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Posted: 3/29/2006 11:37:40 AM EDT
The job is with KBR(Haliburton) in Iraq as a Plumber. While I know this isn't going to interest all of you high speed-low drag trained killers here, I am hoping someone has been or is there and can give a fellow some advice. And I know a lot of people have seriously thought about going ,so please try to keep everything in the realm of facts. I am prior service Air Force, too old to re-enlist, and this is about the only way I can get involved. So please, if you have been there, are going, or want to know more, lets hear it-
Link Posted: 3/29/2006 11:39:23 AM EDT
what are they offering you?
Link Posted: 3/29/2006 11:40:25 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/29/2006 11:42:06 AM EDT by ZW17]
One question trumps all:

Can you or will you be armed? No escorts, security, bodyguards. Will you yourself be allowed to carry?

If not, no way, no how, not a chance I would go there. That is prime meat for the dogs that want to saw your head off.

ETA - There have been 20+ kidnappings in the last 48hrs I heard on the national news last night.
Link Posted: 3/29/2006 11:41:13 AM EDT
I haven't been there, but I know several guys in the Petroleum Engineering field that were offered big bucks to go for 9 months. Their wives wouldnt let them.
Link Posted: 3/29/2006 11:43:18 AM EDT
Take a wifi laptop that can play dvd's.
Link Posted: 3/29/2006 11:43:19 AM EDT
It sounds like it might not be to bad of a gig except you have to worry about getting kidnapped and Murdered. Then the guy on the 6 O'clock news will tell us how they found your naked beheaded corpse on some street in Bagdad.
Link Posted: 3/29/2006 11:45:24 AM EDT
They are offering 84K tax free for a year contract.You cannot carry a weapon,but you do not leave the base unless you are with the troops,and are never by yourself.
Link Posted: 3/29/2006 11:47:22 AM EDT
If I did not have a wife and kids. I would already be there.

Go have fun. See the world.
Link Posted: 3/29/2006 11:48:17 AM EDT
I would like to hear from someone who has really done this to hear if all of the offers are real.The person I am dealing with is a recruiter ,and the last time I trusted a recruiter it didn't go so well
Link Posted: 3/29/2006 11:48:19 AM EDT
Are you single or will you be leaving a wife and possibly children to go?
Link Posted: 3/29/2006 11:49:44 AM EDT

Originally Posted By ThatGunGuy:
They are offering 84K tax free for a year contract.You cannot carry a weapon,but you do not leave the base unless you are with the troops,and are never by yourself.




I wouldn't go just because of that.


Aint enought money for going unarmed.

Mark.

Link Posted: 3/29/2006 11:49:45 AM EDT

Originally Posted By ZW17:
One question trumps all:



not just no but HELL NO!
if your caught with so much as a good folder you will be sent home.
don't like it? tough. there are 100 bullet magnets standing in line behind you ready to take the job.

i know, i looked and walked away laughing.
Link Posted: 3/29/2006 11:51:56 AM EDT

Originally Posted By hk940:

Originally Posted By ZW17:
One question trumps all:



not just no but HELL NO!
if your caught with so much as a good folder you will be sent home.
don't like it? tough. there are 100 bullet magnets standing in line behind you ready to take the job.

i know, i looked and walked away laughing.



That's not correct as a blanket statement. My brother is over there as a sys admin and carries a P99.
Link Posted: 3/29/2006 11:52:14 AM EDT
Wife,# kids-19 , 14 , 12 . We have discussed this at great length ,and everyone is on board ,This may be our only chance to get our own home , and the kids know there are risks involved.
Link Posted: 3/29/2006 11:54:51 AM EDT
I'm over here right now as a Soldier but I would tell you go for it. Just make sure your company (KBR) gives you the proper protective gear. (hell I'm here for a year and only making about one-quarter of what you mentioned).
Link Posted: 3/29/2006 11:57:05 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/29/2006 12:01:13 PM EDT by _DR]
Life insurance and Lvl III body armor with chicken plate for while you are in transit.

IEDs are the leading cause of death in Iraq for westerners right now, and you would have to travel to your job I assume.

