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What is it like in Blackwater?


Academi has a variety of services and product offerings.

At least two videos published on YouTube earlier this week show burly, heavily armed soldiers with no insignia in the city, which has been gripped by pro-Moscow protests.

Blackwater said that "it can help keep peace in Darfur."[37] "Doug Brooks runs an association of private military firms, which includes Blackwater. He says his members can help where governments have failed."[37]

"The three-man Bulgarian crew was flying the helicopter close to the ground, a military tactic intended to avoid giving attackers time to spot aircraft and line up a shot, according to U.S. officials."[17]

On July 21, 2008, Blackwater Worldwide stated that it would shift resources away from security contracting because of the extensive risks in that sector. Said company founder and CEO Erik Prince, "The experience we've had would certainly be a disincentive to any other companies that want to step in and put their entire business at risk."[44]

Aviation Worldwide Services was purchased for $200 million in 2010 by AAR Corp., an Illinois company. In a letter released on February 8, 2011, the new owners informed state officials that they are shutting down the Moyock, North Carolina, operation and moving some employees to a new business location in Melbourne, Florida. Some 260 staff are affected with about 50 losing their jobs, beginning at the end of February. The company views the aviation division as a growth opportunity.[85]

Blackwater was one of two companies which make up The Prince Group, the other being Prince Manufacturing.[6] The Prince Group tapped former Pentagon Inspector General, Joseph E. Schmitz, for chief operating officer and general counsel in September of 2005.[7]

Xe and Blackwater are former names of Academi, a private military contractor co-founded by former Navy Seal Erik Prince.

On January 23, 2007, a helicopter owned by Blackwater crashed in "the heavily Sunni Fadhil neighborhood in north-central Baghdad [on the east side of the Tigris River], where witnesses reported clashes between insurgents and U.S. and Iraqi forces."[13] According to a U.S. military official, "five civilians were killed". A "senior Iraqi defense official said the aircraft was shot down" by "a gunman with a PKC machine gun."

Senator John Kerry, who was serving as the Chairman of the Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, sent letters to Eric Prince and Senators Max Baucus and Charles Grassley of the Senate Finance Committee requesting an investigation into whether Blackwater was intentionally misclassifying workers to avoid taxes.[61] It appears that a formal investigation never took place.

According to Russel Mokhiber and Robert Weissman, a few days after the Fallujah killings, "Blackwater Security Consulting engaged in full-scale battle in Najaf, with the company flying its own helicopters amidst an intense firefight to resupply its own commandos."[19]

In November 2008, Blackwater announced that it had "laid off an undisclosed number of employees after it failed to win a government contract for its Grizzly armored vehicle to replace the Humvee." [12]

Any suggestion that a U.S. mercenary outfit like Academi had begun operating in the country could give Russian president Vladimir Putin the pretext for a military invasion.

"Many Filipinos apply for any type of work just to work abroad and earn money", with an estimated "tenth of the country's 84 million population ... out of the country and working legally and illegally abroad", Claro Cortes reported June 11, 2006, in Gulf News.[44]

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Reports speculated that they were being sent to regions in eastern and southern Ukraine where Russian-speaking and ethnic Russian groups posed a secessionary threat to the new government.

Both the videos which purport to show 'Blackwater' mercenaries in Donetsk were uploaded last Monday, with their descriptions written in Russian.

Pro-Russian forces have already seized control of the southern Ukrainian province of Crimea, although the Kremlin denies that the thousands of heavily armed, well-equipped men that have appeared there are under its control.

In December 2008, a US State Department panel recommended that Xe should be dropped as the main private security contractor for U.S. diplomats in Iraq.[158]

Six employees were killed "when a Bulgarian commercial helicopter crashed north of Baghdad. ... A seventh died when a roadside bomb detonated next to one of the company's armored personnel carriers near Ramadi. Four Blackwater employees were wounded in the Ramadi attack. All were working under contract to the U.S. military."[16]

The Colombian news magazine Semana and the Financial Times of London reported in September 2006 that "35 Colombians—mostly seasoned counter insurgency troops—alleged in a letter to Blackwater that recruiters had promised them salaries of $4,000 a month," Bill Sizemore wrote in The Virginian-Pilot. "They said it was only when they were given their contracts barely hours before leaving Bogota that they learned they would be paid $34 a day, or about $1,000 a month."[43]

From comfortable accommodations to life-saving emergency assistance, ACADEMI offers a comprehensive selection of Life Support services with the purpose of improving the quality of life for our clients in any operational environment. We work with our clients to understand their exact needs, circumstances, and desired objectives so that we may provide solutions that protect and support them in an efficient manner. Below is a sample list of our Life Support services:

"Rosal said the establishment of Blackwater's recruitment center in the Philippines stemmed from the mounting casualties of US military personnel that have triggered severe criticism, massive protests and plunging ratings for US President George W. Bush.

