Home »

Blackwater (company)

The meaning of «blackwater (company)»

Academi was an American private military company founded on December 26, 1996[2] by former Navy SEAL officer Erik Prince[3][4] as Blackwater, renamed Xe Services in 2009 and known as Academi since 2011 after the company was acquired by a group of private investors.[5] The company received widespread notoriety in 2007, when a group of its employees killed 17 Iraqi civilians and injured 20 in Nisour Square, Baghdad, for which four guards were convicted in the U.S., but later pardoned on December 22, 2020 by President Donald Trump.[6][7]

Academi provides security services to the United States federal government on a contractual basis. Since 2003, the group has provided services to the Central Intelligence Agency. In 2013, Academi subsidiary International Development Solutions received an approximately $92 million contract for State Department security guards.[8]

In 2014, Academi merged with Triple Canopy, a subsidiary of Constellis Group.[9][10]

Blackwater USA was formed on December 26, 1996,[11] by Al Clark[12] and Erik Prince in North Carolina, to provide training support to military and law enforcement organizations. In explaining Blackwater's purpose, Prince stated: "We are trying to do for the national security apparatus what FedEx did for the Postal Service".[13] After working with SEAL and SWAT teams, Blackwater USA received its first government contract following the bombing of USS Cole off of the coast of Yemen in October 2000.

Prince purchased approximately 7,000 acres (28 km2) of the Great Dismal Swamp, a vast swamp on the North Carolina–Virginia border that is now mostly a national wildlife refuge. "We needed 3,000 acres to make it safe," Prince told reporter Robert Young Pelton.[14] There, he created his private training facility and his contracting company, Blackwater, which he named for the peat-colored water of the swamp.[15]

The Blackwater Lodge and Training Center officially opened on May 15, 1998 with a 6,000-acre, $6.5 million facility.[14] The training facility comprises several ranges: indoor, outdoor, urban reproductions; an artificial lake; and a driving track in Camden and Currituck counties. The company says it is the largest training facility in the country. The concept was not a financial success and was kept financially solvent by sales from sister company Blackwater Target Systems.[16]

Jeremy Scahill has claimed that Blackwater Security Company (BSC) was the brainchild of Jamie Smith, a former CIA officer who became Vice President of Blackwater USA and the Founding Director of Blackwater Security Company, holding both positions simultaneously.[17] However, this claim is denied by Prince and Blackwater executive Gary Jackson who describe firing Smith from his position as a low-level administrator for "non-performance" after a 30-day contract. Additionally, Smith has been accused of further embellishing his military and contracting record to defraud investors at SCG International Risk.[18]

contact us full version