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The GAO Transcripts, Part 22: A Convoy Was Attacked? Really, You Don't Say

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This is the twenty second installment of the Government Accountability Office interview transcripts that were prepared pursuant to the July 2005 GAO report "Rebuilding Iraq: Actions Needed To Improve Use of Private Security Providers."

The GAO met with two PSCs to get their viewpoint on interacting with the U.S. military. Who they can't be determined from the transcript. But from their viewpoint the military could have done better in certain regards. For example:

During this incident, a _____________ convoy was attacked for two days. _____________ equested aid from the miIitary, but received none. 41 assets were lost. After this incident, _____________ management team contacted the military. The military had no idea that the convoys were attacked even though they were accompanied by military vehicles. _____________ was aware of the situation because they have intra-convoy communication with a convoy movement control center. _____________ ___________ ater learned that the military escort that was supposed to be accompanying the convoy did not request aid or release information on the convoy's situation.

Also, the U.S., military, in their view did not have qualified personnel for convoy duty.

_____________ feels that the _____________ support provided by the military are inexperienced. Most of the _____________ the convoys were previously cooks, etc and had not shot a gun since base camp training.

Of course, this would have been during the first year and a half after the U.S. invaded Iraq so the situation likely improved in terms of the ability of U.S. soldiers

Standard disclaimer: I have put in ( _____ ) to reflect those words of phrases which have been blacked out in the transcript. I have also put in the underlining as it appeared in the original transcript. As in the transcript, I have left out letters from various words, even when it seems obvious what the word is.

Prepared by: Kate Walker Index
Date Prepared: October 19, 2004 DOC Number. 1195724
Reviewed by: Carole Coffey DOC Library: Goal 2
Job Code. 350544

Record of Interview

Title Interview with Contractor
Purpose To gain on-the-ground insight to the Contractor perspective
Contact Method Face-to-face
Contact Place _____________
Contact Date October 9, 2004
Participants _____________
_____________
_____________
Carole Coffey, Analyst in Charge, GAO
Glenn Furbish, Senior Analyst, GAO
Kate Walker, Analyst, GAO

Comments/Remarks:

We met with _____________ and _____________ to discuss their experiences in interacting with the military. _____________ currently is currently working on tasks order _____________ __________________________ and task order _____________of all task orders which provides _____________n Iraq.

CONVOY SUPPORT
The military has complete control of convoy movements. The rnilltary decides the number of escorts necessary given the threat level. In addition to military support, the Kuwaiti Military Police also escort the convoy. The current standard protocols for convoys in Kuwait are: _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________
The Army takes a "hands-off' approach to convoys traveling in Iraq.

When asked if he ever felt that the level of support that the Army had given him was insufficient, _____________ plied that he was a civilian and he really does not know what adequate protection warrants. _____________ did indicate, however, that the level of protection the military provides had been increased since an incident on 8 and 9 April 2004. During this incident, a _____________ convoy was attacked for two days. _____________ equested aid from the miIitary, but received none. 41 assets were
lost. After this incident, _____________ management team contacted the military. The military had no idea that the convoys were attacked even though they were accompanied by military vehicles. _____________ was aware of the situation because they have intra-convoy communication with a convoy movement control center. _____________ ___________ ater learned that the military escort that was supposed to be accompanying the convoy did not request aid or release information on the convoy's situation. After
learning about the attack, the military increased security force protection and reduced the
convoy size from _____________ In addition, the military added _____________ support, which convoys did not have before. The military also gave _____________ nvoy tracking system called Joint Distribution Logistic Management (JDLM) to help monitor their convoys _____________ so uses Qualcom to communicate with ifs convoys.

Page 1 Record of interview

_____________ also finds that military support is often unfamiliar with the territory. After the April incident, the military also told _____________ that they were going to get _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________
_____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ __________________________ _____________

_____________ feels that the _____________ support provided by the military
are inexperienced. Most of the _____________ the convoys were previously cooks, etc and had not shot a gun since base camp training. _____________ believes that the military is conserving their assets for more risky endeavors.

TRANSFER POINTS
_____________ reported that _____________ had noted that transfers between Army and Marine area of responsibility (AOR) are not seamless. Most recently, a convoy traveling to Anaconda that was being escorted by the Army had one of their trucks shot up by a Marine as the convoy entered the Marines AOR. _____________ heard some complaints regarding the support given by the Marines. He believes that the Marines feel that since _____________ is an Army contract that they should not be held responsible for their protection. _____________inds that "the Marines are a very independent group that likes to do things themselves." He says there are a lot of "flexing over who's in charge" between the Army and the Marines.

MILITARY AID
_____________ indicated that has a military contact person for times of need. Depending on the type of situation _____________ will call upon the aid of either the army or the Kuwaiti Ministry of Interior (KMOI). Typically _____________ will request help from KMOI in minor situations and rely upon military aid for larger problems.

INTERNAL REPORTING AND COMMUNICATIONS
Internally, _____________ tracks damages to its trucks incurred via rocks, IEDs, etc. _____________ believes that _____________ has good internal communication, but external communication with the military is not strong. _____________ latest fatality occurred south of Baghdad, when a _____________ ommander was killed by an IED. According to _____________ he military had known about the IED, but had not told anyone about it because they had heard that the IED was not live.

RULES OF ENGAGEMENT
Under the agreed upon rules of engagement _____________ mployees and subcontractors are not allowed to attack insurgents unless they are returning fire. _____________ employees are not allowed to take proactive attacks.

CURRENT SECURITY SITUATION IN IRAQ
Since the April convoy attack, _____________ ports that they have seen more security from the military. _____________ s, however, that they are still operating in a war zone and vulnerable to the insurgents.

Pge 2 Record of Interview

IMPROVEMENTS IN IRAQ
_____________ would like to see increased route security, especially on main supply routes (MSR). At any given time, there are nearly _____________ convoys moving per week on MSRs. _____________ elieves that the military should be more proactive in protecting these routes. Extra support for convoys moving north would also improve the situation in Iraq as insurgents are aware that convoys _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________

_____________ elieves that the military needs to reassess their policies dealing with PSCs. He believes that the rules of engagement for PSC need to be clarified. _____________ _____________ feels that _____________ has an advantage over other PSCs in their relationship with the military, as_____________ deals with the military directly and have full visibility.

There has been some talk of creating a military "bubble" in Iraq and having the military control movements within the inner triangle of Cedar, Mosul, and Alasad in Iraq. In this central triangle, only military vehicles would travel and contractors would provide
transportation and services to the main entry points. _____________ elieves that this system would be more successful because the military would be better able to manage its own personnel and improve internal communications.

Page 3 Record of Interview