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Blackwater USA took out a full page ad in the January/February 2019 issue of "Recoil" magazine with the company's logo and a message: "We are coming."

This article has been edited to clarify that Constellis no longer trains forces at Camp Integrity and that Blackwater, if it returns, would not have a connection to Constellis.

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Blackwater Founder, Erik Prince

The company has undergone a series of rebranding efforts over the years as an apparent means of distancing itself from overtly toxic connotations.

Prince’s Financial Times bio discreetly identifies him as simply “a former US Navy SEAL and executive chairman of Frontier Services Group,” a Hong Kong-headquartered entity. According to its website, FSG offers “security and logistics services in frontier markets”.

In an investigation by The Intercept, Prince’s activities at FSG were reported to include endeavouring to sell weaponised crop dusters in Africa as part of “what one colleague called his ‘obsession’ with building his own private air force”. As with many of Prince’s operations, a facade of legality has often proved elusive.

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Blackwater successor Academi asked a Virginia federal judge on Thursday to toss a False Claims Act suit accusing it of falsifying firearms qualifications for U.S. Department of State guards in Afghanistan, arguing that the claims don’t hold up under the U.S. Supreme Court‘s recent Escobar decision.

In a reply in support of its motion for judgment on the pleadings, Academi pointed to the Supreme Court’s ruling this year in Universal Health Services Inc. v. Escobar, which noted that the FCA requires that violations be “material,” defined by the statute as something “capable of influencing” government payment decisions. Under this standard, former marksmen Lyle Beauchamp and Warren Shepherd have failed to allege that the government would, or likely would, have withheld payment had it known of Academi’s “supposed noncompliance,” according to the company.

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Blackwater founder and former Navy SEAL Erik Prince told Breitbart News Daily on SiriusXM that according to one of his “well-placed sources” in the New York Police Department, “The NYPD wanted to do a press conference announcing the warrants and the additional arrests they were making” in the Anthony Weiner investigation, but received “huge pushback” from the Justice Department.

Prince began by saying he had no problem believing reports that the FBI was highly confident multiple foreign agencies hacked Hillary Clinton’s private email server.

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Erik Prince, former CEO of private security firm Blackwater who served as a Navy SEAL and CIA asset, told Breitbart News Sunday’s Stephen K. Bannon that to win the war against radical Islamic terrorism, the United States must deny entry to people who pose a threat to America’s Christian way of life.

He said the United States could defeat the jihadi enemy by denying them sanctuary, money, and access to American territory.

“We have no obligation as a country to allow people in that are an inherent threat or could be an inherent threat to our way of life — to our Western Judeo-Christian civilization,” declared Prince, now the managing director of the private equity firm Frontier Resource Group. “It is open to all — freedom of religion, but not if they’re coming here to attack us.”

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Erik Prince, Blackwater

In a major new exposé, The Intercept has revealed that the Justice Department is investigating Blackwater founder Erik Prince for possible money laundering, ties to Chinese intelligence, and attempts to broker military services to foreign governments. Prince is currently the chairman of Frontier Services Group, an aviation and logistics firm specializing in shipping in Africa. But documents obtained by The Intercept show that Prince has also set up shell companies to offer paramilitary services to at least a half-dozen African nations, including Libya.

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Erik Prince, founder of the famed private military contractor Blackwater, addressed the Bush-linked Maverick PAC and his remarks, as transcribed by the Daily Beast, were provocative. He thought his old outfit could have handled the menace of the Islamic State effectively:

“It’s a shame the [Obama] administration crushed my old business, because as a private organization, we could’ve solved the boots-on-the-ground issue, we could have had contracts from people that want to go there as contractors; you don’t have the argument of U.S. active duty going back in there,” Prince said in an on-stage discussion featuring retired four-star Gen. James Conway. “[They could have] gone in there and done it, and be done, and not have a long, protracted political mess that I predict will ensue.”

