Civilian Contract Work In Iraq - Would You Do It? (NON POLITICAL)....

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Kevin Alexander, Sep 29, 2004.

  1. Kevin Alexander

    Kevin Alexander Screenwriter

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    I hear that some of these guys are being paid BIG MONEY in the starting range of $100,000/mo. for even the smallest tasks and work assignments. For that type of money, would you go to Iraq to work despite the dangers? Personally, I couldn't do it, but I can see how some would be tempted. Also, do any of you know any civilian contractors over there? If so, have you heard any experiences of how they manage their safety?

    GUYS, PLEASE KEEP THIS THREAD FREE OF POLITICS. THANKS.
     
  2. Henry Gale

    Henry Gale Producer

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    OK. I'll comment while the thread is still open.
    $100,000 per year isn't what it used to be. There are many members of HTF making that and more, and not literally risking their neck to do it.
    The last American civilian to die was recently working in Georgia as a part time Rural Carrier for the Postal Service.
    I do the same work on a full time basis for around $50,000.
    His decision to leave his family for an extented period, at great risk, to acquire a better hunk of the American Dream ended badly.
    To get into motivations other than money would take this right to the area we can't discuss here.
    No, there ain't enough money to get me over there.
     
  3. Kevin Alexander

    Kevin Alexander Screenwriter

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    From what I've heard, the money starts around $100,000 A MONTH, not a year. I've also heard stories that there's a waiting list for those who'd like to go.
     
  4. Greg_R

    Greg_R Screenwriter

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    I know 2 people who are over there as civilians. Contrary to popular belief, there are many areas in Iraq that are safe. There are (obviously) other areas that are not safe (primarily a triangle of cities near the center of the country) and the contractors get paid extra due to the hazards. Both people I know work in the southern area (near the gulf)... they get paid a very good salary for their job (6 figures / yr.) but not $100k / month. The housing is secured but the job site and travel is not...
     
  5. Todd Hochard

    Todd Hochard Cinematographer

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    100K/mo is an exaggeration for typical work. A friend of mine nearly took a job as a technician for the approach radar at Baghdad International. The pay itself wasn't that great- $25/hour. However, it was 100% tax-free. His REQUIRED shift was 12hours, 6 days a week. Time-and-a-half over 40 hours each week. 30 days of vacation for the year (it was a 12 month offer), to be taken in two two-week blocks, with a $2500 allowance given for each vacation, plus airfare paid for, anywhere in the world (from Baghdad, of course). There was a sign-on bonus, I forget how much, and a "completion" bonus (if you didn't quit). They paid for the hazard insurance.

    All told, they said the take-home would be comparable to $175k here in the States.

    He ended up turning it down.

    Most of the truckers over there are paid in the range of 80-100K, for the year. My Dad said a couple of the younger drivers at his company (a trucking company, duh[​IMG] ) went over at that rate. Mainly running Kuwait-Baghdad, and back.

    Money is a STRONG motivator for some, but not for me- not strong enough to get me to go for that type of work. You are, quite literally, potentially trading your life for a couple of bucks, and likely don't have any military protection. How much is your life worth? If that's the PRIME motivation to go, then that seems to be the closest thing to selling your soul to the devil on this Earth (if I'm allowed to say that).

    FWIW, I participated in the first Gulf war.

    Todd
     
  6. Christ Reynolds

    Christ Reynolds Producer

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    i dont know how this can stay free of politics, given the nature of the question, but i'll respond. if the money STARTED at $100,000 a month like you said (which it cannot possibly), then i think not only would people be lined up to go, but it would also be all over the news. for that money, id probably be tempted to go, but i dont think i could go through with it.

    CJ
     
  7. Kevin Alexander

    Kevin Alexander Screenwriter

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    Again, I said that this is what I heard (on the radio). I am not stating that as fact which I have indicated in all my posts.
     