IEDs are an equal opportunity killer, don't leave you quarters without your armor or you are playing russian roulette.
Link Posted: 3/29/2006 11:58:27 AM EDT

Originally Posted By ajm1911:
I'm over here right now as a Soldier but I would tell you go for it. Just make sure your company (KBR) gives you the proper protective gear. (hell I'm here for a year and only making about one-quarter of what you mentioned).



Even if your company doesn't buy the armor for you it's tax deductable and you can probably find a buyer for it when you're ready to leave the AOR.
Link Posted: 3/29/2006 11:58:56 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Bama-Shooter:
If I did not have a wife and kids. I would already be there.

Go have fun. See the world.



Amen to that. And I did ask/argue. In the end the guilt of the inceased chance of leaving my daughter fatherless changed my mind.

If I was single I would have re-upped by now.
Link Posted: 3/29/2006 11:59:06 AM EDT

Originally Posted By ThatGunGuy:
Wife,# kids-19 , 14 , 12 . We have discussed this at great length ,and everyone is on board ,This may be our only chance to get our own home , and the kids know there are risks involved.



This would be the deal breaker right here. I'd politely say no thank you.

Good luck with your decision.
Link Posted: 3/29/2006 12:00:06 PM EDT
ajm 1911-thank you for your service,sir.The main reason I feel at ease with my choice is the knowledge that I will have troops such as yourself to watch over my sorry ass.
Link Posted: 3/29/2006 12:06:35 PM EDT

Originally Posted By ThatGunGuy:
Wife,# kids-19 , 14 , 12 . We have discussed this at great length ,and everyone is on board ,This may be our only chance to get our own home , and the kids know there are risks involved.




1- That is some powerful motivation and thats a lot of money.

2. I would not be crazy about being unarmed and Halliburton is stupid for mandating it (you might be able to get something locally) but...

I would buy some GOOD armor with SAPI plates and go for it myself
Link Posted: 3/29/2006 12:10:28 PM EDT

Originally Posted By ThatGunGuy:
ajm 1911-thank you for your service,sir.The main reason I feel at ease with my choice is the knowledge that I will have troops such as yourself to watch over my sorry ass.



No problem, that is what we get paid to do.

One more thing, like others have said you can buy and deduct you own protective gear but I would try to get KBR to write something about compensation or allowance to buy that gear. IBAS (or equivalent) with SAPI, and a Kevlar are not cheap, plus your supposed to have a protective (gas) mask and some other stuff too, just to be in the AO
Link Posted: 3/29/2006 12:15:15 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/29/2006 12:15:37 PM EDT by ironoxbows]

Originally Posted By ThatGunGuy:
Wife,# kids-19 , 14 , 12 . We have discussed this at great length ,and everyone is on board ,This may be our only chance to get our own home , and the kids know there are risks involved.



If YOU AND YOUR FAMILY are comfortable with the risks associated with the job. I swee no reason for you to pass this up.

Best of luck.
Link Posted: 3/29/2006 12:15:56 PM EDT
Good luck with what ever you decide.
My question is why go to Iraq for $89,000.
Almost every plumber I know which is only 3 personally make about that here in the states.
Link Posted: 3/29/2006 12:17:32 PM EDT

Originally Posted By TheTracker:
Good luck with what ever you decide.
My question is why go to Iraq for $89,000.
Almost every plumber I know which is only 3 personally make about that here in the states.



$89,000 tax free.
Link Posted: 3/29/2006 12:27:00 PM EDT
ajm1911--KBR is now supplying armor and kevlars for contractors.I don't know any specifics of type but wearing is mandatory.Anyone here know what type/style armor it is ?
Link Posted: 3/29/2006 12:43:45 PM EDT
no carry, no go
simple as that
Link Posted: 3/29/2006 12:58:58 PM EDT

Originally Posted By SmilingBandit:

Originally Posted By TheTracker:
Good luck with what ever you decide.
My question is why go to Iraq for $89,000.
Almost every plumber I know which is only 3 personally make about that here in the states.



$89,000 tax free.



Your 3 kids fatherless because you wanted to not pay taxes?

Look at it this way. You may make some big bucks while over there and come back and own your own house and new car in the driveway but...... How is just your wife going to be any better off with no husband and no father for her children??

Put it into perspective. Not worth it IMHO and I don't even have a wife and kids.

