Private Security Companies In Iraq – Have They Effected Rete

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by BuzzMan, Oct 21, 2005.

  1. Yes - It does have consequences on retention

  2. No - The X-Factor is more than enough


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  1. Dear All,

    The commitment of the UK Armed Forces is greater now than ever before and we see our young soldiers accumulating vast rows of medals for their troubles (medals not money for the sake of this argument). The main point to this thread is regarding the retention of our world-class soldiers and if the high-paid, high-glam life of the Private Security Operators is stealing them away in drips or droves?

    An interview was presented on CNN recently in which a US Sergeant said that he was unhappy with the amount of money that he was being paid for risking his life in unpleasant conditions (Iraq in this instance). The reason for his dissatisfaction was simple: His monthly salary equated to $2900 while a young civilian KBR bus driver received $10K for driving his bus within an operational base in Basrah or Baghdad. Not part of the private security argument but still relevant for the sake of the wage differences.

    I was quite keen to open this point up to the masses as I have been working with the US guys recently and this opinion is fairly common amongst most that I’ve spoken too.

    As a second consideration, I have seen the UK Bn's and RM formations deploy in Basrah, where in true Brit style; they have performed to the world-class standards that differentiates us from the rest. The relevance to this fact is that the British soldiers operate in arduous conditions for a few quid, compared to their PSO rivals on mega money. A PSO is on roughly 275 pounds a day and Pte sldr on slightly less!

    Is MOD responsible for this ‘us and them’ scenario, as those personnel that have deployed to Iraq are fully aware that a good number of Private Security Companies are allowed to virtually co-exist with our troops; hence, developing a situation where the Brit squaddie becomes irritated and dissatisfied with his end of the deal.
  2. I dont see employment with a PMC as a career. Its great for those who retire at 20 and still want to contribute. Those who put in with a PMC for short term gain may regret it 10 years down the road when world conditions change and they are unemployed.
  3. But TH6, in 10 years time, they wouldn't need to be employed!
  4. Some of our lads bailed out and are earning £60k a year for doing less than they would be had they remained in. Fair enough, it's no way to live your life but 9 weeks on and three off (paid) for a couple of years certainly helps them out on the housing front when they decide to give it up. If you're not married and no ties, then it has to be an attractive financial offer.

    Not everyone in the Army wants to make a career out of it. In fact not everyone wants a career. Just look at the trends in the jobs market back home. People move around and make alot of money and they don't have to put up with the crap we do. For those of us in the pension trap, it would be madness to go, but some don't see it like that.

    If I wasn't married and so close to my pension, I'd have been off with them.

    Good luck to anyone who does it. It may be short term but we're not talking months here and a couple of years doing something like that whilst you are relatively young won't do you any harm.
  5. Another point to consider is that PSO's in Iraq do not have the back-up facilities that British troops have out here. For example the Medical services troops have available. If a PSO agent is wounded they cannot I belive call up a helicopter for a quick flight to SLB and treatment. If they are captured then the RRW will not come crashing through the walls to rescue them. Additionally they are subject to Iraqi laws so if they are arrested there is no immunity like we enjoy. Whether this applies to firms contracted by the Government I am not sure, but this is also why they are on £300 a day or so.

    As the saying goes, "You pays your money you take your chance"
  6. Three months on one month off,paid leave, live in an american camp with access to their facilities, Dining, medical, recreational etc. just like being in the Army but with no BS and $140 000. a year.
    There will always be conflict, therefore there will always be a need for trained security operators to protect people in these conflict areas, and if not there are plenty of more 'mercenary' type jobs out there for those who wish to take that risk

    GUNDOG, for those contracted to the US Govt, we do have the use of their medical facilities, if available we can call for air assets and QRF if we are really in the crap, and as far as I know, well for us anyway, I dont think we are subject to Iraqi laws, we operate for a dept of the US govt. FOR NOW we dont have to let Iraqi police stop search or detain any of us whilst out on the road, however as they get more power and control of their country again, things might change
  7. Earn Big Spend Big.
    Can't really blame anyone for following the money but those who have Stars in their eyes so often fail to invest their windfall and burn out young.
    Youth is wasted on the young.
  8. Feeling your age Jon?
  9. A few quick things to consider about PSCs.

    1. PVR rates in the Parachute Regiment and RM are at their lowest for over 15 yrs - entirely due to PSCs. Recruitment into UKSF is perilously low as a result.
    2. The UN will shortly approve a series of measures that will ratify the employment of PSCs in lieu of conventional armed forces, typically for force protection missions. This will virtually guarantee the longevity of the phenomenon of PSCs.
    3. There is a great deal of concern in HMG about PSCs - after all, they are mercenaries. Anyone seriously considering joining one of these bands fo merry men would be well advised to read this to understand the UK position, and why you may find yourselves dying alone on a street corner in Baghdad within minutes of coalition troops.

    A good friend of mine was offered a job by a very reputable PSC - over £100k pa - but as a 'high flying' officer, he stood to lose far more in the long run. In addition, it is alarming how many of these companies are little more than collections of walters with extremely dodgy backgrounds. Phoenix, CRG and Armorgroup are generally considered to be the market leaders. Not impressed by Erinyes.

    Good luck to anyone who fancies a crack at this.
  10. Ah Biscuits a mans as old as the woman he feels
    Thinks I'll feel like a teenager later
  11. What's wrong with Erinys?
  13. i was recently offered a job out in iraq as a fleet manager for one of said PSC.

    ill grant it was a lot more than what im on now, but, i had reservations for the long term, the job i have now is a good one and it takes me worldwide at someone elses expense. when the PSC work dried up would i find another job like the one i have now?

    id definately have to sell the RS6 audi id have bought when the pop star wages started too!

    i think people have to weigh up the pros and cons of such a job, not to mention the danger involved also. and who would look after my dog?!
  14. Thanks for the info Buzzman, I suppose it does depend who you work for and who they are contracted by that determines the level of back-up available. I do believe it is having an effect on retention as a buddy told me that all around SLB they have little Propaganda posters up saying how much better off you are in the Army while in Iraq. The financial offer is too big a pull for some and they decide that the grass is greener on the other side of the wire. Figuring it is worth the risk to save up an appreciable amount of cash.

    However if I was to tell Mrs Gundog that I am signing off to go work for a PSO the money will come in handy for paying the hospital bills I would be left with after she had finished savaging me!
  15. Also, what degree of political/strategic risk do they create? Some of the PSO topliners have interests in Kurdish oilfields - do you really want to be signed up to the Kurds against the rest? Some strategic supposed-geniuses are of the view that mercenaries+Shias and Kurds=victory in Iraq. I don't agree. There are a lot of people in that business who are likely to cause more trouble than they solve (ER-AFH) - and who will save you then?