Training Special Ops to Handle Civilian Contrators In “Persistent Conflict”

Class is in session

Photo credit Sgt. Tony Hawkins

Lt. Col. Dennis McGowan, commander, 905th Contingency Contracting Battalion, speaks to U.S. Army Special Operations Command Soldiers in the Operational Contracting Support Course at Fort Bragg, N.C. The training was sponsored by the 9th Psychological Operations Battalion.

FORT BRAGG, N.C. (USASOC News Service) — More than 50 U.S. Army Special Operations Command Soldiers finished up a new two-week contracting support course designed to enlighten them on procedures for establishing and managing contracts in a deployed environment.

The Operational Contracting Support Course, normally designed to train brigade staff officers in contracting support planning and management, was taught to psychological operations, civil affairs and special forces Soldiers in two classes over a two-week period.

Retired Lt. Col. Robert Gould, a former contracting officer and the instructor of the course, came from the Army Logistics University at Fort Lee, Va., at the request of the 4th Psychological Operations Group (Airborne) to present the information to the USASOC Soldiers.

“This course is not for contracting officers, but instead for the brigade-level staff officers of operational units, or any other individuals who may handle contracts,” Gould said. “Of course, we had to tailor it somewhat to the USASOC audience, to gear it for smaller four or five-man teams.”

Many of the students in the course, which was the first of its kind taught to USASOC Soldiers, were part of military information support teams. These teams, which usually consist of four Soldiers or less, deploy independently to foreign nations and work alongside the U.S. State Department in embassies around the world.

“These Soldiers are taught how to integrate contracting into their military decision-making process,” he said. “So at the end of the day, the need for contracting isn’t a surprise and will be an integrated effort which was planned for, not a last minute idea.”

Gould said the course is gaining momentum. So far he has instructed nine classes graduating around 150 people from the course. Week one consists of classroom instruction, and during week two, students participate in a hands-on practical training exercise.

“This course was created in response to the Gansler Commission back in 2007,” Gould said. “Once these Soldiers graduate, they are capable of doing everything from writing a statement of work and filling out funding documents, to managing contracts and contracting officer representatives.”

Once these Soldiers graduate the course and head overseas, they should not feel alone when it comes to contracting support, said Lt. Col. Dennis McGowan, the commander of the 905th Contingency Contracting Battalion.

Contingency contracting teams of the 905th are aligned to USASOC for the purpose of providing operational contracting support and training. The unit is increasing in capability and has been gaining visibility throughout USASOC since it stood up in October 2009.

The 905th is a subordinate command of the U.S. Army Expeditionary Contracting Command.

“Every single day we’re answering the phone with an issue here or there,” McGowan said. “The Army makes contracted support available to units, but we’ve never taught them the specifics of how to use it.”

That’s where the importance of OCSC comes in.

“This would be good training for any USASOC Soldier directly involved in contracts, whether they’re Special Forces, Civil Affairs or PSYOP,” he said. “Much of the time the end result of civil affairs and PSYOP missions is brought to bear through contracting. For example, television or radio airtime, or hard copy products for the PSYOP guys, or some sort of construction project for civil affairs.”

“Our Soldiers and teams often deploy to austere environments where the support structure is extremely limited, and contracting is a vital means in assisting with our development and distribution of PSYOP products to support the mission,” said Col. Carl Phillips, the 4th Psychological Operations Group commander.

With such new information being presented to the Soldiers, who often rely on specific U.S. embassy procedures to establish contracts, there were bound to be questions.

“The biggest question I get is, ‘How do I get contracting support?” McGowan said.

His advice was to try and solve the problem locally first, as nothing happens in a country without the U.S. ambassador’s approval. However, he assured all of the students he is just a phone call or an email away.

“The 905th is USASOC’s operational contracting support provider and advocate,” he said. “We may not always be the ones to provide your support, but we will find the right contracting office to support you. We will make sure USASOC receives the operation contracting support they need.”

As McGowan and Gould begin to receive positive feedback from the students and others within the PSYOP community, there is interest in incorporating some of the contracting support training into the psychological operations advanced individual training at the U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School.

“The lessons in this course are incredibly valuable and given the nature of our mission, should at least be introduced in the pipeline,” said Capt. Sherri Fazzio, a tactical PSYOP team leader from 9th Psychological Operating Battalion and one of the students in the course.

