13 Americans have been electrocuted in Iraq since September 2003

The following story proves that the licensing of electricians, engineers, and contractors, and adopting the NEC as a minimum standard
makes us safer in the USA.
NEW YORK Inferior electrical work by private contractors on U.S. military bases in Iraq is more widespread than the Pentagon has acknowledged, according to a published report.
A Senate panel investigating the electrocutions of Americans on bases in Iraq was told last week by former KBR Inc. electricians that the contractor used employees with little electrical expertise to supervise subcontractors in Iraq and hired foreigners who couldn't speak English. The Pentagon has said 13 Americans have been electrocuted in Iraq since September 2003. It has ordered Houston- based KBR to inspect all the facilities it maintains in Iraq for electrical hazards.
The New York Times reported on its Web site Thursday night that many more people have been injured, some seriously, by shocks, according to internal Army documents. A log compiled this year at one building complex in Baghdad disclosed that soldiers complained of receiving electrical shocks in their living quarters almost daily, the paper reported.
During just one six-month period _ August 2006 through January 2007 _ at least 283 electrical fires destroyed or damaged American military facilities in Iraq, including the military's largest dining hall in the country, according to the documents obtained by the Times.
An Army survey issued in February 2007 said electrical problems were the most urgent noncombat safety hazard for soldiers in Iraq.
KBR, which is responsible for providing basic services, including housing, for American troops in Iraq, said last week that its investigation had not turned up evidence of a link between its work and the electrocutions. The Army report, however, said KBR did its own study and found a "systemic problem" with electrical work, according to the Times. from: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/07/17/iraq-faulty-wiring-a-seve_n_113498.html
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Gerald Newton wrote:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/07/17/iraq-faulty-wiring-a-seve_n_113498.html I think they need w_tom...
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Instead, they hired Bud. Some will say and do anything to maximize profits. Clearly those soldiers were not killed. Electricity was clamped to nothing. Therefore no dangerous currents to earth existed.
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I think that if they had had a rigorous inspection program using quailified inspectors most of the safety problems would have been found.
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Gerald Newton wrote:

We should send _wacko_ to Iraq to personally test every piece of wire, till he discovers that he doesn't know the first thing about electrical safety.
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Inspection is synonymous with failure. Quality control inspectors mean no quality. These concepts apply especially to electrical wiring. Inspection does not result in quality. Instead, management must provide attitude and knowledge. Insufficient attitude and knowledge is directly traceable to management failure.
Concepts are well documented such as in a book entitled "Out of Crisis". Another famous example is the "Toyota way".
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w_tom wrote:

SO, you've sold out to the Japsese hype? It was American qaulity control methods taught by Demming that brought them out of the stone ages, after WW-II.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/W._Edwards_Deming
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wrote:

True enough, but it was their dedicated practice of these principles that brought them to the quality standards that has made Toyota a flexible, quick on it's feet, very sucessful corporation. The same cannot be said of GM, Ford or Chrysler, why not? All three of these automakers were fully aware of Demming's work. I personally drive a Chrysler, and love it, but the quality of Toyota products is legendary. I refuse to buy one on principles, but you cannot fault their dedication to quality.
Regards, Tom
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hifi-tek wrote:

You do realize that Toyota assembles some of their vehicles in the US, don't you?
Unions. The big three can't get rid of deadwood like the Japanese can. Also, most American manufacturers ignored Demming's methods, at least, at first. They had the same attitude that they didn't need to inspect or test their products. That was why Motorola had over a 100% failure rate on consumer electronics, before they sold that division to Matsushita (Panasonic) in the '70s. Equipment would be defective when it reached the test & alignment stations, be sent back for rework, and they would find more problems. The first thing Matsushita did was replace all the tooling & test equipment, and implement the same QC standards and employee training they used in their Japanese plans. Newer designs were made to be easier to build, inspect & test. he failure rate dropped to industry averages and the in warranty field failures dropped like a rock.
It's like Sears warranty on Craftsman tools. Ship whatever comes off the vendor's production line, and replace what fails. That is, if the customer bothers to bring it back. Most aren't worth the gasoline costs to exchange, these days. The last time I exchanged a tool was a #2 philips, over 20 years ago. The shank of the new screwdriver was full of pits before it was chromed, and the tip stripped out, simply by removing the 6/32 screws from an IBM XT computer. I was on the fourth screw when the metal started to crack and fall off. I have never bought another screwdriver from them, I did buy a couple cordless drills, because I had two gift certificates I needed to use or lose. I would have been better off just tossing them in the trash and saved the gasoline. they both died while stripping junk computers.
Try building for NASA, NOAA or any other government agency with no quality control. Add ISO 900x certification on top of that. Sometimes the paper trail and inspection data are larger than the shipped product. Only COTS can get by, but samples are usually tested before a large purchase is made.
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Michael is not posting for factual benefit. Michael is following me everywhere posting attacks. I have caught Michael a few times posting technical nonsense. He does not like me. Michael Terrell is only here to argue based on hate which is easy to do when knowledge only comes from sound bytes and political rhetoric.
One can either design the products or cost control the products. Those whose knowledge only comes from cost control mentality and sound bytes also assume that quality control inspectors increase quality. A first thing to increase quality is to eliminate quality control inspectors. Those American deaths in Iraq are directly traceable to contractors with a history of maximizing profits at the expense of service. Notice who did so much of the work even on no bid contracts.
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w_tom wrote:

Bullshit.
. He does not like me.
I have a severe aversion to idiots, liars and losers.
. Michael Terrell is only

I am here because I want to be. No matter what lies you tell. It is you who pops up any time the word 'surge' is used.

Nonsense. All design is compromise. Knowing what can and can't be cut is a large part of engineering.

yawn. Go to China if you want to build low grade crap with no quality control. Mission critical electronics can not be built without inspection. In a properly run QC or QA program, very little problems are found. You better be damn happy that the command destruct receivers we built for NASA were inspected, multiple times.

I suppose that includes building inspectors, as well? After all, they are quality control inspectors. How about the engineers who inspect new bridge and highway construction? Do you want to get rid of them too?

So, no one inspected their work, yet you claim no quality control is needed. Your lies are tripping you up, as usual.

I don't follow your lame ass around. You pop up in newsgroups I've used for years, and spouting your cut & paste nonsense. As far as your constant lies, people can see for themselves.
Your manic obsession with grounding blinds you to the real facts. As far as electrocution, it is the result of enough potential difference, creating enough current flow though the heart to cause it to stop. That DOES NOT HAVE TO INCLUDE A PATH TO GROUND. All it requires is a pair of conductors with enough potential to provide the current. A delta three phase power source can easily kill you, even when it is not connected to ground.
In fact, you can be electrocuted by a high voltage gradient in the soil.
You keep bragging me that you have caught me posting 'technical nonsense'. Put up, or shut up.
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wrote:

Michael Terrell demonstrates knowledge only from a political agenda and popular myth. If Michael had first learned how things work, then he read - learned a fundamental difference between quality assurance and quality control. But no. Michael automatically knows. He need not first learn technologies and facts. He did not get educated. He learned from political rhetoric. Therefore Michael does not even understand what was posted - but is critical anyway. Michael demonstrates where America has serious problems. People who always know - are told how to think by Rush Limbaugh, et al - and never bother to get an education.
Let's see. A GM car needed two extra pistons to obtain same horsepower. Why did 1990s Japanese have engines that were developed in GM before 1975? Why did GM in 2000 and 2008 still not sell those engines in every car? Engines that were world standard, that were developed in GM 30 years earlier, and that massively reduce costs? According to Michael Terrell reasoning, all those extra pistons, fuel injectors, manifolds, larger engine block, heavier car, etc - all those higher costs *are directly traceable to unions*. But again, Michael always knows without first learning facts.
Had Michael learned how things work, then Michael would have known that a quality control inspector mean no quality. He would have known why GM's costs are so much higher why GM costs per car were higher than Mercedes. What creates higher costs? Stifled technology. No innovation. But that is not what popular myths and political pundits say. Michael does not even understand how Toyota obtained legendary quality starting in the 1960s. No quality control inspectors means increased quality. Quality control inspectors would solve those troop electrocutions? Hardly.
Meanwhile, in most every case, troops had been shocked previously. Nothing was done until someone died. Another problem directly traceable to management. Only defective management and those taught by rhetoric would use quality control inspectors to solve problems.
GM is at a disadvantage due to legacy costs? Another myth that Michael will automatically believe. When a GM employee retires, those pension funds are supposed to be fully funded. Why does GM have legacy costs? Michael who learns before knowing would know that GM shorted their pension funds in the 1990s to claim profits. Now GM has legacy costs directly traceable to GM management money games. However Michael knows GM's problems are due to legacy costs because unions are always to blame. Michael Terrell's politics blames unions. Extremism is alive and well where people such as Michael know without first learning facts.
Soldiers would get shocked. Still the problem was not fixed? Quality control inspectors would have solved that? Of course not. Just another example of failure directly traceable to management. But that contradicts those who learn only from rhetoric and sound bytes. Clearly those deaths could have been averted by quality control inspectors. Michael - who demonstrates all the symptoms of a political extremist - just knows this must be true.
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w_tom wrote:

