My uncle is going to be a civi driver for the US in iraq...

#1
My uncle is going to be a civi driver for the US army, driving articulated trucks. as im not in the forces yet I can only take my info from the news, which we all know can be as useful as tits on fish sometimes.

I know the main dangers would be IED’s or small arms fire, so I have a few questions so please if you can answer them and add any relevant info that you feel useful that I could pass on to him…

Are the still kidnapping of civi western contractors?
In your professional opinion what is the percentage of his truck being hit by small arms fire/IED’s?

Cheers for all your help
 
D

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#2
Insurance, lots and lots of insurance, death, disability and anything else you can find....lots!!

Oh and a nice set of kevlar in blue.
 
#3
Fair play.

I was a Warrior Commander in Basra and I shat my pants on occasion, so driving an unarmoured truck around Baghdad takes balls.

I wouldn't do it for all of the WMDs in Iraq.
 

dpcw

War Hero
#6
Perhaps you need to view some of the decaptiation videos and show them to your uncle. :(
 
#8
Insurance, lots and lots of insurance
What he said.

I actually can't recall the last time I heard of an American civilian trucker killed in Iraq, barring a beheading way back in 2003/2004 so he's probably pretty safe. However, the main reason I suggest to my troops that they not take up an offer to go back in private commercial capacity is the benefits in the event that you are injured. The US Army will take care of you, to the best of its ability (Even if the hospital is rat-infested). Most commercial operations in the area won't give you a hospital at all, rat-infested or otherwise.

He'll earn a fair bit of dosh, though.

In your professional opinion what is the percentage of his truck being hit by small arms fire/IED’s?
Pretty good.

Percentage of him being hit, or the truck being immobilised/destroyed, pretty small. The MSRs are the most patrolled parts of Iraq, the insurgents are tending to conduct their anti-occupation attacks on lighter-surveilled patrol routes. Planting a bomb on an MSR can just be too hazardous, and there are so many targets to attack when you -do- get away with it, the chances of it being your uncle's truck are pretty small.

NTM
 
#9
California_Tanker said:
Insurance, lots and lots of insurance
What he said.

I actually can't recall the last time I heard of an American civilian trucker killed in Iraq, barring a beheading way back in 2003/2004 so he's probably pretty safe. However, the main reason I suggest to my troops that they not take up an offer to go back in private commercial capacity is the benefits in the event that you are injured. The US Army will take care of you, to the best of its ability (Even if the hospital is rat-infested). Most commercial operations in the area won't give you a hospital at all, rat-infested or otherwise.

He'll earn a fair bit of dosh, though.

In your professional opinion what is the percentage of his truck being hit by small arms fire/IED’s?
Pretty good.

Percentage of him being hit, or the truck being immobilised/destroyed, pretty small. The MSRs are the most patrolled parts of Iraq, the insurgents are tending to conduct their anti-occupation attacks on lighter-surveilled patrol routes. Planting a bomb on an MSR can just be too hazardous, and there are so many targets to attack when you -do- get away with it, the chances of it being your uncle's truck are pretty small.

NTM
cheers for that, he has BUPA health care crap... so im not sure if they would cover him... the main worry was the IED's but that info has put our minds to rest (as much as it could)...

i thikn he was talking about having a gun the other day... do they give civi drivers weapon training and weapons?
 
#10
California_Tanker said:
....I actually can't recall the last time I heard of an American civilian trucker killed in Iraq, barring a beheading way back in 2003/2004 so he's probably pretty safe. However, the main reason I suggest to my troops that they not take up an offer to go back in private commercial capacity is the benefits in the event that you are injured. The US Army will take care of you, to the best of its ability (Even if the hospital is rat-infested). Most commercial operations in the area won't give you a hospital at all, rat-infested or otherwise.....

NTM
Sept 06

This caused some controversy as the driver claimed to have been abandoned by convoy escorts.

Insurance wise, not sure if the Defence Bases Act still stands, but some firms used to get reasonable cover that way.

PP, Has anything changed dramatically in your uncles life recently? recent divorce, unexpected tumours, BASE jumping not hitting the spot, sh*t CR, etc etc

or has he been reading too much Robert Young Pelton?
 
