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07/15/2010 11:57 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

The GAO Transcripts, Part 13: Houston, We've Had A Problem

No, this is not about the Apollo 13 mission. But this is the thirteenth 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."

It is pretty obvious that the company in this transcript is Kellogg Brown and Root Services, Inc., (KBR), as evidenced by language like this, "The only reports seen in Houston office are serious reports that have to be given to the client. Serious reports involve the destruction of government property, USG embarrassment, or death/injury of contractor personnel."

I can't help but wonder what KBR thinks constitutes "USG embarrassment;" KBR contractors in possession of child porn? Personally, treating US troops like trash by running burn pits that may have given them cancer seems pretty embarrassing to me.

Reading some of the below language one understands that getting adequate security for the logistics contractors was frequently a big problem. For example, "___________ that they are not receiving the amount of force protection ___________ contractually entitled to in coalition sectors... On Army camps, 1st tier subcontractors working with entitled to the same level of protection granted to below first tier subcontractors as unsure about the level protection provided to contractors by the military. He assumes that if the subcontractor were on the base, then they would get the same level of service as first tier subcontractors. But, most second and third tier subcontractors typically do not live on ___________ mps/sites."

Sometimes the lack of adequate security could negatively impact supply missions as this passage illustrates:

___________ is heard about situations in which the ratio for convoy security was not sufficient. ___________ acquiesced to this statement, saying that he was not sure if the Army's status quo requirements provide enough protection to securely cross convoys. He said that J ___________ would better be able to answer that question. ___________tated that in the early days there could be as many as 1,000 trucks backed up awaiting security details.

Because convoy transportation is so insecure, ___________ as an air shuttle run that goes to five locations in Iraq. ___________ noted that there is a problem with "free wheelers" in Iraq. "Free wheelers" are contractors that don't want to wait for US Army protection for their convoys. ___________ ___________ ___________ ___________ ___________ ___________

At least in the early days, according to this interview, private security contractors were left on their own. "The general expectation among the multinational coalition forces is that ___________ fend for themselves; PSCs are the lowest priority for coalition services."

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: Type bundle index, here
Date Prepared: August 24, 2004 DOC Number: Type document number here
Reviewed by: Type reviewer name here DOC Library: Type library name here
Job Code: 350544

Record of Interview

Title ___________ coordination with Military
Purpose To understand how ___________ and its subcontractors coordinated with the military
Contract Method Face-to-face
Contact Place ___________
Contact Date August 11, 2004
Participants ___________
___________
___________
___________
___________
___________
Carole Coffee, GAO
Dave Grover, GAO
William McPhail, GAO
Steve Sternlieb, GAO
Kate Walker, GAO

Comments/Remarks:

___________ a military contractor that provides ___________ the US Army under the___________ contracts. Under this contract, the Army is supposed to provide ___________ with security protection. In addition to this protection, ___________ subcontracts for security with the ___________ a private security firm based out of ___________ . In this meeting, a number of ___________ fficials spoke with us about the current situation in Iraq, their experiences with the US military and the subcontractor
relationships. ___________ did most of the talking. ______________________
___________ ___________ ___________ ___________ ___________
___________ ___________ major contributors ___________ utilized a PowerPoint presentation to review the questions that we had sent to them in advance. (Analyst Note: Presentation included in Interview Notes.)

___________ resence in Theatre

___________ urrently has ___________ rsonnel in theatre ___________ rotates its employees in and out of field on yearlong rotations. Some people choose to stay the whole rotation.

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Regional security managers handle sectors of Iraq. The security manager manages main camps and sites in Kuwait, Iraq, ___________ is th ___________ in Iraq. ___________ ___________ to the military officials almost hourly. Security coordinators are typically US expatriates with security clearances that work at Army camps. While their roles and responsibilities vary with their location, their primary job is to serve as the senior liaison with the US military and make sure that force protection measures are in place. Security technicians write reports and conduct analysis of security situations.

___________ has a regional office in ___________ at the ___________ which is protected by US military parameter defense troops ___________ rks out of the ___________ office. ___________ subcontracts with the ___________ for security protection.

Military Force Protection: Who is responsible?
The military provides protection for ___________ tractors. This protection is delegated to coalition forces in the sector closest the contractors. Currently, coalition forces provide limited perimeter protection. ___________ otes that coalition forces lack of quick response teams and that some coalition sectors could be stronger. ___________ that they are not receiving the amount of force protection ___________ contractually entitled to in coalition sectors. The military also provides protection for first tier subcontractors located on Army bases, and sometimes will also provide protection for second and third tier contractors if they are located on an Army base.

