made more bad choices as well.
Report: Pentagon Reprimands Army General after 3-Year Investigation
Jun 22, 2015

Following a lengthy investigation by the U.S. Department of Defense, a key Army commander who was responsible for training Iraqis to fight the Islamic State was reprimanded earlier this year by the Pentagon for misconduct and will result in his retirement, the Washington Post reported Sunday.

According to Defense documents obtained by the Post through the Freedom of Information Act, Maj. Gen. Dana J.H. Pittard was the subject of a three-year probe that concluded he engaged in misconduct by steering a defense contract to a firm operated by two former West Point classmates.

As the U.S. Army's deputy commander for operations in the Middle East, Gen. Pittard managed the Pentagon-led training of Iraqi forces to combat Islamic State militants.

The formal reprimand could result in a loss of rank for the two-star general -- something the Army review board will ultimately determine before Gen. Pittard's retirement this year, the Post report said.

Until April, he was stationed in Kuwait but a Pentagon spokesperson said his returning to the United States was not related to the misconduct investigation. read more here

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Army May Cut 3,400 Contractors

Army Could Cut 3,400 Contractor Jobs at Three Bases
by Richard Sisk
Jun 15, 2015

About 3,400 Army contract workers would lose their jobs in food services, supply and shipment of household goods at stateside bases if Congress fails to ease the budget shortfall in current negotiations on the defense bill.

In a statement issued late last Friday, the Army said the impact of the job losses at base Logistical Readiness Centers (LRCs) would be felt first at Fort Hood, Texas; Fort Stewart, Ga.; and Fort Meade, Md.

The Army's 73 stateside LRCs manage food services, ammunition supply, clothing issue, bulk fuel, and the shipment of personal property and household goods.

The LRCs come under the Army's Materiel Command, based in Huntsville, Ala.

Kim Hanson, a spokeswoman for the Materiel Command, said that the job losses could result in the closure of dining facilities or limited hours at the facilities, and delays in the shipment of household goods.
read more here