Who is DynCorp International and what are they doing in Jordan?

Published November 10th, 2015 - 01:02 GMT
Private security contractors work on a range of defense-related operations in the Middle East and worldwide. This photo shows Blackwater contractors in Iraq. (AFP/Ahmad al-Rubaye)
Private security contractors work on a range of defense-related operations in the Middle East and worldwide. This photo shows Blackwater contractors in Iraq. (AFP/Ahmad al-Rubaye)

Most of the Internet had probably never heard of DynCorp International until yesterday, when three of their employees were killed at a police training center outside Amman. Two Americans and a South African, all reportedly working for the American security firm, were shot dead by a Jordanian police officer named Anwar Abu Zaid. The attack also claimed the lives of two Jordanians, one of whom did not die at the scene but later succumbed to his wounds. 

DynCorp International released a statement on its website confirming that members of its team were attacked, but did not give any further information on the basis of respecting privacy. So who exactly are they? And why are they in Jordan?

The company is headquartered in Virginia, has around 17,000 employees, and works under the slogan 'We Serve Today For A Better Tomorrow'. As a private military contractor, DynCorp International offers a wide range of defense-related support and training to private companies as well as governments across the world, with the US taxpayer being its biggest customer.

In fact, it is reported that they earn more than 96% of their annual revenues from the US Federal Government.

According to a US State Department spokesperson, the company is being contracted by the US to aid Jordanian instructors in the training of police personnel. 

Normally work like this is safe in a country like Jordan. Incidents involving private security contractors happen far more frequently in war-torn nations such as Afghanistan and Iraq. In August, three DynCorp contractors working alongside Afghan armed forces and police were killed in a car bomb in Kabul.

While the company did not release any of the names, the South African national killed in yesterday's attack was confirmed to be working for an "American security company" by South African officials. A spokesperson for the Department of International Relations and Cooperation in South Africa, Nelson Kgwete, made a number of statements on Twitter.

 

By Kane Hippisley-Gatherum


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