IED's are a equal opportunity killer.
Link Posted: 3/29/2006 1:02:12 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/29/2006 1:05:33 PM EDT by _DR]

Originally Posted By SmilingBandit:

Originally Posted By TheTracker:
Good luck with what ever you decide.
My question is why go to Iraq for $89,000.
Almost every plumber I know which is only 3 personally make about that here in the states.



$89,000 tax free.



Not only tax free, no Medicare social security etc taken out as long as you spend 11 months of the tax year out of the US. No expenses like housing and food.

I worked in the KSA for a year on a hospital contract, you would be surprised at how much you can make with uncle sam not taking a chunk out.

You still have to file taxes, but you file as an expatriot, if you meet the criteria. More than 30 days back in the US though, and you owe, you owe, off to work you go.

But I was single. 11 months out of the year away from the family, you'd better have a good understanding of what that is, and what it will mean to them.
Link Posted: 3/29/2006 1:05:51 PM EDT

Originally Posted By ZW17:

Originally Posted By SmilingBandit:

Originally Posted By TheTracker:
Good luck with what ever you decide.
My question is why go to Iraq for $89,000.
Almost every plumber I know which is only 3 personally make about that here in the states.



$89,000 tax free.



Your 3 kids fatherless because you wanted to not pay taxes?

Look at it this way. You may make some big bucks while over there and come back and own your own house and new car in the driveway but...... How is just your wife going to be any better off with no husband and no father for her children??

Put it into perspective. Not worth it IMHO and I don't even have a wife and kids.

IED's are a equal opportunity killer.



Or you could just sit in comfort at home and watch on CNN when a 19 year old E3 gets it while earning alot less.

ThatGunGuy chose to do something productive for the effort, no need to shit on him for it.
Link Posted: 3/29/2006 1:06:17 PM EDT
Are you nuts.

Iraq is a very dangerous place, you'll get your head cut off.
Link Posted: 3/29/2006 1:07:37 PM EDT
Let's try to keep on topic.people--mmmmkay?This thread is for people who have been there,are there,or want to find out info because they are considering going there.Please post all comments about my intelligence,greed,lack of parenting skills or selfishness elswhere. This is supposed to be a thread about REAL information for people making /having made a hard decision.
Link Posted: 3/29/2006 1:09:33 PM EDT

Originally Posted By ThatGunGuy:
Let's try to keep on topic.people--mmmmkay?This thread is for people who have been there,are there,or want to find out info because they are considering going there.Please post all comments about my intelligence,greed,lack of parenting skills or selfishness elswhere. This is supposed to be a thread about REAL information for people making /having made a hard decision.



If you want I can have my brother email you. IM me an address and I'll forward it to him.
Link Posted: 3/29/2006 1:12:43 PM EDT

Originally Posted By ZW17:
One question trumps all:

Can you or will you be armed? No escorts, security, bodyguards. Will you yourself be allowed to carry?

If not, no way, no how, not a chance I would go there. That is prime meat for the dogs that want to saw your head off.

ETA - There have been 20+ kidnappings in the last 48hrs I heard on the national news last night.



This response screams ignorance . . . so disregard!

ThatGunGuy, IM me if you want to know facts. I was there, dealt with KBR, and I still have contacts . . .

Link Posted: 3/29/2006 1:15:12 PM EDT
SmilingBandit--Thank you-you GET it--If I was 19 years old ,I would be back in a uniform in a heartbeat.I'm not.I can't carry a weapon.so they are going to pay me well for taking the risk. My son is 19 ,and enlisting this summer-4th generation military. ---- YOU don't do it just for the money! You take the chance because you want to gat involved,not just sit in the bleachers(Patriotic rant over

)
Link Posted: 3/29/2006 1:18:36 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Hectic:
no carry, no go
simple as that




What diff would it make ... really?
So you get to be armed... Chances are "if" you are a kidnap target they will take you by surprise.
You'll likely not have the time to react... and if you do so what, You get to take a couple of 'em with you... Either way you're dead.
Link Posted: 3/29/2006 1:39:05 PM EDT
As to being armed-if you were the Marine/Soldier in charge of keeping me out of trouble,would you really want me firing at every haddji I see whenever there is trouble?I will let the current military do my fighting=those young-uns are getting damn good at it.
Link Posted: 3/29/2006 1:48:18 PM EDT