With word spreading about the importance of the course, McGowan said it is likely OCSC will become an annual or even bi-annual training opportunity for USASOC Soldiers.

BHRC (Canada) Strongly condemns the Pakistani Paramilitary attack on Baloch families in Quetta, Balochistan

BHRC (Canada) Strongly condemns the Pakistani Paramilitary attack on Baloch families in Quetta, Balochistan

on 2010/4/21 0:00:00 (84 reads)
RGENT PRESS RELEASE

Toronto, April 20, 2010 – Baloch Human Rights Council (Canada) condemns in the strongest words the brutal and cowardly pre-dawn paramilitary attack on Baloch families in Quetta, Balochistan. In an urgent press statement released today, BHRC expressed deepest sorrow over the loss of life of a brave Baloch woman, Ms. Mehnaz Mengal and arbitrary arrests of more than 250 men in a raid by the Pakistani security forces.

According to sources in Balochistan and the Baloch media, this unprovoked paramilitary operation began between 4:00 a.m. and 5:00 a.m. on April 20, 2010.

Sources stated that the whole area, comprising of hundreds of houses was completely surrounded by the heavily armed Frontier Constabulary (paramilitary organization) and cordoned off from the rest of the city. None of the media personnel of local TV networks, photographers, and reporters were allowed to enter the area where a house to house search was underway for Baloch political activists.

Baloch media states that during the search operation women and children were harassed, manhandled, and humiliated at gunpoint by the security forces. Any kind of resistance by the families to the unlawful invasion of their privacy was dealt with excessive use of brutal force that resulted in the death of Ms. Mehnaz Mengal when she intervened to save her son from the soldiers. According to sources, more than 250 men and youth of the families were beaten, handcuffed, and whisked away to a military camp for interrogation.

BHRC (Canada) questioned the legitimacy of this barbaric act of the security forces and strongly criticized the Pakistani lawmakers in the Senate, National Assembly, and Balochistan Assembly in relation to the recently approved Balochistan Package and the 18th Amendment Bill of Pakistan Constitution that was supposedly meant to provide guarantees to the safety of life and welfare of the people of Balochistan. This is yet another proof that Pakistan’s powerful military establishment sees Balochistan as an occupied territory where the only response to the political and economic demands is a military solution.

BHRC (Canada) believes that this recent operation is part of a larger plan to ethnically cleanse Quetta of the Baloch people. Sources in Balochistan indicate that this was a test case for the original plan of attack in future on New Kahan, a Marri tribal settlement in Quetta. New Kahan is a new urban settlement where the families of displaced Marri Baloch tribesmen have sought refuge in the aftermath of Pakistan Air Force’s aerial bombings and the complete destruction of their ancestral villages.

BHRC (Canada) appeals to the international humanitarian organizations and leaders of the western democracies to take urgent action and save innocent Baloch men, women and children from the atrocities committed by the Pakistani state and its security forces.

Source: Baluch Sarmachaar

Baloch Woman killed, 200+ activists detained in massive search operation in Quetta

The Baloch Hal News

QUETTA: Security forces unleashed a massive search operation in Baloch-populated localities of Quetta city throughout Tuesday, killing the mother of a Baloch political activist and rounding up around two hundred people hailing from assorted domains of life.

The crack down has opened floodgates of criticism of Baloch nationalist parties which have called for widespread protest rallies to condemn the door-to-door search operation at Baloch households.

According to the details, security forces arrested around three hundred Balochs in search operations in Qili Ismail, Kechi Baig,Qili Qambarani, Sariab, and Kili Sarday, Wali Jet localities of Quetta city. Eyewitnesses said personnel of police, Anti-Terrorist Force (ATF) and the Frontier Corps (FC) entered into the houses and beat up different people before taking them into custody. The search operation, according to the officials, was intended to arrest suspects involved in Friday’s suicide bomb blast, kidnappings, target killings and other violent cases that are taking place in Quetta.

The whole day witnessed clashes between the government functionaries and the civilians who were beaten up, blindfolded and taken to unknown locations by the government. In one similar search operation, the mother of an activist from the Balochistan National Party (BNP), Sanaullah Mengal, was killed by the forces allegedly by applying violent means.

