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  #16  
Old 01 Sep 12, 07:11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Half Pint John View Post
Started much earlier than 1985. We had PAE in Nam doing the Brown & Root things. They supposedly had close ties with the LBJ family. All the way back in the French and Indian War civilian teamesters were used. Daniel Boone being one of the better known.
That is true.... countless examples throughout history. During the Civil War women were hired for cooking and doing laundry. The list is endless.
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  #17  
Old 01 Sep 12, 12:12
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Looking over this thread I would say that the only thing that is considered to be exclusivlsly in the realm of public sector soldiers is the proacitve use of deadly force and the strategic control of armed forces. Everything else seems to be capable of being run by private industry.

I wonder if there are those, probably in Washington, who are actively considering a role for private sector forces in operatons?
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  #18  
Old 01 Sep 12, 13:23
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Quote:
Everything else seems to be capable of being run by private industry.
True but how does it look in pratice? Medical, transport, supply. Who is going to be driving that tanker to refuel a tank or who is going to ne the frontline medics? Some contrators 3rd world hire or someone that the troops can put thier trust in?
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  #19  
Old 01 Sep 12, 13:29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Half Pint John View Post
True but how does it look in pratice? Medical, transport, supply. Who is going to be driving that tanker to refuel a tank or who is going to ne the frontline medics? Some contrators 3rd world hire or someone that the troops can put thier trust in?
Contracts are wonderful things. It is easy enough to specify and approve subcontractors.

As far as I can see private staff can go right up to and beyond "in harms way" status and there does not seem to be a clear cut off.

I think the US is doing more of this than anyone else. How far have they gone in this area?
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  #20  
Old 01 Sep 12, 14:00
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Originally Posted by billscottmorri View Post
Contracts are wonderful things. It is easy enough to specify and approve subcontractors.

As far as I can see private staff can go right up to and beyond "in harms way" status and there does not seem to be a clear cut off.

I think the US is doing more of this than anyone else. How far have they gone in this area?
In the med field as far as I know they have not. Transport and other camp functions they have in a big way it would seem if your to believe the news.
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Old 01 Sep 12, 14:19
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This is an excellent thread.
In spite of the socialization and fun here, it also shows the learning that goes on.
I had no idea that privatization happens in the military.
I never made the connection.
I think now civilians work in the mess hall in the Marine Corps.
Isn't that correct?
Used to get mess duty.

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  #22  
Old 01 Sep 12, 16:32
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One thing I've observed about the contracting world is how contracts change, things need to be rebid and there are always disputes. It does generally work well, but these issues always seem to be present. The bidding process does not always ensure the "best" service either. For fairness, you might also have more than one contractor doing the same service and, although each contractor is subject to the rules of the contract, each company may have different performance standards and so you may not get a consistant "product" throughout the service. You may also get the issue of "divided loyalty" in which the worker is employed by the contractor and not the military so how do you address discipline or chain of command?

Just stuff I've seen and food for thought.
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  #23  
Old 01 Sep 12, 23:25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slug View Post
This is an excellent thread.
In spite of the socialization and fun here, it also shows the learning that goes on.
I had no idea that privatization happens in the military.
I never made the connection.
I think now civilians work in the mess hall in the Marine Corps.
Isn't that correct?
Used to get mess duty.