______________What level of protection is provided?
Under the provisions of the ___________ contract, the US military is required to provide its contractors with the same level of protection as that provided to the military troops. The level of protection is decided cooperatively based on ___________ rforms vulnerability assessments. If KBR had concerns, their first response would be to talk to ___________ they wouldn't go direct y to the military. If that attempt elicited no response, ____________then go to the PCO in writing.

On Army camps, 1st tier subcontractors working with entitled to the same level of protection granted to elow first tier subcontractors as unsure about the level protection provided to contractors by the military. He assumes that if the subcontractor were on the base, then they would get the same level of service as first tier subcontractors. But, most second and third tier subcontractors typically do not live on ___________ mps/sites.

In general, ___________ eceived good cooperation and support from the U.S. military. While there have been some minor incidents ___________ unaware of any major situations in which ___________ sn't received good support from the military. ___________ no ___________ have a very "symbiotic relationship" with the military as most of its employees were former military officials.

___________ ___________ ___________ ___________ ___________ ___________ ___________ ___________ ___________ ___________ ___________ ___________
___________ ___________ ___________ ___________ ___________ ___________

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___________ ___________ ___________ ___________ ___________ ___________
___________ ___________ ___________ ___________ ___________ ___________ ___________ ______________________ ___________ ___________ ___________

Military Force Protection: Convoys
The US military is responsible for establishing security requirements and coordinating details for contractor convoys ___________ rks "hand and glove" with their military counterparts to help assess whether convoy standards meet adequate protection levels. If ___________ sn't satisfied with the level of security offered by the military ___________ to contact their prime security manger. The manager can then talk to the commander. The military is also responsible for coordinating dedicated detail for convoy travels from point A to point B. MOW has a dedicated team for convoy/personnel movements that coordinates with the military, ___________ ployees and subcontractors.

___________ _________________________________ ___________ ______________________ believe that convoy details are dedicated to specific regions, resulting in convoy handoffs at checkpoints between sectors. Military requirements for convoys are written into Fragmentary Orders (FRAG Orders). Specific force protection requirements are based on the size of the convoy. (Analyst note: See page 7 of the ___________ Force Discussions PowerPoint presentation.)

___________ is heard about situations in which the ratio for convoy security was not sufficient. ___________ acquiesced to this statement, saying that he was not sure if the Army's status quo requirements provide enough protection to securely cross convoys. He said that J ___________ would better be able to answer that question. ___________tated that in the early days there could be as many as 1,000 trucks backed up awaiting security details.

Because convoy transportation is so insecure, ___________ as an air shuttle run that goes to five locations in Iraq. ___________ noted that there is a problem with "free wheelers" in Iraq. "Free wheelers" are contractors that don't want to wait for US Army protection for their convoys. ___________ ___________ ___________ ___________ ___________ ___________

One of the most dangerous roads to travel in Iraq right now is the 13km road from Biop to the Green Zone. This is a military supply route/army supply route (MSR/ASR) that needs to be protected. The MSR/ASR is not secure right now. ___________ that even in secure places there is still rock throwing, etc., that is thwarting progress. ___________ provided the following anecdote to illustrate his point. He spoke with a victim of the 9 April 2004 convoy attack that it was the 5th convoy that he had been in that had been attacked. ___________ eported that the convoy experience is different in different parts of Iraq. The South is unlike the West, East, or North.

The PMO keeps a tally of convoy attacks. ___________ operational center ir ___________ keeps tabs on attacks on contracts for ___________

Multinational Coalition Force Protection: Convoys
The general expectation among the multinational coalition forces is that ___________ fend for themselves; PSCs are the lowest priority for coalition services. Convoy movements have to be

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scheduled, Unscheduled/non-regular convoy protection is nearly non-existent. The company will not move unless they are secure. ___________ that if their inability to move impedes their ability to fulfill the contract they would bring it up with their contracting officer. ___________ thinks that the convoy protection is under charter of ___________ While ___________ elieves that there are areas in convoy protection that could be stronger, they have not yet reached the threshold where they can say they are not getting adequate protection and need to subcontract for security.

