Friday, February 25, 2011

DBA Summary Reports at the Dept of Labor

New feature over at the Department of Labor - Defense Base Act Summary Reports. And for unknown reasons, Ultra Services is not listed, neither for the disappearance of Kirk von Ackermann nor the drive-by shooting deaths of Ryan Manelick nor his Iraqi driver. Three distinct casualties just don't exist in the Department of Labor records.

Department of Labor
Office of Workers' Compensation Programs
Defense Base Act Summary Reports
DBA Reports by Employer
September 1, 2001 through December 31, 2010
Easy to assume it was a simple bureaucratic oversight. But here's the really strange part. A similar summary report was circulating among those who follow overseas contracting issues a few years back. And at that time, Ultra Services was included. Why did the Department of Labor decide to exclude Ultra Services?

Are any other casualties missing?

Defense Base Act/War Hazards Act Summary by Employer for Iraq
Department of Labor
As of 08/08/2006, page 7

Page 7
I first came across the 2006 Summary Report at the website for American Contractors in Iraq:

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Reading Room

What follows is a list of publicly available manuals, instructions, regulations, laws and policies applicable to overseas Americans who go missing while working under contract for US government agencies. If links go bad, use a search engine like google to find updated information about the publication you seek.

Legal Reference Material

The laws that govern missing persons, hostage affairs, etc.

National Security Act of 1947 
Establishes intelligence community support for missing persons. See Section 117 POW/MIA Analytic Capability. Also see 50 USC § 404L: United States Code, Title 50 - War and National Defense, Chapter 15 - National Security, Subchapter I - Coordination for National Security, 404L - POW Analytic Capability. The National Security Act of 1947 was last amended in 2007 by Public Law 110-53.

U.S. Code Title 10 § 1513
Legal definition of a missing person. United States Code, Title 10 - Armed Forces, Subtitle A - General Military Law, Part II - Personnel, Chapter 76 - Missing Persons.

Missing Persons Act
10 USC § 1501 - 1513 (A) policy, control, and oversight within the Department of Defense of the entire process for investigation and recovery related to missing persons (including matters related to search, rescue, escape, and evasion); and (B) coordination for the Department of Defense with other departments and agencies of the United States on all matters concerning missing persons.

Presumed Death under the Missing Persons Act
States laws govern how presumption of death is determined for a missing person. This is a critical phase in getting benefits in a prompt manner to surviving family members. Sample law for Rhode Island.

Defense Prisoner of War Missing Personnel (DPMO)
Provides policy oversight for the mission to recover captured, missing, or isolated personnel, usually military.

Workers Compensation for Overseas Workers

Information on the survivors benefits, including eligibility, etc. Benefits are administered by the Department of Labor.

Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation Act (LHWCA)
LHWCA forms the basis for workers compensation for overseas workers.

Defense Base Act (DBA) also known as 42 USC § 1651
Defense Base Act extends LHWCA protections to overseas workers employed under contract to US government agencies. Benefits are payable if a casualty is not the result of hostile force(s). 

Workers Compensation Clauses for Overseas Performance (PDF)
Article on the application of FAR 52.228-3 and FAR 52.228-4 contract clauses.

War Hazards Compensation Act (WHCA) also known as 42 USC § 1701
Coverage under WHCA is automatically extended to anyone who has DBA. Benefits are payable if a casualty is the result of hostile force(s).

Regulations under WHCA - Employees Benefits
Title 20 Part 61- Claims for Compensation under the War Hazards Compensation Act, as Amended

Federal Employee Compensation Act (FECA)
WHCA benefits are paid directly from the FECA fund

Regulations under FECA
Title 20 Part 10 - Claims for Compensation under the Federal Employees' Compensation Act, as Amended

Dept of Labor DBA LHWCA page

Dept of Labor Compliance Page - FECA WHCA

Reports, Policies, and Manuals

General information and resources.

From the US Department of State:

Foreign Affairs Manual (FAM)

3 FAM 4100 Foreign Affairs Manual
US State Department Employee Responsibility and Conduct
Including 'Guidelines for Personnel Taken Hostage'

7 FAM 000 Foreign Affairs Manual
Consular Protection of US Nationals Abroad

From the US Department of Defense:

Defense Contingency Contracting Handbook

DA PAM 715–16
Contractor Deployment Guide. Procedures for contractor operations within the Department of the Army. Chapters 10 & 11 cover a variety of issues for hostages, including identification, aid, rights, etc. Department of the Army, February 27, 1998

AR 715-9
Contractors Accompanying the Force, November 29, 1999

Field Manual FM 3-100.21 (formerly FM 100-10-2)
Contractors on the Battlefield, Department of the Army, January 3, 2003. General overview of responsibilities includes brief passages and references on Personnel Recovery, Next of Kin Notification, etc.

Army Publishing Directorate
Everything you ever wanted to read in PDF format from the US Army but can't get access to without a password and login. Great way to double check titles and numbers. Also see:
Department of the Army Official Publishing sites
Lists other websites to find publications - alas, some with secure logins

Army Knowledge Online (AKO)
All Departmental Publications and Forms, including distribution-restricted Items

Army Home Page (AHP)
All Unrestricted Departmental Publications and Forms

U.S. Army Publishing Directorate (APD)
Administrative Departmental Publications and Forms (ARs, CIRs, PAMs, OFs, SFs, DD and DA Forms)

U.S. Army Materiel Command (AMC) Logistics Support Activity
Technical and Equipment Publications(TMs, TBs and SCs)

U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command
Training and Doctrinal Publications (FMs, PBs, TCs and STPs)

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Training & Doctrinal, Technical & Equipment Publications with Engineering & Design Criteria (TMs and FMs)

The Surgeon General/Medical Command
Training & Doctrinal, Technical & Equipment Publications with Medical Content (TMs, FMs, and SB 8-75 Series Publications)

Department of Defense Forms
Just what it sounds like. Standard forms galore. See DD Form 1833 Isolated Personnel Report (ISOPREP)
Standard Forms and Casualty Reporting

Everything starts with a standardized form for information.

