Critical National Infrastructure Iraq Case Study
SECURITY SUPPORT FOR RESTORING
CRITICAL NATIONAL INFRASTRUCTURE
Hart provided security services in Iraq in support of the Task Force Restore Iraq Electricity (TF-RIE) programme in Baghdad and throughout the South of the Country. The Coalition Provisional Authority let a substantial contract through the US Corps of Engineers to the Perini Corporation; Hart was Perini’s chosen security provider.
Our concept of operations was to provide sustainable intelligence and protection by combining professional international expertise with local knowledge, local staff and local relationships. This concept had to stand the test of the high intensity urban environment of Baghdad and the lower intensity but complex tribal environment of the South: both with substantial criminal and terrorist activity and populations as wary of the liberators as they were of the Baathist regime.
By the time the project was completed in September 2004, over 650 kms of power line had been reinstated and 3 power stations and 15 substations had been refurbished. With a force of 200 international staff and over 2500 Iocal staff, Hart provided effective security throughout involving, force liaison, PSDs, convoy protection including critical path items, camp and logistic support and base security thus allowing the international and national contracting staff to work in relative safety and security – we are proud of our record that despite the high level of attacks throughout the country none of our clients sustained even a minor injury and the power line projects were completed on time.
‘Despite the high level of attacks throughout the country none of our clients sustained even a minor injury and the power line projects were completed on time’
On the morning of 11th July the FPV approached the Mad Express, positioning herself between the detained ship and the shore. Radio communications were established with the Master who, although clearly under duress, managed to confirm that seven of his crew were being held ashore and that he was very concerned for their safety. Working through the MF in Bossaso and HART’s Director of Operations in the President’s Office, negotiations were opened with the local authorities in Bargaal. This resulted in the seven crew members being secured to police protective custody ashore.
The gunmen on the Mad Express fled during the hours of darkness that night, taking with them a number of items including GMDSS radio equipment. They were arrested by the Bargaal police the following day. A small team of HART Fisheries Protection Officers accompanied by members of the MF landed in the afternoon of the 13th, and after a period of intense but ultimately successful negotiations with the local authorities and tribal elders recovered all seven crew members to the Mad Express using the FPV’s Rigid Inflatable Boats. One crew member was treated for badly broken arms and hands sustained during a fall early in the incident, and the Mad Express left the area safely the following morning bound for Djibouti.
The key to the successful resolution of this incident was undoubtedly the presence of the FPV combined with first class and timely liaison with the relevant authorities ashore. What could have been a protracted, expensive and dangerous situation was brought to a conclusion quickly and purposefully without the use of force and with a minimum of fuss. The release of the Mad Express further reinforces perceptions of security and, most importantly, accountability in this most difficult region.