Weapons:
It is against ___________ and ______________________ovisions for ___________ mployees to hold guns; ___________ employees are not shooters. If anyone is found with a gun, he/she is fired immediately.
Subcontractors protecting ___________ch as the ___________ ___________ wever, can have weapons if they are required in the scope of work (SOW) for the subcontractor.

Subcotractors have run into a number of problems acquiring weapons. ___________
___________ ontract reported that, "it is very difficult to get weapons; availability is everything." The requirements are based on cost importation and custom issues include:
o 7.62 mm for rifles
o Minimum 9 mm for side arms
o Some AK47/45 and MP5 can be allowed depending on subcontractor location

___________ reported th ___________ subcontracted had originally planned to import and lease their weapons on day rate, but UN embargo prohibits importation of weapons. Ultimately, the ___________ ___________ contractor, ended up buying in country, forensically clean weapons and register them on government property books.

___________ formed us that a FRAGO had been issued defining which small arms/personal weapons could be used in Iraq. This FRAGO also required those operating or owning guns in Iraq to have weapons cards. (Analyst note: We have a copy of this FRAGO issued in September 2003 in our files.)

Camp Protection
___________ unaware of any contractors living outside military camps in Iraq. There is a concern that high-rise hotels are too dangerous, when but 500-600 people are cycling in at a time, ___________ few choices other than housing them at a hotel. At complexes with a large number of people can hire PSC, but they have to be unarmed. There is no security at such hotels other than unarmed military. Recently, ___________s been warned about the security situation in Kuwait. There is some intelligence that the local insurgents were specifically striking contractors.

Records of Activity: Military Reporting
FRAG orders are distributed by and to all military.

Records of Activity: Daily Reports
______________________ daily report about all personnel at each o___________ its subcontractors' work locations by pay rate. He also has a roster of all personnel present for

Page 4 Record of interview

duty and their registered weapons. Activities are well recorded. The most common incidents vary depending on your location.
o North: rockets, improvised explosive devices (IEDs), mortars.
o Baghdad: Everything, vehicle borne IEDs, IEDs, kidnappings, small arms fi (SAF), rockets, mortars, attacks on camps, convoys, aircraft
South: Occasional mortar attacks, hijackings, theft, vandalism

Records of Activity: Operations Reports
Operations reports have evolved over time and give security managers insight into what types of issues different bases are facing . They are provided and maintained in the security managers' offices in Iraq. The ___________ ubmits operations reports as well. The ___________s also absolutely required to provide an after-accident and incident reports. ___________ gested that the new Project Manager would be the best person to talk regarding operations reports. The only reports seen in Houston office are serious reports that have to be given to the client. Serious reports involve the destruction of government property, USG embarrassment, or death/injury of contractor personnel. Serious incident and operations reports also go to the PC0. ___________ not contractually required to report security concerns to the PCO. ___________ as lost 42 ___________ people (including subcontractors) to date in theatre. Anytime a service person in injured or killed, ___________reports to the PCO. ___________ does not know, however, what the PCO does with that information. ___________ ports both ___________ nd subcontractor information to the PCO. ___________ general sentiment is that nobody has a grip on the contractors' facilities, etc. because PSCs are not required by contract to report anything. (Analyst note ___________ suggested tha ___________would be the best person to ask ___________ ports to the client if anyone dies.)

Intelligence Sharing: Among PSCs
Currently, there are no contractual requirements that PSC communicate with each other, but intelligence sharing between all major companies is occurring. Note, however, that those companies perceived as "fly-by-night types" by major companies are not included in this communication.

Emergency Action Plans:
Al ___________ ocations have an emergency action plan. ___________ reports, however, that many military units have not created a coordinated emergency action plan with their contractors.

___________ CONTRACT
Force Protection
The origina ___________ nd PCO Oil Contract required that the Services Theater Command provide ___________ with force protection "commensurate with that given to Service/Agency civilians." As this force has been found insufficient, the ___________ contract now has a hybrid of military security augmented by private security subcontractors. ___________ private security supplements the guard force in camps, provides escort security to move to work sites, and temporary perimeters at worksites supplemental security protects itself, its subcontractors, and DOD civilians. Coalition Forces still, however, provide a secure perimeter for the areas where ___________ ts subcontractors, and DOD personnel sleep. The ___________ came aboard the ___________ ontract ___________ ___________ rovides security for pipelines ___________s unaware of any subcontractors f___________ roviding private security for oil.

Page 5 Record of interview