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Erik Prince, Blackwater

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A year after Prince proposed private troops for Nigeria, the West African nation is now using mercenaries. Prince’s old firm, Blackwater, used to contract with the U.S. to protect convoys and officials, and train foreign armies — but caused controversy when its employees killed Iraqi civilians.

Nigeria’s government is deploying South African mercenaries in its effort to battle the Islamist Boko Haram militia that’s wreaking havoc in the northern part of the country, the New York Times reported last week.

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Erik Prince

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When the war on terror has lost the founder of Blackwater, counterterrorism efforts could be in real trouble. Why Erik Prince thinks the national security state has become too big. Erik Prince is not the kind of man one expects to make the case for slashing U.S. intelligence and military budgets. After 9-11, his company, Blackwater, expanded exponentially, winning contracts to protect diplomats and politicians in Iraq and to train and work with CIA paramilitary teams hunting terrorists.

In an interview, Prince said the national security state he once served has grown too large.

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We all know, Blackwater is no more but, Blackwater’s descendants are still scoring big jobs, providing training and embassy security around the world. With fewer contracts coming from Iraq and Afghanistan, consolidation across the security business means that the State Department — which remains heavily dependent on private-sector guards for its embassies and consulates — has a smaller and smaller number of companies from which to choose. That, in turn, means big profits for the remaining heavyweights.

Work on the last major Defense Department contract in Iraq was suppose to be Dec. 15, 2014 when the Iraqi government took over a U.S. facility at Umm Qasr Naval Base. The United States built a ship repair facility there for the Iraqi military back in 2011. U.S. military has continued to try and disentangle itself from Iraq even as a recent surge in ISIS sectarian violence threatens to undo years of hard-won gains.

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Last week, four former employees of Blackwater, the notorious private US military contractor, were sentenced for the killing of 14 unarmed civilians and the wounding of 17 more in Iraq in 2007.

Paul Slough, Evan Liberty and Dustin Heard each received 30 years in prison after being found guilty of several charges of voluntary and attempted manslaughter. While Nicholas Slatten, the team’s sniper, was sentenced to life for first-degree murder for his part in the killings, which took place while the four men were working as part of a security detail for the US State Department.

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Blackwater’s Legacy Goes Beyond Public View

Post Date: April 17, 2015 | Category: Around the World

Erik Prince

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By the time four former Blackwater security guards were sentenced this week to long prison terms for the 2007 fatal shooting of 14 civilians in Iraq, the man who sent the contractors there had long since moved on from the country and the company he made notorious.

Erik Prince, the founder of Blackwater, a former member of the Navy SEALs and heir to a Michigan auto parts fortune, has spent the last few years searching for new missions, new fields of fire and new customers.

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WASHINGTON — A federal judge on Friday rejected a last-minute request to delay the sentencing hearing for four former Blackwater guards convicted in the 2007 fatal shooting of Iraqi civilians.

The order from U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth means the sentencing will proceed as scheduled Monday morning in Washington. Federal prosecutors are seeking mandatory decades-long sentences for three of the four — Evan Liberty, Dustin Heard and Paul Slough — and a life sentence for guard Nicholas Slatten, who was convicted of first-degree murder.

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According to RT America, Statistics released last week reveal that the rebranded private security firm, known since 2011 as Academi, reaped over a quarter billion dollars from the futile Defense Department push to eradicate Afghan narcotics, some 21% of the $1.5 bn in contracting money the Pentagon has devoted to the job since 2002.

The company is the second biggest beneficiary of counternarcotics largesse in Afghanistan. Only the defense giant Northrop Grumman edged it out, with $325m.

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According to the New York Time, Erik Prince billionaire founder of Blackwater was hired by the crown prince of Abu Dhabi to put together an 800-member battalion of foreign troops for the U.A.E., according to former employees on the project, American officials and corporate documents obtained by a reputable source.

