Home Defense: A New Blackwater Course

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In addition to training law enforcement, Blackwater, now
operating under the name Xe Services, is offering a course
designed for any gun toting citizen. This is the world’s most
powerful and best known mercenary company with a reputation
of operating outside of the law in the war zones of
Iraq and Afghanistan. This same company is now offering a
new class in “Home Defense” at their 6,000 acre North Carolina,
and 80 acre northwest Illinois, training locations.
Blackwater’s training division is now known as the U.S.
Training Center. According to the US Training Center website,
the new course has this aim: “The course is designed
to make the armed citizen more aware of personal security
whether at home or away; considerations in protecting self
and family members.”
Closer examination of what the class entails raises questions
about who may be included in the target demographic
group for this new training. The training involves the following:
“Introduction: This course will inform the concerned
citizen on methods of protecting the home front.
The students will receive classroom instruction and will
engage in shoot/no-shoot, force on force realistic scenarios.
The “students” will pay $595.00 for two days of training.
The training involves the following: “Topics:
• Use of Force
• Security of weapons at home and away.
• Away from home considerations
• Gear & weapons
• Mindset/ Indications of Mental State
• Basic room clearing techniques for the homeowner
• Force-on-force scenarios
• Ballistic protection at home and away
• Dealing with the Police “
One must ask in what “scenarios” would a homeowner
need to conduct a “room clearing?” Also, who would be better
to train a citizen on how to “deal with the police” than a company
that is involved with training hundreds of police officers
every year? It would appear that Blackwater is willing to not
only train the police but to train the citizen cops as well.
The only prerequisite for the class is that the “student”
knows how to fire a gun. “Prerequisite: Basic pistol marksmanship/
familiarization course. This is not a marksmanship
course. Handling skills are required prior to attending class.”
The equipment supplied includes: Simunition® Pistol
(customer preference of Glock, Sig Sauer, Beretta), Simunition
® safety gear, 100 rounds of Simunition®, holster
& magazine carrier.”
Simunition is a General Dynamics-Ordnance and Tactical
Systems-Canada Inc. company that developed in the
1980s. Their mission, according to their website is, “to provide
the most realistic training systems possible so that officers
and military forces around the world can engage in
experience building and ultimately lifesaving exercises.”
They also have a philosophy that includes, “helping law
enforcement officers, emergency response teams and military
personnel to improve their tactical skill and condition
their fear response, our family of training products ultimately
saves lives.” Interesting that simulator weapons can
be referred to as a “family of training products.” This
brings a whole new light on the term “family.”
The “Home Defense” course however does come with a
disclaimer, “Disclaimer: This is NOT a pistol/shotgun
course. Students should come prepared to operate their
weapon system and be familiar with weapon handling,
safety and marksmanship. Local authorities should be consulted
on use of Lethal Force and the use of Lethal Force to
defend lives and property.” (My underlining for emphasis.)
Required gear, according to the course description on
their website:” Gear: belt, flashlight, ear protection, clothing
appropriate for climate and conditions, rain gear, and a
water bottle or other hydration system. Cover garment for
concealed draw is highly recommended.”
Now this kind of training for any gun carrying citizen
taught by any company would be unsettling, but to have it
provided by a company that is owned by Erik Prince who has
been accused of murder by two former employees under
sworn statements filed in a Federal court in Virginia last
August is especially disturbing. According to sworn testimony
by two former Blackwater employees, who were referred
to as John Doe #1 and John Doe #2 for fear they may be murdered
by Prince or one of his current gunmen, Erik Prince
may have murdered or facilitated the murder of individuals
who were cooperating with Federal authorities who were
investigating the company. The former employees also alleged
that Prince “views himself as a Christian crusader tasked with
eliminating Muslims and the Islamic faith from the globe.”
Here is an excerpt from the two five page sworn statements
by the former employees:
“To that end, Mr. Prince intentionally deployed to Iraq
certain men who shared his vision of Christian supremacy,
knowing and wanting these men to take every available
opportunity to murder Iraqis. Many of these men used call
signs based on the Knights of the Templar, the warriors
who fought the Crusades.”
Mr. Prince operated his companies in a manner that
encouraged and rewarded the destruction of Iraqi life. For
example, Mr. Prince’s executives would openly speak
about going over to Iraq to “lay Hajiis out on cardboard.”
Going to Iraq to shoot and kill Iraqis was viewed as a sport
or game. Mr. Prince’s employees openly and consistently
used racist and derogatory terms for Iraqis, and other
Arabs, such as “ragheads” or “hajiis.”
One does not have to stretch too far to see a troubling
possible connection between a company headed by someone
who according to Jeremy Scahill in his book, Blackwater:
The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary
Army, was “dedicated to a Christian-supremacist agenda”
and the creation of the class to train any armed citizen on
how to basically be their own law enforcers, just as Prince’s
mercenaries operated in Iraq. One can also make the parallel
between the rise of armed citizen militias, some of
whom have a similar “Christian-Supremacist agenda,” and
the need for a class that teaches citizens the same skills that
are being taught to the military and to law enforcement.
Last month the Government Accounting Office stopped
Blackwater from winning a multi-billion dollar contract from
the US Army to train Afghan police. Now the contract has to
be re-bid and DynCorp is in the running as well. Prince is
also selling off his own private air force, Aviation World Services
with its subsidiary Presidential Airways for $200 million
to AAR Corp. This will mean a cut of another 240 employees
after last year layoffs that resulted with the cancellation of the
contract to build the Grizzly, an armored vehicle.
The former employees also testified that Erik Prince lives
in fear of being prosecuted by the Federal government for
the many illegal activities he is suspected of being involved
with, such as smuggling illegal arms into Iraq, some of which
were sold on the Black Market, tax evasion, wrongful death
lawsuits which number in the double digits at last count, etc.
One thing all of this points to is that if you poke a desperate
polecat with a stick, he is bound to fight back. I wish this
meant the downfall of Prince’s Dark Kingdom were near, but
I fear that it only means that a reshaping is taking place.

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