Monday, May 26, 2008

Contractor Casualties: An Update

The Committee on Oversight and Government Reform recently held a hearing, Defense Base Act Insurance: Are Taxpayers Paying Too Much? on Thursday, May 15, 2008.

Tucked into the Supplemental Information on Defense Base Act Insurance Costs are recent casualty numbers on contractor fatalities and injuries in Iraq and Afghanistan, taken from two reports by the Department of Labor dated April 2, 2008.

  • Department of Labor, Defense Base/War Hazards Act Summary by Nation for Afghanistan (Apr. 2, 2008)
  • Department of Labor, Defense Base/War Hazards Act Summary by Nation for Iraq (Apr. 2, 2008)
However, the numbers cited in the Supplemental are not broken out by nation. And at best, they are only a minimum.
Contractor Casualties as of April 2, 2008

9,610 wounded
Kirk von Ackermann and Ryan Manelick are not included in those figures.

Regarding DBA insurance? It's a cash cow for insurers.

The new Defense Authorization Bill passed in the House, H.R. 5658, includes an Amendment "...requiring that DOD implement a new approach to purchasing DBA insurance within the next 18 months." So far, I have been unable to locate the full text language but it's certainly a very long overdue step in the right direction. Hopefully, the Amendment will make it through the Senate and into the final version of the bill.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Spring Cleaning

I know, it's almost June, but now seems like a good time to do a little housekeeping around here. I'll be adding labels (tags) to make it easier to find related posts. I'm going to try and double check old links to make sure they still work, update the ones that don't or leave directions on how to find information.

I've also decided to add a quarterly post about the other missing Americans in Iraq, which I hope to have ready by June 1. See previous post:

Americans Missing in Iraq (photos)
March 31, 2008
I need to update the Flickr photo album and add the link to the side bar. Lots of boring stuff to do. Just thought I'd let y'all know what was up.

Have a lovely Memorial Day.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


Thinking out loud. I've been looking over a long -- very long -- list of questions. A few jump out:

  1. Where did Kirk von Ackermann sleep the night before he disappeared?
  2. Where did he buy his Nissan Patrol?
  3. What means of travel did he use to get to FOB Pacesetter?
I've always assumed he drove to the meeting at FOB Pacesetter. Maybe that's an incorrect assumption.