What's out there? - Work as a Security Consultant

The following case studies are based on some of the experience of the XC3 directors, and are therefore slightly narrow in scope in that they were all appropriate jobs for an ex Army Officer / SNCO. The do however give a good indication of some of the diverse types of work available.

Operations Liaison Coordinator - Algeria - Oil and Gas

Algeria is the second largest country in Africa and is one of north africa's major oil and gas producing countries. Since gaining independence from a century of French rule in 1962 there has been a prolonged period of instability. During the 1990's 100,000 people were killed in the civil war between the government and funamentalist Islamic Salvation Front (FIS) . The FIS disarmed in 2001 but small numbers of armed militants continue to attack government forces, mainly in the more populated coastal belt.

The desert south of the coastal littoral is under military control. It is also where the oil and gas reserves are. Major foreign companies operating in the Algerian Sahara include: Amerada Hess, Baker Group, BP, Burlington , Gaz de France, Gulf-Keystone, Halliburton, Petronas, Repsol, Shlumberger, Statoil, Total.

It is forbidden for expatriate security personnel to operate in Algeria . Foreign companies instead have expatriate Operations Liaison Coordinators (OLC). It is the OLC's prim ary role to liaise between the company and the Algerian military or gendarme detachments who provide the physical security to all sites occupied by expats in the military controlled zone. OLCs also provide an emergency trauma response role in addition to fulfilling a large degree of logistical functions by road and air. This includes off-road desert driving and managing fixed wing air operations often in remote areas

Almost every function of the oil and gas operation involves expatriate staff starting with seismic survey schemes, through exploration drilling, extraction, production and pipeline laying will also involve OLCs and remote area Medics.

The typical requirements for work in this field are:

French – ideally fluent but to at least level 2 some Arabic is a bonus
Maturity – mid 30's and upwards
Interpersonal skills – this is a liaison role between high value clients and high ranking military.
Initiative and self reliance.
Off road desert driving ability
Medical skills to ER level

Typical rewards:

29/27 day rotations. 4 weeks on (29 days) 4 weeks off (27 days)
Average remuneration £300 per day in country plus travel days and expenses.

Who gets the jobs?

Typically former SF/SD & French Foreign Legion French SF personnel however there are a wide variety of backgrounds represented including: Footguards, Line Infantry, Para Reg, Mostly SNCOs, although they do include the odd Officer.

Military Training Task – Middle East

There are a number of overseas training tasks which were historically the preserve of the British Army which have since been contracted-out to consultancy firms. This is an example of one recent contract:

During 2003 a consulting company secured a contract to train the land forces of a gulf state in internal security and public order. The training package was essentially based upon pre-Northern Ireland public order training. It was delivered to a unit at a time by 3 man training teams teaching a company at a time over a 2 week period.

The team was composed of SNCOs and officers all of whom had extensive operational experience in Northern Ireland and had served as instructors in some form. Team members included former NITW instructors, loan service training team members and unit training officers.

The training was delivered 5 days a week from before sunrise until mid day and the team lived in 5 star hotels. Outside work hours the team had full use of the hotel facilities and local environment.

The requirements:

Internal Security & Public Order Operational experience
Training experience at unit level or above.

The rewards:

If spending 2 months in 5 star accommodation with an option for spouses to fly out wasn't enough the team was also paid £5000 per month plus business class air travel, and per diem expenses.

UN Security Auditing

Annually some UN humanitarian agencies are required to conduct security audits and risk assessments for their operations worldwide.

All the major UN agencies have directly hired security officers. These officers are either salaried or work on a consultancy basis. The majority of auditing is conducted by regular staff and consultants, however any short-fall in expertise is often outsourced. This example discusses a recent example of this.

A consultant was contracted through a security consultancy company to conduct threat assessments and security audits of humanitarian operations in Afghanistan , Azerbaijan , Pakistan and Yemen over a 3 month period. The role included extensive discussion with security providers and government agencies, the conduct of contextual threat analysis, and the assessment of physical security measures and operating procedures, including evacuation and medical emergency plans. Finally comprehensive reports about the agency's operations in each country were submitted to the agency head office.

The practical aspects on any day included extensive air travel, both international and internal, long days flying and/or driving from location to location, in some cases off-road, conducting self recoveries, navigation, provision of medical care, liaison with government ministers and international diplomats, hotel rooms, tables for one and typing reports into the night.

The Requirements:

Military service – SNCO minimum
A degree – UN Stipulation
A second language – UN Stipulation
Interpersonal skills
IT Literacy & excellent written communication skills.

The Rewards:

Daily rate of pay £350 plus per diem expenses as set for each country by the UN.

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