Hi Slug,I was thinking along exactly the same lines. lcm1
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  #24  
Old 01 Sep 12, 23:34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Half Pint John View Post
True but how does it look in pratice? Medical, transport, supply. Who is going to be driving that tanker to refuel a tank or who is going to ne the frontline medics? Some contrators 3rd world hire or someone that the troops can put thier trust in?
Well in my battalion days in my spare time (HaHa) I was medic come Stretcher bearer (got to be called 'Doc: Burtie' ) can't see any private guy wanting to take the front line medic side over!!! lcm1
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  #25  
Old 01 Sep 12, 23:40
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Originally Posted by lcm1 View Post
Well in my battalion days in my spare time (HaHa) I was medic come Stretcher bearer (got to be called 'Doc: Burtie' ) can't see any private guy wanting to take the front line medic side over!!! lcm1
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  #26  
Old 02 Sep 12, 00:21
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So what happens when subcontractors begin to outsource? Some guy in India flying your UAVs? Your baggage train being crewed by drivers with no national loyalty to your trigger-pullers out in front? Guys who switch sides when the company gets a better bid? CAS that don't show up because of some banking error? Starving troops because of contract dispute?
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  #27  
Old 02 Sep 12, 04:05
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So what happens when subcontractors begin to outsource? Some guy in India flying your UAVs? Your baggage train being crewed by drivers with no national loyalty to your trigger-pullers out in front? Guys who switch sides when the company gets a better bid? CAS that don't show up because of some banking error? Starving troops because of contract dispute?
You can definately guard against subcontracting and have the client retain approval of all contractor staff. There are prisons in both the US and UK which are effectively privately run so if private contractors are allowed to restrict citizens freedom under court order then I would say that is almost as vital as military service.

I am curious as to how far security has been privatised in Iraq. Private military firms definately provide security for western facilities and I am pretty sure they even guard military bases. If you have an effective static security force that certainly implies a quick reaction force to cope with assaults. So we have vehicles with private contractos toting automatic weapons in a war zone.

In terms of drones I would bet my bottom dollar that the control rooms are chock full of manufacturer's staff and I wonder how close they are to red buttons.
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  #28  
Old 02 Sep 12, 04:28
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Simple question: If you are going to pay good money to build a house that you want to live in for the rest of your life... Do YOU want it to be built by the lowest bidder knowing that they will cut every corner in the bidding such as to win the contract?

OK, now, before you answer, we already make private contractors Bid on things, like ships & aircraft. And the lowest bidder wins the contract. THEN, our military/naval establishments certainly already know that they will have to pony up the additional funds (typical project over runs) to actually get what they really need... so, in the end, the lowest Bidder bit is really just a crock of dung to begin with...

Now, back to my 1st question... and bear in mind the realities of my points made in the second comments which would also apply to your best interests unless you are willing to settle for the house that is gonna be sub-standard unless you put even more money into it to get what you actually want...

For me, private contractors are wonderful things in some aspects - though not bearing the spear they fashion itself - but lying to yourself that giving the contract to the lowest bidder is in your best interest, when you know you'll have to pour even more money into before it is completed, ain't in nobodies best interest except the low bid winner that will make even more money on the markups to actually get what everybody was bidding on to begin with.

(My way > take the mid level bids & then make them resubmit against each other with full specs & pricing guarantees or simply choose the better contractor & sign Cost + 10% Design/Build contracts with deadline based bonus/penalty for each day early/late.)

JMO...


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  #29  
Old 02 Sep 12, 04:42
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The current bidding process for military procurement is one of the least effective processes in government activity. Certainly having a low bid winner that knows that there will be huge overspend to actually provide a fit for purpose solution is not far short of criminal.

The system of having preferred development partners is much less bad and the US "Eagle Contract" system where a small number of major prime contractors manage all the subs certainly makes a ton of sense.

My limited experinece of selling into defence organisations is that the problems lie with the government staff. Undertrained, outgunned intellectually and with a focus on their next posting rather than actually creating a workable solution is more the norm. Subcontracting the "problem definition" to the private sector not just the "solution delivery" seems to me to be worth considering.

On that front I think that most of the snappy new vehicles now deployed in Afganistan were private sector creations bought off the shelf with little development input from government staff. Lesson for the future?
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Old 02 Sep 12, 05:53
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Then there is the problem if the contracted people just quit.

A small story that took place in a time long ago and far away.

On the FSB were I was assigned we had a rather heavy motar attack. Something like 20 rounds of 82mm landed in and around the contractors compound. The next day they were all lined up waiting to get the next plane out. Fortunatly they were the ones doing the camp chores, cooks helpers and such so their departure didn't hurt operations but it still took several days to get replacementsfor them.
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