#11
Kidnappings is Baghdad, and for that matter in other areas of North of Baghdad are according to my sources increasing.

There are different objectives depending on the group taking hostages, not taking into acocunt Iraqis' being kidnapped at their' place of work or home, purely for the purpose of torture and execution. The torture / execution route, is predominately carried out by sectarian militias or groups affiliated to them.

Outside of this, Iraqis are increasingly being kidnapped solely for;

A: Financial Gain - Commonly, educated professionals will be kidnapped and a demand made of the hostage's family or business to pay up. This has also been a growing feature of the Southern Iraq situation. A point worth noting by anyone out there or heading out there.

B: Status - The mix of ethnic groups, religous orginaisations and tribal affiliations is very complex. Outside of the Shia / Sunni divide, collectively "we" are generally pretty ignorant of the effects of differing groups and their' aims. Think FRY magnified thirty-fold. Therefore, it is the case that gangs / groups that are taking hostages, often with the sole purpose of then passing the hostage to another group or militia, with the aim of then passing the hostage "up the chain" in order to gain status or carry favour with another group / militia.

The "Force Protection" of most civilian convoys means that although the civilian drivers are probably more in danger of injury or death from IED's, ambush, then targetted hostage taking.

That not withstanding, contractors finding themselves being kidnapped, are very likely to be passed onto one of the more commonly known militias, who have access to media facilities. It doesn't take much forethought, to work out what is likely to happen next.

So, get your uncle to break out the Arabic phrase book, carry a couple of thousand bucks with him and enjoy the scenic delights of Baghdad and the surrounding area. I'm assuming that uncle will be earning "pop star" wages for his duties, and like everything, it's ultimately his, risk versus benefit perspective.

Other than that, get him to take note of petite_butsweet's comment above.
 
#12
smallbrownprivates said:
California_Tanker said:
PP, Has anything changed dramatically in your uncles life recently? recent divorce, unexpected tumours, BASE jumping not hitting the spot, sh*t CR, etc etc

or has he been reading too much Robert Young Pelton?
nope... his personal life is fine, he had a mate that did it last year and get the crazy idea from him... been a civi all his life, but always wanted to join the army, but nan wouldn't let him sign up at 16 and he got a well paying job at 18 and didnt want to give it up... lazy fcuker...
 
#13
California_Tanker said:
I actually can't recall the last time I heard of an American civilian trucker killed in Iraq, barring a beheading way back in 2003/2004 so he's probably pretty safe.
maybe you should watch the video and read the interview with the american civvie driver a few months ago. his truck was immobilised in an ambush and the escort bugged out.

returned later and rescued him as he cowered in his cab, clutching his bowie knife. but not before he saw two other American drivers executed.

i'll see if i can find a link tomorrow, off to bed now.

ok had a quick look, found some bits:

from wiki
One notable battle during the fighting in Baghdad was on April 9, 2004. An American fuel convoy came under attack near the Baghdad International Airport. In what was described as a 5-mile long ambush, the 26-vehicle serial was pummeled by gunfire, mortar rounds and RPGs, disabling many of the civilian fuel tankers and Army vehicles. A total of 12 people from the convoy were killed: 2 American soldiers, 7 American private truck drivers and 3 Iraqi truck drivers. Another five American soldiers and 3 American truck drivers were wounded.

this is disturbing - 770 contractors working for US killed since 2003:

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/...21.story?coll=chi-news-hed&ctrack=1&cset=true

ah here we go, loren bradshaw was his name:

http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNe...06/iraq_ambush_060406/20060406?hub=TopStories


heres the video:

http://www.vidiac.com/video/72d2d6d0-410d-4a9b-ae52-9844002a3e32.htm

right, bed time.
 
#14
Fair play to the civi contractors who undertake the work, but i get the impression that they really don't know what they let themselves in for.

Personally they couldn't pay enough money to get me there.
 
#15
do they give civi drivers weapon training and weapons?
Depends on who he works for. Last I checked, KBR drivers were unarmed.