Originally Posted By ThatGunGuy:
I would like to hear from someone who has really done this to hear if all of the offers are real.The person I am dealing with is a recruiter ,and the last time I trusted a recruiter it didn't go so well

I've got a good friend over there right now,he is on his second year,said he will stay another(I think he likes it!),he is a driver,and has a folder (and kevlar armor/helmet),has had a couple of trucks hit and been injured(but then again I think he was crazy anyway!),and yes,he's making alot of $$$ over there(but he'll blow it as soon as he gets back to the states).
Link Posted: 3/29/2006 2:28:44 PM EDT
.
Link Posted: 3/29/2006 2:32:53 PM EDT
Anybody else-Let's hear some problems you had inprocessing-;in country at the job ,;whatever-give me an idea what to expect.
Link Posted: 3/29/2006 3:23:48 PM EDT
Bump for evening crew
Link Posted: 3/29/2006 4:38:25 PM EDT
I have never worked for KBR but I was a contractor.
KBR arms almost no one. Not the kind of work they do. most likely you will be working in the green zone or other secure area. the Army or contract shooters will be your protection.
Break the rules=trip home.

For those of you who would not go unarmed, well don't go.

Taxes...Under current tax law to be tax free you have to pass the residency requirement. that means you have to be OUT of the US 330 out of 365 days. days you travel to the US count as days in the US according to the IRS.
So How many days is the contract? The contract I will take in April is 313 days. that means I better find a place to stay out of the US for 17 days. Bahamas sound goodheGet an accountant. you don't want H&R block for this.
Some guys I know just don't file. FILE you don't want IRS attention 4 or 5 years from now.

KBR generally have the best housing, and eat the best, and run the mess.

It might help to think of it as a year in jail. you will be behind guarded walls, you work eat sleep there. you wont be leaving the compound much if at all.

NOI
Link Posted: 3/29/2006 4:50:36 PM EDT
Let me save you some trouble..... I'm a steamfitter out of metro Detroit. These jobs have been popping up for some time, probably the same offer.
1- Your provided with little or no protection
2- As a civilian your not entitled to arm yourself
3- Lets talk #s.
At the time I found out about this they had around 1500 people in country.
When questioned by a friend in the trade they said they had lost around 50 contractors

1500 employees / 50 dead employees = 1 in 30 odds of being killed.

No offense the money sounds great. Tax free too! But the odds are'nt in your favor.
Link Posted: 3/29/2006 4:57:48 PM EDT
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

They are offering 84K tax free for a year contract.You cannot carry a weapon,but you do not leave the base unless you are with the troops,and are never by yourself.



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Posted :: 3/29/2006 3:45:24 PM EST

I missed this part about the base and troops. The guys I know that have talked to KBR have not been told about that. But when questioned they did cough those #s up. The base and the troops don't sound all that bad.
Link Posted: 3/29/2006 5:42:04 PM EDT

Originally Posted By harleyrkc:
Let me save you some trouble..... I'm a steamfitter out of metro Detroit. These jobs have been popping up for some time, probably the same offer.
1- Your provided with little or no protection
2- As a civilian your not entitled to arm yourself
3- Lets talk #s.
At the time I found out about this they had around 1500 people in country.
When questioned by a friend in the trade they said they had lost around 50 contractors

1500 employees / 50 dead employees = 1 in 30 odds of being killed.

No offense the money sounds great. Tax free too! But the odds are'nt in your favor.

Buddy of mine WAS armed(shorty AK),but the real thing thats killing the drivers is the IEDs. After he came back,he showed me pics of some of the KBR trucks that were blown up.
Link Posted: 3/29/2006 5:48:58 PM EDT
I just talked to another guy a few minutes ago that said he was told he could be armed. I don't know? My buddy was telling that stuff last year when he originally talked to them. At the time they were recruiting heavy tonnage A/C guys and he was trying to con me into going until he found out about he #s. Maybe things have change or maybe it was just where they wanted him to go.....
I dunno
Link Posted: 3/29/2006 6:01:03 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/29/2006 6:06:26 PM EDT by Contractor]
The "tax free" part of the deal has some catches like staying in country for 330 out of 365 days! And that is just for the Federal portion. SS, Medicare, Ect will still be taxed. So yes it is a break but it realy comes down to what are you willing to risk you life for? Contact the IRS about that one.