The force is intended to conduct special operations missions inside and outside the country, defend oil pipelines and skyscrapers from terrorist attacks and put down internal revolts, the documents show. Such troops could be deployed if the Emirates faced unrest in their crowded labor camps or were challenged by pro-democracy protests like those sweeping the Arab world this year.

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Erik Prince has a message for ISIS: You’re lucky Blackwater is gone...

Last week, the controversial founder of the private military company had plenty to say about what the organization he once ran could be doing in the fight against the so-called Islamic State—and also why Republicans need to stop being such losers.

“It’s a shame the [Obama] administration crushed my old business, because as a private organization, we could’ve solved the boots-on-the-ground issue, we could have had contracts from people that want to go there as contractors; you don’t have the argument of U.S. active duty going back in there,”

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Frontier Services Group (FSG), a Nairobi-based company associated with former Navy SEAL and Blackwater founder Erik Prince, has announced it is expanding to the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The logistics company said it had entered into an agreement to buy a private DRC-based transporter for an undisclosed amount. FSG said the proposed acquisition will enable the firm expand to a market that is underserved.

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Erik Prince

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Erik Prince needs no uniform or medals to display his military credentials. Once you have seen his brisk walk, been on the receiving end of his vice-like handshake and looked into his steely eyes, you know this is indeed a man of military mettle.

But the former United States Navy SEALs member and co-founder of Blackwater, the private military company whose name is synonymous with controversy and the US-led wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, would like Chinese to think of him as just another civilian, but with something special to sell.

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Seven years ago, Blackwater Worldwide founder Erik Prince was on Capitol Hill, defending the company he founded as it faced allegations that his employees had shot up a square in Baghdad a few weeks prior on Sept. 16, 2007, killing 14 civilians and wounding 17 others.

Prince insisted that day that all of his employees had acted appropriately, and that a series of baseless allegations of wrongdoing” had been made against his business, which he’d built from the ground up in the 1990s. He bristled at the notion that his firm was a band of hired mercenaries, saying he and his employees “are Americans, working for Americans, protecting Americans.”

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MOSCOW — The US private military company Academi (formerly known as Blackwater) has confirmed its readiness to start training a Ukrainian battalion for street fighting, a military-diplomatic source told TASS on Tuesday.

“The private military company Academi has confirmed to the Kiev authorities its readiness to start training an experimental battalion of 550 men as of January at the request of Ukraine’s General Staff,” the source said.

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Was Blackwater founder Erik Prince trying to avoid legal trouble with the United Nations when he allegedly distanced himself from a Web site called “The Somalia Report?”

It depends on who you believe in a marathon legal battle being waged in a Northern Virginia court between Prince, founder of what was once the world’s most notorious security contracting firm, and a former business partner, journalist Robert Young Pelton. Each man claims he is owed $1 million by the other.

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Erik Prince is not whining, he wants that clear. “However much I had to put up with, in terms of the assault from all sides, from the lawyers and the bureaucrats, pales in comparison to guys who lost their lives, who were maimed, either active-duty military or contractors,” he says. “I’m just providing a cautionary tale to the next guy dumb enough to run to the sound of the alarm bell. Because the government can drop you on a dime and leave you hanging.” For Prince, who in less than a decade took an obscure military training facility, Blackwater USA, and transformed it, with government contracts, into a billion-dollar company before selling it in late 2010, even score-settling is a public service.

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The founder of Blackwater, once the world’s most notorious security contracting firm, seemed stumped by his interrogator’s question.

Could Erik Prince — a former Navy SEAL who reportedly worked as an undercover CIA operative — specify how much of his best-selling memoir he wrote himself? “I don’t know, because — I don’t know,” Prince said during a day-long deposition at a Northern Virginia law office about a year ago.

