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Thursday, June 18, 2009

DynCorp gets Blackwater's service contracts for U.S. diplomats in Iraq

WASHINGTON — A leading U.S. security firm has been assigned to form an aviation network in Iraq.   

The State Department has contracted DynCorp International to provide aviation and support services in Iraq. Under the award, DynCorp would replace the former Blackwater, which was the only major U.S. security contractor with an aviation fleet in Iraq and other parts of the Middle East.

"This award is a tremendously important opportunity for DynCorp International to support the safety and security of U.S. diplomatic personnel serving in Iraq," DynCorp International chief executive officer William Ballhaus said.

In May 2009, DynCorp replaced Blackwater as the leading security contractor for the State Department. Blackwater, responsible for aviation services as well, was banned from operating in Iraq in wake of the prosecution of six former security officers linked to a shootout in Baghdad in 2007 in which 16 civilians were killed.

Also In This Edition

Industry sources said Xe, the new name for Blackwater, has been operating through front companies in Iraq. They said Xe continues to supply foreign security guards to protect a range of sites connected to the U.S. military. The company was also expected to provide some security services to U.S. diplomatic personnel until September 2009.

DynCorp has maintained scores of different aircraft — both rotary and fixed-wing — for all branches of the U.S. military. The company has been struggling amid high overhead and a lower-than-expected sales volume.

Regardless, DynCorp, responsible for guarding U.S. embassies and consulates throughout the Middle East, has been awarded a one-year contract to provide aviation services for the State Department. The order, under the Worldwide Personal Protective Services contract with the State Department's Bureau of Diplomatic Security, began on June 15 and includes four one-year options, with a total value of $915 million.

DynCorp was expected to provide personnel, ground and flight operations as well as basing and maintenance of rotary wing and fixed air assets. Executives said the company has undergone a transition period, with full services throughout Iraq to begin on Sept. 4.

"It's an honor to contribute to our government’s efforts to promote peace and stability in Iraq, for us as a company and for every person who serves with us," Ballhaus said.


It would seem that there is no end to the "opportunities" for civilian contractors in Iraq. I suspect as long as there are lucrative contracts available the war may be protracted.

Bill      9:35 a.m. / Saturday, June 20, 2009

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