US company wins $48 million contract to train new Iraqi army
US-based Vinnell Corporation, having recently lost nine employees in May’s Saudi terrorist attack, has been awarded a $48 million contract to train the nucleus of a new Iraqi Army. The cost-plus-fixed-fee contract was awarded by the US Army Contracting Agency Southern Region Contracting Center.
The Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA), which took control of the Arab state after US-led forces drove out former President Saddam Hussein, disbanded the former army last month. Vinnell, a subsidiary of Northrop Grumman Corporations, and its subcontractors began working at various locations in Iraq on July 1 under the one-year contract.
According to chief US administrator in Iraq, Ambassador Paul Bremer, the new army would be "considerably smaller" than the Iraqi military was under Saddam Hussein. The new army, he said would be "suited to a democratic nation". Service will be voluntary and advancement "will be based on merit and not on loyalty to any party." The initial 12,000-person army will increase to 40,000 within two years. "It will be Iraqi because it will be made up of Iraqi soldiers and commanded by Iraqi officers," said Bremer.
Vinnell’s nine employees were killed in the May 12th attack on a company facility in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. A residential and office facility used by employees was one of three compounds attacked. Of the nine Vinnell employees killed, seven were US citizens and two were citizens of the Philippines.
Vinnell is under contract to the US Army to provide training services to the Saudi Arabian National Guard. The company employs about 800 people in Riyadh, a combination of United States, Saudi Arabian and citizens of other countries. US citizens number 300.
Vinnell provides foreign military training in support of US government programs and operates and maintains facilities and equipment worldwide for the US Army, US Air Force, US Department of Labor and the US Department of Homeland Security. — (menareport.com)
© 2003 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)