  8. Philip_G

    Philip_G Producer

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    hell I'd almost go over there for 100k a year [​IMG]
     
  9. Shane Martin

    Shane Martin Producer

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    You couldn't pay me enough.
     
  10. Julian Reville

    Julian Reville Screenwriter

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    As a civilian, absolutely not, no matter what the pay.
     
  11. ThomasC

    ThomasC Lead Actor

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    Never, ever, ever.
     
  12. Nathan*W

    Nathan*W Screenwriter

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    I can believe it.

    Law enforcement officers can go to Iraq for $120,632/year through International Police Mission. That could be pretty attractive to the beat cop making $26,000.
     
  13. Philip_G

    Philip_G Producer

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    poor bastard, reporting for duty [​IMG]
     
  14. Nathan*W

    Nathan*W Screenwriter

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    [​IMG] LOL!
     
  15. Chris James

    Chris James Stunt Coordinator

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    Well, I can tell that the money is NOT $100,000 a month. I am currently working in the "Green Zone" in Central Baghdad (the place you hear about on the news). Civilian contractors make anywhere from $60,000 to $500,000 a year. The only "safe" areas are way up north like Dahuk in Kurdish territory. But with the price on our heads, that area is not truly safe. The worst areas are inside the Sunni Triangle, which include Baghdad. Mortars and rockets are a way of life, and you do not see everything that goes on by watching CNN. I think there were two today, but no one back home will know.

    Why am I here? The money ($80,000+ with no taxes, which translates into about $100,000 in the US) is fairly good, though other people can make that much at home....I can not. The average FAMILY income in America is around $30,000 a year. Also, I came because I wanted to travel and see other parts of the world. I have stayed in Amman, Jordan, several places in Kuwait, Dubai, Amsterdam, England, and France. England and France were only in the airports, but it was fun to experience it. I am also under 30 years old, with no wife/children. Plus, though I can not tell you exactly what I do, I have seen some amazing sights.....1 million sq ft palaces, numerous beautiful buildings and mosques, literally felt just how powerful the Spectre Gunship is, literally felt how powerful car bombs and mortars/rockets are, interacting with the Iraqi people, learning the Arabic language (I now know what they are saying on the phone in the Stop-n-Go's), and many other things. It has been a good and eye opening experience, and will do it again.
     
  16. Chris

    Chris Lead Actor

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    I have a few friends over there, two who have lived their for the last 10 years or so, and 4 who went over to work ala telecom.

    Would I do it? Well, the trick isn't "NO" or "YES" it's "Where am I working" [​IMG] I'd do it in a heartbeat for the right assignments. If you want, privately, I can send some links to pictures of work that they managed to complete and things that got done, it's pretty impressive (here, we are talking primarily about internet and phone services)..

    Now, if you wanted me to go over and work, say, an oil pipeline.. maybe I wouldn't have the same interest level [​IMG]
     
  17. Philip_G

    Philip_G Producer

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    so do you pack an AK47 with you? [​IMG]
     
  18. WadeB

    WadeB Stunt Coordinator

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    If I were 60, single, no family, I MIGHT go for the 100K/Mo.
     
  19. Ricky Hustle

    Ricky Hustle Supporting Actor

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    F*$k no, never. The thought of getting beheaded scares the hell out of me.

    No money is worth my life. But hey, that's just me. [​IMG]
     
  20. Kenneth

    Kenneth Supporting Actor

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    I think anyone trying for an expat job should make sure it is something they really want to do and are ready for (regardless of whether their motivation is money, humanitarian reasons, or a career move). I worked in Malaysia as an expat (for a year and a half) for my former employer Intel. I found it to be an enjoyable and fullfilling assignment and would do it again (in the right country). I saw other expats who were miserable and ended up with personal problems (like divorces) and health problems. Personally I wouldn't put myself in a dangerous situation, if I didn't have to, for any amount of money. Others have a higher threshhold for danger.

    Kenneth
     

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