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Absent on Wednesday in a Washington courtroom, where a federal jury entered guilty verdicts of murder and manslaughter against four Blackwater Worldwide guards in the killings of 14 Iraqi civilians, was a man synonymous with the United States’s infatuation with contractors. He is Erik Prince — billionaire, former Navy Seal, ex-CIA spy — the founder of Blackwater.

Prince is a man accustomed to drama. Numerous agencies have interrogated him. Members of Congress and reporters have hurled accusations against his company: murder, wrongful death, prostitution, negligence, weapons smuggling and racial discrimination. He has been called a “war profiteer,” a “mercenary” and a “right-wing crusader.” He sold the company and started a new one under a different name.

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Blackwater Worldwide guards were found guilty Wednesday of killing 14 Iraqis and wounding 17 others after they fired machine guns and threw hand grenades into Baghdad’s Nisour Square seven years ago. Jurors ultimately rejected the guards’ claims that they were acting in self-defense, as none of the victims were insurgents. The conclusion of the 11-week trial brings a close to one of the darkest chapters of the Iraq War.

Despite the new spotlight on Blackwater’s botched operation, Erik Prince, the founder of the private security group is just as eager as ever to send hired hands into Iraq.

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A federal jury in Washington convicted four Blackwater Worldwide guards Wednesday in the fatal shooting of 14 unarmed Iraqis, seven years after the American security contractors fired machine guns and grenades into a Baghdad traffic circle in one of the most ignominious chapters of the Iraq war.

The guilty verdicts on murder, manslaughter and gun charges marked a sweeping victory for prosecutors, who argued in an 11-week trial that the defendants fired recklessly and out of control in a botched security operation after one of them falsely claimed to believe the driver of an approaching vehicle was a car bomber. Jurors rejected the guards’ claims that they were acting in self-defense and were the target of incoming AK-47 gunfire.

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As someone who spent many years operating in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other underdeveloped countries facing existential security threats, I was recently asked about my reaction to President Obama’s plan for fighting ISIS.

My immediate response is that the President’s current plan seems half-hearted at best. American air power has significant reach and accuracy, but ultimately will be unable to finish the job of digging ISIS out of any urban centers where they may seek shelter amongst the populace. Clearing operations ultimately fall to the foot soldier. The Iraqi army is demonstrably inept after billions spent on training and equipping them. Providing them more gear is a high risk endeavor.

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As the U.S. military returned to combat in Iraq this summer, a group of jurors in Washington DC were hearing arguments over a dark chapter of the last war. Though some elements of the 2007 killing of 17 Iraqi civilians at a Baghdad road junction by Blackwater private security guards remain shrouded in mystery even after a trial that lasted 10 weeks, prosecutors provided overwhelming evidence that the tragedy was one of the most one-sided encounters of the US occupation.

The civilian vehicles caught up in the incident were so riddled with bullets and explosives that their contents could barely be identified, yet the convoy of four armoured vehicles in which the guards were riding was marked only by a handful of tiny dents and scratches of indeterminate origin.

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A Blackwater security contractor threatened to kill a State Department investigator in Iraq who was looking into allegations of the company's cost over-runs, boozy parties, mistreatment of migrant workers and violence against civilians, according to a newly-released report.

Daniel Carroll, Blackwater’s project manager in Iraq, allegedly told Jean C. Richter that 'he could kill me at that very moment and no one could or would do anything about it as we were in Iraq,' in August 31, 2007, Richter claimed in an official report he filed after the fact.

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A press release from Constellis Holdings signals major news in the High Threat Security Industry. Academi, the company formerly known as Blackwater and Xe, will join Triple Canopy along with a handful of other high threat security companies under a new management structure named Constellis Holdings.

“This move allows us to create a suite of services to better provide critical support capabilities for government and commercial clients and will utilize ACADEMI’s world-class training facility, the largest and most comprehensive private training center in the U.S.” said Jason DeYonker, Managing Director of Constellis Holdings, Inc.