Actually I do know the difference. I worked as a Quality Assurance inspector on the PRC-77 man pack radio at Cincinnati Electronics, as well as with the QC inspectors and Manufacturing Engineering department at Microdyne to resolve manufacturing problems, to reduce assembly errors.

Another ignorant lie by _wacko_.

Projecting, from your small dark world again?

You don't understand anything, _wacko_

Yes, and the problem is that we haven't rounded up all the free range mental patients like you, and put them back in the zoo where they belong. "Oh, look, Mommy! The sign says this is one of the world's most ignorant trolls! He wasted his whole life telling lies and pretending he had an education about grounding! "

You always have to bring up your favorite inbred talk radio host, don't you? Tell us, did your family tree EVER branch?
I listen to http://www.wsmonline.com/ not your twin brother.

Stop trying to put your weasel words in my mouth, _wacko_.

Typical _wacko_ misdirection, since he's lost the argument. This has absolutely nothing to do with the thread.

Bullshit. Read Demming's work, and how it helped your masters in Japan.

Have you ever talked to engineers at GM? Heard about the innovations the union overruled because it would cost one union job? You are so ignorant that you have to stop typing to breathe.
Ideas like a radio that installed through the dash. It would have eliminated two union jobs per production line. A redesign of the heater and A/C that would be easier to service was rejected, because it would have cost four or five union jobs, per production line. The list is endless, and we, the consumers have had to pay for it. This time, GM is in so much financail trouble they may not survive, and all those UAW and other union workers will be out on their asses, for good.

Exactly what the UAW has done to GM. Why do you think it takes GM two years or more to convert a factory from building trucks to building cars? Too many unions and union rules. One does a little work, then another union does their little job, and so on. There is very little difference in the actual assembly line, and the tooling, but the unions drag their heels as long as possible. If they were not in control, the conversion would take a few months.
Why is there so little automation at the 'big three' auto makers, compared to the Japanese auto makers? Unions.

Definitely. Say: "Thank you, UAW. Please screw me again."

What do they say? I don't listen to myths, and I've never met a pundit.

No, you don't Demming's quality control methods is what was used to teach people that the job had to be done right. It worked so well, that the Japanese people have turned into neurotic workaholics. Quality has been beaten into their souls, to the point that in some cases their job is more important than their families.

Yawn. You have semi skilled workers hired from all over the world. A lot of them come from places with little or no concern over electrical safety. Cincinnati Electronics sent a team to Pakistan in the late '70s to set up a production line for a NATO radio. The Pakistan electricians drove pairs of nails into the bare wood walls, then ran parallel runs of bare copper wire from nail to nail. They cut the AC plugs off the test equipment, then stripped and wrapped the stranded copper around the solid, bare copper and that was that. Anyone could bump into the wiring and be electrocuted. In other countries, theft of electricity is quite common and uses methods just as dangerous. This bunch was hired to satisfy NATO, who doesn''t give a damn about the lives of US troops.

Personally, I would have made sure no one was able to be shocked again. But then, I was a inspector.

Because no one was responsible to make sure it was done right.

So, every city, count, state and even the Federal government is wrong for doing building inspections? I guess that refrigerator box you live in doesn't need inspected, but real buildings do.

