Thursday, March 26, 2009

Contractor Deployment Guide

I was looking for more background information on general identification requirements for contractors working overseas when I stumbled upon this Pamphlet. Fascinating reading. As far as I can tell, this is the most recent version. It really is a must read for anyone going to work overseas.

Ed. note for June 14, 2010: please use this new link DA PAM 715-16

Contractor Deployment Guide
Pamphlet 715–16
Department of the Army
27 February 1998

DA PAM 715–16
Contractor Deployment Guide

This new Department of the Army pamphlet provides procedures for contractor operations within the Department of the Army.
The Pamphlet includes a short section on Hostages (see page 6), which contains some information that I don't recall reading before.
Chapter 11

11–1. Hostage aid

a. Hostages

When and where the Secretary of State, in consultation with the Secretary of Labor, declares that U.S. citizens or resident aliens of the United States rendering service overseas have been placed in a “captive” status as a result of a “hostile action” against the U.S. government, a wide range of benefits accrue to that person and that
person’s dependents. For example, captives can continue to receive their full pay. Captives can claim some, but not all, of the benefits of the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Civil Relief Act. A person designated as a captive or his/her family members are eligible for physical and mental health care benefits at U.S. government expense. A spouse
or unmarried dependent of a designated captive is eligible for certain education benefits. If a designated captive ultimately dies from hostile action caused by his/her relationship to the U.S. government, the Secretary of State may provide death benefits to the captive’s survivors.

b. Any person possibly affected (e.g., family members and dependents) may petition the Secretary of State to make the declaration of coverage. Pursuing benefits and remedies under these laws is up to the contractor employee and/or the employee’s family members, dependents or employer.
As far as surprises. Seems basic. But what exists on paper and what's done in reality are two different things. So, the question that really needs answering is: what identification were Ultra Services personnel expected to carry back in Iraq in 2003?

Identification mentioned in the Contractor Deployment Guide:
Visas - as needed
Invitational Travel Orders
Uniformed Services Identifications and Privilege Card (DD Form 1173)
Geneva Conventions Identity Card (DD Form 489)
Personal Identification ('dog tags')
Local In-theater Identification (Baghdad International Airport, etc)
Authorization to carry a weapon (from Theater Commander or State Department)
Record of Emergency Data Card (DD Form 93)
Company Id
Drivers license
Record of Immunizations
Medical information ('medical tags')
Not mentioned:
Common Access Card (DD Form 1172-2)
Looking over the list above, what exactly was the green id card issued to Kirk von Ackermann featured in the Rolling Stone article? Was it still valid? And what happened to all of the other identification he should have been carrying?

Always questions.


Base Access
March 20, 2009


Megan said...

Wow. That's a pretty extensive list. Kirk had a passport (obviously), no idea where it went. I don't think he needed a visa at that time although it's possible - in my memory he just pushed the passport through and that was all. I have no memory of Travel Orders or Geneva cards or Emergency Data Card. I have his Immunization record in my files somewhere so I'm pretty sure he didn't take that, although he might have taken a copy. He also didn't take medical info so far as I know. He did buy a side arm as you know but I don't have any recollection of him applying for an Authorization to carry a weapon (doesn't mean he didn't do it, just that he didn't mention it). I wonder when all these requirements were put in place and how well enforced it is even now?

Susie Dow said...

The deployment guide is from 1998!

Maybe I'm obsessing too much. As a student overseas, I had to carry an enormous packet of identification. It was so bulky that I usually kept it in my bag and carried just my smaller school id in my wallet. So I'm wondering if the same applied to contracotrs working in Iraq. I know that KBR employees carried a huge amount of identification with them. But smaller companies like Ultra Services, I don't know.

In Colin Freeman's new book, he does mention that he, John Dawkins, Omar Hadi and his aunt + the Japanese film makers, travelled into Iraq on press credentials from Jordan. But that was several months prior to Kirk's arrival. Baghdad International Airport had its own credential process that was, in theory, active at the time.

Some examples that there were likely various forms of local identification such as visas, permits etc issued by neighboring countries as well as Iraqi authorities.

My obsession with identification is this - if Kirk used a neck pouch or armband id holder (less likely) on base for his identification, and that neck pouch was not recovered from his vehicle, then isn't that a possible indication that the scene at the vehicle was not as it appeared? There would have been no reason for him to be wearing his id hours after he left FOB Pacesetter. And considering what was recovered from the vehicle, it seems that any id that didn't fit easily in a wallet - such as a passport - should have been present.

I guess it's a dog-that-didn't-bark. Why wasn't more identification found in the vehicle? Or maybe it was and CID have it boxed up somewhere - in which case, just ignore my OCD prattle.

Megan said...

No, prattle on, I think it's interesting! I knew about the passport (of course) and the base ID but can't remember anything else being mentioned. Is there any way to know how big some of this stuff is? It's frustrating because it's hard to now just what was there (and found) and what wasn't since all his belongings are missing now.