Significant Activity reports are typically the very first incident report generated in the field.

Synchronized Predeployment and Operational Tracker (SPOT). Registration for contractors working overseas.

Defense Casualty Information Processing System. Electronic reporting system used to report and track casualties.

Armed Forces Casualty Assistance Readiness Enhancement System, March 2007. Electronic system for tracking the progress of a casualty through the system. General order of flow: Initial Contact - Initial Visit - Interment - Disposition of Benefits - Disposition of Personal Effects - Disposition of Investigative Reports - Case After Action Report

Form DS-2060
Report of the Death of an American Citizen Abroad

Casualty Matters

AI Part 52.2 01  (DOC)
Basic form to provide to the Contracting Officer for reporting a hostage. See Part 52, page 31, Hostage Reporting instruction, Joint Contracting Command,  May 2007

AR 15-6 (PDF)
Commanders responsibilities in initiating an investigation of a casualty. Procedures for Investigating Officers and Boards of Officers, Department of the Army, October 2, 2006

AR 600-8-1 Army Casualty Program
Chapter 13 - Procedures for Casualties Involving Missing Persons (Non-Hostile and Hostile)

Legal Guide for Commanders including authority for an AR-15 investigation

DODI 1300.18 Casualty Matters, Policies
Personnel Casualty Matters, Policies, and Procedures

DODD 1300.22
Mortuary Affairs, November 21, 2003 Disposition of remains, personal effects, etc.

DODD 2310.2
General policy for Personnel Recovery, Department of Defense, December 22, 2000

DODI 2310.4
Repatriation of Prisoners of War, Hostages, Peacetime Government Detainees and Other Missing or Isolated Personnel

DODI 2310.05 Missing Persons
Accounting for Missing Persons – Boards of Inquiry, Department of Defense, March 14, 2008

DODI 3001.03
Responsibility for disposition of human remains. Accounting for Personnel Lost in Past Conflicts – The Armed Forces Identification Review Board (AFIRB), March 14, 2008

Annual Reports of Missing Persons

Military Casualty and Loss

DOS Country Reports on Terrorism
Annual reports on terrorism incidents (includes kidnappings) of American citizens, listed by year since 2000. Country Reports on Terrorism, US Department of State

NCTC Reports on Terrorism
Annual reports of incidents. National Counterterrorism Center

Searchable database of worlwide terrorism incidents. Search kidnapping. Worldwide Incidents Tracking System, National Counterterrorism Center


AI Acquisition Instruction 
AR Army Regulation
DODI Department of Defense Instruction
DODD Department of Defense Directive
FAM Foreign Affairs Manual (State Department)
FM Field Manual

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Missing Deserter

While serving in Iraq, a  Lebanese-American, US Marine Corporal Wassef Ali Hassoun, went missing on June 19, 2004. A week later a videotape provided to Al Jazeera purportedly showed Hassoun held as a hostage. On July 8, 2004, Hassoun suddenly arrived at the embassy in Beirut, Lebanon.

After an investigation into his disappearance, in 2005, Hassoun was charged with desertion. Hassoun disappeared for a second time and is believed to be hiding in Lebanon.

Missing Utah Marine's story could become TV movie
By Jennifer Dobner, Associated Press, Bloomberg, February 11, 2011

The strange tale of a Utah Marine corporal charged with desertion after allegedly faking his own kidnapping in Iraq may be told in a television movie after all, although it may not have input from Wassef Ali Hassoun [the missing guy], or his family.

Los Angeles publicist Michael Sands worked with the family in 2005 on a $1 million book and movie deal to clear Hassoun's name. The deals fell apart after the family balked at signing a contract.

Sands told The Associated Press he now plans to tell the story on his own.

"The Deserter" is a television movie by Sands and retired FBI agent Bob Hamer. It chronicles the Hassoun story and Sands' own role trying to help the family.
The disappearance of Hassoun is not included in the table of Americans Missing in Iraq. I have no idea if a SIGACT report exists for either his 'abduction' or his re-appearance. I just don't find myself motivated enough to even want to look.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Kidnap & Rescue - Discovery Channel

Episode 105 of a new television series on Discovery Channel, Kidnap & Rescue, will feature Dan O'Shea, former coordinator of the Hostage Working Group in Iraq. A short bio is available at the Discovery Channel website. Kidnap & Rescue premiered January 29, 2011.

Brief interview with O'Shea at the Huffington Post.

Making the Hunters the Hunted: Exploring Hostage-Rescue
By Heather Robinson, Huffington Post, January 29, 2011

[Dan] O'Shea is a consulting producer of "Kidnap & Rescue" on the Discovery Channel, a series on the "global kidnapping crisis" that premiered Saturday night. The series will cover the efforts of O'Shea and others to combat political kidnappings in global hot spots and also cover areas like the kidnapping of businesspeople for ransom, kidnapping for money or revenge by drug cartels, and the kidnapping of women and children by promulgators of child pornography and sex slavery. Saturday's episode focused on Mexican drug cartels; episode five will feature O'Shea.
Side note: the Hostage Working Group was also called the Office of Hostage Affairs at the US Embassy in Baghdad, Iraq.

Dan O'Shea biography distributed in a press release from the Discovery Channel.
Additional Information

Kidnap & Rescue - online clips

Kidnap & Rescue Biographies
Discovery Press Web, December 22, 2010

Previous Related Posts

Hostage Working Group - background information
April 1, 2006

Office of Hostage Affairs - background information
September 8, 2006