Habib Jalib Baloch, the central secretary general of the BNP, told Baloch Hal that the forces tortured the old lady which caused her death. The mother of the BNP activist was identified as Shahnaz Bibi.

The Baloch National Front (BNF) has strongly condemned the search operation and pledged to avenge the killing of Shahnaz Bibi saying that the Baloch traditions encouraged taking revenge for the killing of one person.

The BNF, led by professor Saba Dashthayari and Shahzaib Baloch, took out a protest rally in front of Quetta Press Club in the afternoon to protest against the arrest of hundreds of political workers and common civilians in the freshly launched search operation against the Baloch population.

The BNF announced to observe a complete strike throughout Balochistan on April 26 against the killing of Shahnaz Bibi and the arrests, saying that protest rallies would be taken outside press clubs in Turbat on April 22, Noshki (24 April) and Panjgur (25 April) to lodge a democratic protest against the grave violation of human rights in Balochistan by the security forces under the pretext of maintaining law and order.

Speaking in the protest rally, the BNF leaders said the Balochistan Package and the recent 18th Amendment Bill did not mean anything for Balochs, nor would it deter the Baloch national struggle in any form. The Baloch people do have a history of taking revenge for its martyrs rather than shedding tears over such instances when its brave sons are killed, they said.

“We will not tolerate people like Mushahid Hussain Syed to step on the Baloch land,” said one of the speakers. Balochs have become very conscious about their national rights and the exploitation they have come under over the past many years.

The BNF leaders severely castigated the media for taking the government’s side and not reporting the widespread arrest of Balochs in the search operation.

Chief of the Balochistan National Party and former chief minister of Balochistan, Sardar Akhtar Mengal has also strongly condemned the crack down on the Baloch people in Quetta by terming it as a continuity of the previous government’s policies against the Baloch people. He described the arrests as the harbinger of a new military operation being launched in Balochistan.

He said the current governments in Islamabad and Balochistan were totally powerless and the real power still rested with the establishment which did not intentionally want the improvement of the situation in Balochistan. The establishment is working on a policy of genocide against the Baloch people while the Sariab Road operation has violated and disfigured the Baloch code of honor as the forces entered people’s homes and humiliated women and children.

The Mengal Sardar said the 18th amendment was totally meaningless for the Baloch people as no change had taken place in Balochistan even after the signing of the 18th amendment bill by the president of Pakistan. “There is no let-up in repression of the Baloch people. The democratic rulers are powerless. The military establishment wants to keep the Balochs as slaves in Pakistan but history clearly shows that we have never bowed on gunpoint and we will no surrender this time too,” he said.

A spokesman for the National Party (NP) also strongly condemned the operation against the Baloch people on Tuesday saying that the deployment of the FC was not meant to eliminate lawlessness but to eliminate the Baloch nation.

The Baloch National Front (BNF) is going to protest against the operation in Karachi today (Wednesday) while Baloch students studying in Islamabad have also decided to take up the issue and demonstrate in the federal capital against the latest developments in Balochistan

US Blowing the Whole Crapshoot By Pushing Turkey to Abandon Azerbaijan

Azerbaijani presidential administration envoy: By pushing Turkey to abandon Azerbaijan, U.S. risks alienating one of its most important and reliable partners in region

Azerbaijan, Baku, April 21 /Trend, M.Aliyev/

By pushing Turkey to abandon Azerbaijan, the United States risks alienating one of its most important and reliable partners in a critical region of the world, Novruz Mammadov, the Head of the Foreign Relations Department of the Presidential Administration of Azerbaijan, told English version of Radio Liberty in his commentary on the current situation in U.S.-Azerbaijan relations.

“Azerbaijan and Turkey are strategic allies with deep historical ties. Turkey has played an important role in Azerbaijan’s partnership with the West on key security and energy projects. Azerbaijan spearheaded the opening of Caspian energy resources to the West and insisted that major oil and gas pipelines be routed through Georgia and Turkey. Baku has also wholeheartedly supported U.S. security initiatives by sending troops to Kosovo, Iraq, and Afghanistan. Azerbaijan also provides supply-transit support for the NATO effort in Afghanistan. Those who know the region understand the significant risks Azerbaijan took and the pressure it overcame in order to pursue close cooperation with the West on energy and security issues,” Mammadov said.