A private security service, Greystone is registered in Barbados, and employs soldiers for off-shore security work through its affiliate Satelles Solutions, Inc.[86] Their web site advertises their ability to provide "personnel from the best militaries throughout the world" for worldwide deployment. Tasks can be from very small scale up major operations to "facilitate large scale stability operations requiring large numbers of people to assist in securing a region".[86]

Sonni Efron wrote July 30, 2005 for the Los Angeles Times that Blackwater was employing many foreign nationals in Iraq but, "there are no reliable figures on the number of guards from Colombia or other countries...Fijians, Ukrainians, South Africans, Nepalese and Serbs reportedly are on the job in Iraq."[41]

In July 2004, Blackwater was hired by the U.S. State Department under the Bureau of Diplomatic Security's Worldwide Personal Protective Services (WPPS) umbrella contract, along with DynCorp International and Triple Canopy, Inc. for protective services in Iraq, Afghanistan, Bosnia, and Israel.[25] The applied for two years and expired on June 6, 2006. It authorized 482 personnel, and Blackwater received $488m for its work.[26]

Academi provides and maintains a "shoot house" system and patented the BEAR multi-target training system that was designed and developed by the company.[69][70] Blackwater Target Systems company was managed by Jim Dehart and the company was largely responsible for keeping Blackwater Training Center financially solvent until the creation of Blackwater Security Company by Smith.[17]

Speculation was growing last night that American mercenaries had been deployed to Donetsk after videos emerged of unidentified armed men in the streets of the eastern Ukrainian city.

Aviation Worldwide Services (AWS) was founded by Richard Pere and Tim Childrey, and was based at Melbourne, Florida, USA. It owned and operated three subsidiaries: STI Aviation, Inc. Air Quest, Inc. and Presidential Airways, Inc. In April 2003 it was acquired by Blackwater USA.[72]

On January 30, 2009, the State Department told Blackwater Worldwide that it will not renew its contract in Iraq.[159] However, in 2010 it was awarded a $100 million contract from the CIA.[116]

Although a "senior Iraqi military official said a machine gunner downed the helicopter,... a U.S. military official in Washington said there were no indications that the aircraft, owned by Blackwater USA, had been shot out of the sky. Two Sunni insurgent groups, separately, claimed responsibility for the crash."[13]

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Yesterday thousands of people gathered in the city centre waving Russian flags and calling for a referendum to determine the status of the strategically important coal-mining region.

By 2003, the ground war in Iraq changed into a diplomatic mission, demanding hundreds of diplomats and State Department employees. The government traditionally handles its own security, but it lacked the staff for high-risk protection details. Therefore, a different type of protection was needed, and Blackwater would provide the solution. Blackwater's founder, Erik Prince, says that "not one State Department employee was killed while we were protecting them."[20]

Bosacki currently works as Managing Partner at Manhattan Growth Partners. He also co-founded the firm and is responsible for all management and investing activities of the firm. He previously worked at Friend & Skoler Co., Inc., General Electric, BNP Paribas' Merchant Banking Group, and PriceWaterhouse Coopers.[87]

In 2007, the U.S. government investigated whether Blackwater employees smuggled weapons into Iraq.[136] No charges were filed.

Then, on September 23, 2007, Iraq said it "will not take immediate steps to expel" Blackwater, which is under a joint investigation by Iraqi and U.S. governments. An Iraqi security spokesman said that "Blackwater and other private security companies were doing important work guarding foreign diplomats."[24]

In February 2007, the Air Force Times reported that

After leaving the World Bank in 2008, Folsom briefly worked at AIG. As the global financial crisis caused severe uncertainty at AIG, Folsom was asked to take a pay cut but quit instead. She was awarded a severance package worth more than $1 million. Senator Charles Grassley wrote a letter to Kenneth Feinberg, the executive pay czar at for the Troubles Asset Relief Program, asking for an explanation about Folsom's severance package.[84]

To quell their boredom, three Brooklyn teenagers play an asphyxiation game, in which their unconscious dreams reveal a loss of innocence as well as their relationships with one another.