CRmeansCeilingReached said:
maybe you should watch the video and read the interview with the american civvie driver a few months ago. his truck was immobilised in an ambush and the escort bugged out.
I recall the controversy, and the escort did no such thing. If I recall, the escort actually did rather well considering the size of the attack against them. Fifteen soldiers vs over a hundred attackers. If they bugged out, Mr Wheeler would not have been able to tell his story at all. Every soldier of the fifteen received a valour award, some purple hearts.

One notable battle during the fighting in Baghdad was on April 9, 2004.
Well, I got the year right.

An American fuel convoy came under attack near the Baghdad International Airport. In what was described as a 5-mile long ambush, the 26-vehicle serial was pummeled by gunfire, mortar rounds and RPGs, disabling many of the civilian fuel tankers and Army vehicles. A total of 12 people from the convoy were killed: 2 American soldiers, 7 American private truck drivers and 3 Iraqi truck drivers. Another five American soldiers and 3 American truck drivers were wounded.
Fair enough, but that was an exception to the standard.

this is disturbing - 770 contractors working for US killed since 2003:
Doesn't surprise me. A lot of locals are contracted. We had our interpreter kidnapped and executed on the way to the base. A hazard which I doubt our friend's uncle is going to need to worry about.

ah here we go, loren bradshaw was his name
Preston Wheeler was the truck driver, actually. Bradshaw was just a colleague.

heres the video:
And here's the rebuttal.
http://www.roanoke.com/news/roanoke/wb/85517

In any case, this single incident three years ago is hardly indicative of the current 'average' state of affairs.

NTM
 
#16
1) yes
2) very high

a good set of body armour and knowing when to abandon ship will help him
 
#17
apologies california_tanker, had only heard bits and bobs about it. puts a very different light on the whingeing civvy.

the video probably gives his uncle an idea of what he's letting himself in for though...
 
#18
There was something on Live Leak about the Haliburton drivers having a pretty horrid time. They are unarmed and unarmoured and the "enemy" know it.
Some-one said that he thought that most of these drivers don't know what they are getting themselves into and that's probably true. If you are ex-military then you will have a shrewd idea idea of how unpleasant things can be when "enemy" are trying to kill you.
A lot of the drivers who took aid down to Kosovo & Sarajevo had a pretty shocking time and only did the one trip: Quite a few of them were ex-military and even they found it shocking
 
#19
When I was there the Yanks would escort massve convoys up from Kuwait with a slack handfull of guntrucks, don't know how they faired north of our controlled area but I think he'll be ok.

As has been said before get him to put the extra pay into life insurance though.
 
#20
I think your uncle needs to be aware of a few facts here namely:


1. Convoys and convoy security are THE most dangerous job in country and have been for a long time-all this is in an incredibly dangerous environment anyway. If he's driving for the military, those convoys get attacked ALL the time. North of Baghdad around Baquba there's a 100% certainty that you'll get attacked. The rest of the country's bad as well as you tend to stick to MSR Tampa-runs north and south along the whole country. And we're not talking a carload of Ali baba's leaning out of the car window either-we're talking large set piece deliberate ambushes with IED's/EFP's RPG's HMG's etc etc. Not the place to be if you're driving a fuel tanker!

2. I take it he'll be working with KBR/Halliburton or 'Klansman Brothers & Rednecks' by another name (or 'Keep Bush Rich!'). That nickname isn't far off the mark as they really are a bunch of rednecks (you can always tell the KBR people a mile off-just look for stupid beards, stetsons-yes really!-and cowboy boots). The money? 'Rockstar wages' it ain't thats for sure-a figure I heard was $100,00 per year tax free. That's £50k. For getting hammered every time you go out potentially-and you're not armed. You're working your nuts off on rediculous rotations as most US coys do-expect to work 3-4 months in country and then get maybe 2 weeks off. Rotate through-US tax laws only give you 30 DAYS at home to qualify you for tax-free status. And you're working for a massive company that doesn't really give a flying fck about you as long as you're earning them money, working alongside some complete deadheads (from what I've seen).


If you ask me-it's not worth the hassle.
 

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