According to Mammadov, long-term peace and normalization of relations in the South Caucasus cannot be achieved by rewarding aggression and by excluding the region’s strategically most important country.

Mammadov said that Armenia’s closed borders are the main form of leverage that might compel Yerevan to engage seriously in the resolution of the conflict.

“Washington believes that a Turkish-Armenian rapprochement could kill two birds with one stone. First, it might smooth over — at least temporarily — one of the major trouble spots in U.S.-Turkish relations: the issue of Armenian genocide claims. Second, some U.S. officials argue that improving ties between Armenia and Turkey will ultimately contribute to a resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. They appear to believe improved relations will lead to a moderation of Armenian policies and open the way to new initiatives on Karabakh. However, we must disagree. Armenia continues to occupy almost 20 percent of Azerbaijan’s internationally recognized territory. It is ironic that while claiming to be the first victim of genocide in the 20th century, Armenia itself carried out one of the century’s major ethnic-cleansing campaigns in Europe — a campaign that resulted in thousands of deaths and the displacement of nearly 1 million Azerbaijanis. There is no reason to believe that opening the borders will make Armenia more willing to compromise; on the contrary, removing this sole punishment will only increase Armenia’s interest in further entrenching the status quo,” Mammadov said.

According to representative of the Azerbaijani Presidential Administration, many members of the Armenian political elite — including President Serge Sarkisian — rose through the ranks because of their personal involvement in the Nagorno-Karabakh war. “They have used the war as a pretext for strengthening their own hold over Armenian politics, so it is not surprising that they have not been constructive in settlement talks,” said Mammadov.

Do you have any feedback? Contact our journalist at trend@trend.az

World Trade Center–Classic Controlled Demolition

World Trade Center–Classic Controlled Demolition

As seen in this revealing photo, the Twin Towers’ destruction exhibited all of the characteristics of destruction by explosives:

  1. Destruction proceeds through the path of greatest resistance at nearly free-fall acceleration
  2. Improbable symmetry of debris distribution
  3. Extremely rapid onset of destruction
  4. Over 100 first responders reportedexplosions and flashes
  5. Multi-ton steel sections ejected laterally
  6. Mid-air pulverization of 90,000 tons of concrete & metal decking
  7. Massive volume of expandingpyroclastic-like clouds
  8. 1200-foot-dia. debris field: no “pancaked” floors found
  9. Isolated explosive ejections 20 – 40 stories below demolition front
  10. Total building destruction: dismemberment of steel frame
  11. Several tons of molten metal found under all 3 high-rises
  12. Evidence of thermite incendiariesfound by FEMA in steel samples
  13. Evidence of explosives found in dust samples
  14. No precedent for steel-framed high-rise collapse due to fire

And exhibited none of the characteristics of destruction by fire, i.e.

  1. Slow onset with large visible deformations
  2. Asymmetrical collapse which follows the path of least resistance (laws of conservation of momentum would cause a falling, intact, from the point of plane impact, to the side most damaged by the fires)
  3. Evidence of fire temperatures capable of softening steel
  4. High-rise buildings with much larger, hotter, and longer lasting fires have never “collapsed”

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WTC Building #7, a 47-story high-rise not hit by an airplane, exhibited all the characteristics of classic controlled demolition with explosives:

1.   Rapid onset of “collapse”
2.   Sounds of explosions at ground floor – a second before the building’s destruction
3.   Symmetrical “structural failure” — through the path of greatest resistance –at free-fall acceleration
4.   Imploded, collapsing completely, and landed in its own footprint
5.   Massive volume of expandingpyroclastic dust clouds
6.   Several tons of molten metal reported by numerous highly-qualified witnesses
7.   Chemical signature of thermite (high tech incendiary) found in solidified molten metal, and dust samples
8.   FEMA finds rapid oxidation andintergranular melting on structural steel samples
9.   Expert corroboration from the top European Controlled Demolition professional
10.   Fore-knowledge of “collapse” by media, NYPD, FDNY

And exhibited none of the characteristics of destruction by fire, i.e.

1.   Slow onset with large visible deformations
2.   Asymmetrical collapse which follows the path of least resistance (laws of conservation of momentum would cause a falling, to the side most damaged by the fires)
3.   Evidence of fire temperatures capable of softening steel
4.   High-rise buildings with much larger, hotter, and longer lasting fires have never “collapsed”.