There are plenty of civilians working all over Iraq unarmed. As long as you are at a base or in the IZ your biggest threat comes from mortars or rockets. Body armor will be provided. Quality will vary though. Wait until you get your CAC (ID card) if you intend to purchase your own, you will get better deals. Traveling outside the wire (if needed) will be done in armored vehicles with armed escort. IF NOT, DO NOT GO OUT!!

As far as being armed, that policy might be ammended in country but just remember that this is a long gun war. Yes a pistol is better than a rock but not much more than a security blanket when faced with RPGs and machine gun fire.

Bottom line is risk vs. reward and really you are the only one who can answer that.
Link Posted: 3/29/2006 6:11:47 PM EDT
I worked with a middle-age guy who did the same thing (plumbeing and a little truck driving on the side) for Halliburton, said he made $90,000 tax free. And this was back in 2004 when there were the big uprising in Novermber 2003 and March-April 2004. Didn't sound that dangerous.
Link Posted: 3/29/2006 6:27:16 PM EDT
I have been offered up to $240K to go to Afgan or Iraq and I did not take any of the 3 offers because I am married with childen and after a decade of being deployed all over the planet being away from my family for 6 to 9 months out of the year we were all more than ready for me to be a civ and settle down and try to have a normal life with lots more family time as my whole family agrees that their time with me is worth more than $240K, because if you die day 1 or day 365 you are dead. Wife is widow and kids have some other dude raising them down the road. I know people over there right now and they say that on base it isn't too bad but they do get mortar and rocket attacks periodically on the base, but he said that outside the base is still a pure hell zone, it is a war zone...PERIOD! Even if you get insured for $10M or $100M would your family actually feel right about getting money because you died just trying to make a buck?!?! How about working OT and getting on a strict busget to help get your house?
Link Posted: 3/29/2006 7:04:26 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/29/2006 7:19:34 PM EDT by NavajoGunOwner]
Been there done it , would do it again.

Get good tax advice get good body armour get a neck travel pillow, long trip over.
If you are in the green zome or on a base you'll be fine, just learn the security proticals and follow them.
Spent six months in 2003 in and around Baghdad. quit my job to do something for our country. like you prior Air Force, to old to enlist so found somebody to send me over. Worked at building the Baghdad city and regional governments, and data base manager and special projects.

traveled all over Baghdad under escourt, sometimes we self protected in Sububans, sometimes took a taxi( with a translator - just keep my mounth shut) later we obtain a local car and drove ourselves around.

Guys who got killed or kidnapped generally don't follow the security rules, kind of like going into SW DC on a Friday night and walk the back alleys

Best job I ever had, I knew I made adifferance and very intense in a good way, will be hard to top.

Some people have a need to serve our country, your wife and kids probaly know who you are and will support because they know who and what you belive. I drive into DC everyday, seen more dead people on the road side here than in six months in Baghdad.

Had good life insurance to insure the wife and my three kids would be taken care of, check with your company they may have something available for you.

Best people in the world go over and not just for the money (not enough to die for) besides we spent ours on surgery and travel when I came back. (Four months travel around the US)

If you need a weapon you can get a AK-47 for $40 on the street, put in the truck and if you get caught with it at a checkpoint they take it tell you you can't have and send you on the way, Then you go buy another one, you might spend a 300 to 400 a year to stay armed, also can get a 9mm for 50.00 cheap protection.

Go, it will be the best memories you will have and you will have some good stories.

And the opprotunies when you get home are good also I changed career fields and am building a nice future somewhat based on the work I did over there.

email me and we'll talk.



ETA: mman some of the advice is horrible. Some people just watch to much tv and read the newsprint. Don't believe it. We are doing a lot of good stuff and I know people going over still some repeats some for the first time, one guy is 62 years old. So go have fun and lgnore the arm chair 'warriors' they only know what they see on tv and what a friend of friend said .
Link Posted: 3/29/2006 7:12:24 PM EDT
Good luck man, keep this in mind,

"Whatever you do will be insignificant, but it is very important that you do it." -MG.

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