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Press Statement
Sean McCormack, Spokesman
Washington, DC
October 23, 2007


Implementation of Recommendations from the Secretary of State's Report on Personal Protective Service Details

Ambassador Patrick F. Kennedy on the Report of the Secretary of State's Panel on Personal Protective Services in Iraq

The following recommendations from the Report of the Secretary of State's Panel on Personal Protective Services (PPS) in Iraq will be implemented beginning today.

The items in bold are interim recommendations, whose implementation began on October 5th, per the direction of Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

*****

The Regional Security Office should be provided with additional Department of State Special Agents so that an Assistant Regional Security Officer (A/RSO) can accompany PPS movements. The State Department should ensure that each additional A/RSO should complete an Iraq-specific orientation program.

The Worldwide Personal Protective Service contract should be amended to require the contractor to provide a limited number of Arabic language staff for use as needed.

Additional training modules should be added under the Worldwide Personal Protective Service contract to enhance the cultural awareness of assigned personnel, acquaint them with diplomatic structures and procedures, and familiarize them with Multi-National Force-I tactics, techniques and procedures.

To tighten the ground rules for the use of deadly force, and to ensure greater parallelism with USCENTCOM rules on the use of force by contracted security in Iraq, the U.S. Mission Firearms Policy should be revised to specify, without limiting the inherent right to take action necessary for self-defense, if an authorized employee must fire his/her weapon, he/she must fire only aimed shots; fire with due regard for the safety of innocent bystanders; and make every effort to avoid civilian casualties.

The Regional Security Office (RSO) should be provided video and audio recording equipment for each security vehicle, audio recording equipment in the Tactical Operations Center (TOC) to record all radio transmissions and computer enhancements to record all Blue Force Tracking data.

The Regional Security Office should place a readable number (like a license plate) on the right rear door of each vehicle utilized, to enable anyone wishing to question its mode of operation to identify the unit to the Regional Security Office, which can then review the matter and take appropriate action.

The Regional Security Office should establish a "Go Team" that would proceed as soon as possible to the scene of any weapons discharge to gather information and material and provide and analysis of what happened and why, and prepare a report. The Team would work with representatives of the appropriate Government of Iraq offices and the U.S. military unit responsible for the location.

An Embassy Joint Incident Review Board should be established to review all incidents involving the use of deadly force which are known or asserted to have caused injury or death or other serious consequences. The Board should be chaired by the Deputy Chief of Mission and other members should be the Regional Security Officer, another civilian embassy officer with a law enforcement background from an agency other than State or Justice, and a military officer designated by MNF-I. The Board would hear from the Assistant Regional Security Officer (A/RSO) who was in the motorcade, review the statements provided by the security personnel involved, as well as any protectee(s), plus the Go Team report, and then make a recommendation to the Ambassador on whether or not the use of force appears justified. If it does not feel that it was justified, the Department should be informed to notify the Department of Justice.

The Regional Security Office and MNF-I should establish a permanent working group to develop commonly agreed operational procedures; establish a robust liaison element; exchange information; ensure optimal situational awareness; and ensure that any issues are discussed and quickly resolved.

In addition to the above, three specific items should be on the agenda for the first meeting:

  • Ensuring that the planning, coordinating and routing information which currently flows from the Regional Security Office's Tactical Operations Center (TOC) to Multi-National Force-Iraq (MNF-1) liaison elements located in the TOC and posted to the U.S. Military's Command Post of the Future (COPF) system, is available electronically to all operating elements under MNF-I;

  • Providing TOC Spot Reporting electronically to any subordinate military element that wishes to receive it directly;

  • Coordinating the provision of frequencies for the military radios and the RSO has ordered to enhance coordination.

Coordination with MNF-I elements could be further enhanced if the pending order for Harris Corporation Model PRC-110 radios were received. The Department of State should intervene, including with DOD as necessary, to obtain these units.

When the "Go Team" is not involved in investigating incidents, it should be employed in pattern analysis. The Diplomatic Security service in Washington should provide the RSO with a relational database to be used to review incidents and determine potential patterns. Such a database would include:

  1. Date and Time of incident
  2. Destination and GPS coordinates
  3. GPS coordinates of incident
  4. Mission identifier
  5. Vehicle identification numbers
  6. Incident type
  7. Names of all security personnel involved and their assignments in the motorcade.
  8. Such other details as would be useful.

Data on each event would be input promptly after it occurs. Weekly reports should be generated to look for potential patterns that would call for systemic or individual changes.

The Regional Security Officer should establish direct channels to senior Iraqi police and security officials in Baghdad and in any other city where Provincial Reconstruction Teams are located. This should be a major step towards providing information on incidents in a timely way so that they can be appropriately investigated.

In order to be more responsive to Iraqi customs, the Embassy must actively seek out the families of those innocent Iraqi civilians killed or seriously injured, or those whose property has been damaged by Personal Protective Services personnel. The Regional Security Office "Go Team", assisted by the U.S. military unit responsible for the area in which an incident has occurred, should work with counterparts designated by the Government of Iraq to promptly offer appropriate condolences and compensation.

2007/918


Released on October 23, 2007

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