Yawn... More of _wacko's_ weasel words. I never said anything close to that.

A lot of companies are trying to screw their employees out of their pensions. This isn't news.

Yawn... More of _wacko's_ weasel words. I never said anything close to that.

Yawn... More of _wacko's_ weasel words. I never said anything close to that.

As long as no one is directly responsible. Inspections leave paper trails, so the guilty can be tried. If they can be put in prison, or given a death sentence for shoddy work, it is not likely to happen.

If it had been inspected like electrical work is in the US and other first world countries, it would have been safe before it was powered up. Have you ever heard of a 'certificate of occupancy'? You get it after a building passes all inspections. Of course this doesn't apply to the refrigerator box you share with the other bums.

Talking about yourself? All you ever use is sound bites.

AKA building inspectors. Yes. If the work was substandard, the buildings would have been repaired before the troops were allowed to use them.

I freely admit that I am a political extremist, and will work to rid the world of idiots like you, while working within the laws of the United States.
BTW, your mothership has been delayed, and they said they won't be picking you up. Ever.
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The following story proves that the licensing of electricians, engineers, and contractors, and adopting the NEC as a minimum standard makes us safer in the USA.
NEW YORK Inferior electrical work by private contractors on U.S. military bases in Iraq is more widespread than the Pentagon has acknowledged, according to a published report.
A Senate panel investigating the electrocutions of Americans on bases in Iraq was told last week by former KBR Inc. electricians that the contractor used employees with little electrical expertise to supervise subcontractors in Iraq and hired foreigners who couldn't speak English. The Pentagon has said 13 Americans have been electrocuted in Iraq since September 2003. It has ordered Houston- based KBR to inspect all the facilities it maintains in Iraq for electrical hazards.
The New York Times reported on its Web site Thursday night that many more people have been injured, some seriously, by shocks, according to internal Army documents. A log compiled this year at one building complex in Baghdad disclosed that soldiers complained of receiving electrical shocks in their living quarters almost daily, the paper reported.
During just one six-month period _ August 2006 through January 2007 _ at least 283 electrical fires destroyed or damaged American military facilities in Iraq, including the military's largest dining hall in the country, according to the documents obtained by the Times.
An Army survey issued in February 2007 said electrical problems were the most urgent noncombat safety hazard for soldiers in Iraq.
KBR, which is responsible for providing basic services, including housing, for American troops in Iraq, said last week that its investigation had not turned up evidence of a link between its work and the electrocutions. The Army report, however, said KBR did its own study and found a "systemic problem" with electrical work, according to the Times. from: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/07/17/iraq-faulty-wiring-a-seve_n_113498 . html
Every thing about Iraq has been a fuck up from the word go. Virtually nothing has gone right. But that's what happens when there is little oversight, no bid contracts, greedy contractors trying to make a fast buck at the governments expense, and a whole host of other issues.
It's easy to blame the lack of licensed electricians but where are the inspectors, where are the plans and layouts, where is the over sight, where is the management who signed off on this crap? Where was the Army? How come they didn't stop everything when the first guy got shocked? Many questions, no answers.
You can sum this whole Iraq thing up under the same heading as Katrina. When you elect people who don't believe in government, people who put cronies and political hacks in charge, people who think government is the problem, people who don't believe government has a roll, and people who blame the government for the ills of society, you get INCOMPETENT government. What do you expect? Would you hire a cabinet maker that didn't like to work with wood? Hell no! But you are quick to elect and put in charge bozos who don't like government. Very Weird.
The Bush administration is going down as the absolute worst in American history and this electrical problem is the tiniest tip of a very vast ice berg. I hate to tell you this, but this issue goes way beyond electricians.
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Gerald Newton wrote:

SNIP
It's very sad to see those figures.
I wonder how they compare with the electrocution figures for British forces there?
I presume the latter to have been unlicensed (as are all British electricians), but competent, members of (e.g.) the Corps of Royal Engineers , and to have worked to British Standard 7671 wiring regs.as far as war conditions allowed. I also understand that Iraqi wiring was (loosely?) based on those regs. I'm not familiar enough with the NEC to know whether its use could have been appropriate, and I wouldn't be surprised if the US contractors were equally unfamiliar with BS7671.
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Martin Crossley wrote:

The army USED to do all their own electrical word out of the engineering units. They were actually pretty good.. I guess with the low troop levels they need to use contractors. All at low bid.. No good..
Eric
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Eric wrote:

Contractors don't get VA benefits, or go through 'Basic Training' and 'Advanced Individual Training'. They don't get proficiency pay, or promotions. It's all part of the downsizing of the military. They were phasing out my MOS of Broadcast Engineer to civilians when I got out in the early '70s.
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Eric wrote: >

A lot of the contracting companies are not low bid, they are no bid (likely the opposite).
Contractors are used for a lot of things other than electrical that the military used to do. There are probably about as many contractors as US troops in Iraq. A lot of workers are foreign (not American/European/Iraq1).
One of the reasons is the philosophy of privatizing government functions currently in vogue.
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| Eric wrote: | > |> The army USED to do all their own electrical word out of the engineering |> units. They were actually pretty good.. I guess with the low troop |> levels they need to use contractors. All at low bid.. |> No good.. |> | | A lot of the contracting companies are not low bid, they are no bid | (likely the opposite).
Which means you get the quality of low bid with the cost of high bid, with some of the profits kicked back somewhere.
| Contractors are used for a lot of things other than electrical that the | military used to do. There are probably about as many contractors as US | troops in Iraq. A lot of workers are foreign (not American/European/Iraq1). | | One of the reasons is the philosophy of privatizing government functions | currently in vogue.
I almost took one of those (data) network engineering jobs in Afghanistan for $225K+benefits. Obviously there are some high costs involved paying people to get them to come to high danger spots. But this is not in any way a justification for incorrectly wired facilities where people's lives are at stake. If they had to pay a real American electrician $225K to do the work right, rather than maybe $30K to some on-the-job trainee from who knows what country, then it would be worth it to keep people alive. Just because there are plenty of hazards in the region does not mean safety can be skipped (especially for those people who do put their lives right on the line in the field).
They need to track how that happened, up from whoever miswired it until they reach an American with responsibility, then roll some heads (and take back the cash on the no-bid contract).
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wrote:

OK.
I was a COR (Contracting Officer Representative) for a few months when I was an Engineer officer in VN back in 1970/71.
In all but the smallest bases, most of the hard work was done by locals either directly hired by the military (or small groups of GIs) or through contractors. The contractors usually had Americans in the higher level jobs. The next layer down were the TCNs (Third Country Nationals -- Korean & Phillipine in VN), and then locals.
The contract I partly "supervised" was for AC power distribution to several medium sized bases. I read the actual contract and it was a "Cost Plus" contract with an incentive which was dependent upon the rating given by the several CORs.
In my office and a nearby office we had contracting officers and CORs for all kinds of activities from road construction to water production to garbage disposal to fire fighting. In general the contracts (I believe/hope) were awarded on the basis of: 1) which "management team" would likely do the best job; and 2) which one worked the cheapest. Since it was definitely "cost plus" #2 was close to "down in the noise." We in the military were there for our year of duty. Many officers were given two completely different assignments within that year. The contractor folks (and a handful of US Government employees) provided much of the continuity.
Even within the major bases the Engineers had small units (usually call ____ detachment) which comprised kids who had all kids of civilian skills. In one case, a small building burned down and our "detachment" rebuilt it within a week.
The contractors may have traveled on the roads betwen the bases but they NEVER worked in fire bases or in bases that were in the middle of a continuing battle. If "engineering services" were required in these places, engineer troops and engineer officers did the job.
Our Hq (the "District Engineer") provided fire trucks to protect aircraft landing at KheSahn and a nearby refuel and rearm point in 1971. When a joint RVN/USA command post was set up, I took a kid with me to "wire the lights" as the general's Hq staff didn't include any "working" engineers.
The civilians made a lot of money for that time. But many/most of them had already served in the military including combat tours.
The US Army used a lot of civilain contractors during the "Indian Wars." The tales of their corrumption are manifest. BUT the US won the Indian Wars using an all volunteer army and without a draft.
Like it or not the military use of contractors is a good idea.
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