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WASHINGTON — After years of delays, four former guards from the security firm Blackwater Worldwide are facing trial in the killings of 14 Iraqi civilians and the wounding of 18 others in bloodshed that inflamed anti-American sentiment around the globe.

Whether the shootings were self-defense or an unprovoked attack, the carnage of Sept. 16, 2007 was seen by critics of the George W. Bush administration as an illustration of a war gone horribly wrong.

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The U.S. private security contractor Academi has trained Brazilian police forces for the World Cup, according to an article published by journalist Patricia Campos Melo, of newspaper Folha de S Paulo. A group of 22 federal policemen as well as military policemen from different states were sent to the Academi training center in Moyock, in North Carolina, where they were taught anti-terrorism techniques in the largest private training center in the United States, that includes scenario facilities, four ship-boarding simulators, two airfields and three drop-zones. According to Lieutenant Ricardo Nogueira, of the Sao Paulo Police, the course -- named "Maritime Interdiction of terrorism" -- focused on the US experience in fighting terrorism.

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Raven 23 was a team of Blackwater employees who provided security in Iraq for U.S. government personnel. On September 16, 2007, a car bomb went off, and Raven 23 was called on to secure an evacuation of a diplomat. As a federal court described it later, “a shooting incident erupted, during which [some of the members of Raven 23] allegedly shot and killed fourteen [Iraqi civilians] and wounded twenty others.”

After September 16, the firefight moved to federal district court in the District of Columbia when the U.S. Attorneys Office for the District of Columbia brought charges against some of the members of Raven 23.

And, as legal battles go, what a firefight it is.

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The name Blackwater became famous after the 2007 event in which guards from the security firm’s Raven 23 unit opened fire in Baghdad’s Nisour Square on September 16. The shootings, which the Iraqi government said were unprovoked, killed 14 people and wounded 20 others.

The guards claimed they came under attack from insurgents while carrying out their duties for the State Department’s Diplomatic Security Service (DSS), which had hired the firm that has since undergone multiple name changes (Blackwater Worldwide, then Xe Services, now Academi).

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At the time of the Sept. 11 attacks, the U.S. military included 1.4 million active personnel and nearly 1 million more in the reserves — plus hundreds of thousands of civilians at the Pentagon and civilian agencies across the national security complex. It was a smaller force than the one that had fought the Persian Gulf War a decade earlier, but still enough, in pre-9/11 Pentagon war plans, to fight two simultaneous regional battles.

However, for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, this force was not enough. And so our government faced choices: raise a larger army, call up more reservists, hire more civilians or rely on contractors. At some point, the government exercised all these options. But for the first time in U.S. history, it chose to rely so heavily on contractors that, at the height of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, contractor personnel outnumbered troops in each theater of war.

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Ex-Blackwater Guards Plead Not Guilty

Post Date: December 4, 2013 | Category: Justice Abroad

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WASHINGTON — Four ex-Blackwater guards are pleading not guilty to multiple manslaughter charges stemming from a deadly 2007 shooting on the streets of Baghdad.

Prosecutors say the heavily armed Blackwater convoy launched an unprovoked attack. Defense lawyers argue their clients, who entered their pleas Wednesday, are innocent men who were ambushed by Iraqi insurgents.

The guards were first indicted in 2008, but one of them, Nicholas Slatten, was dropped from the case the following year. A judge then dismissed the indictment against all defendants, but an appeals court reinstated the case. The men were charged in October in a new indictment.

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Erik Prince is done working for the U.S. government, he said. He has invested millions in setting up a Frontier Resource Group, a private-equity firm that operates in more than a dozen African countries. The company raised $100 million to invest in infrastructure Africa in conjunction with Chinese companies. The firm is building an oil refinery in South Sudan, owns a cement factory in the Democratic Republic of Congo, conducts aerial gas and oil surveys across the continent, and is looking at taking over idle oil wells damaged by insurgents in Nigeria, he said.

“Africa is so far the most unexplored part of the world, and I think China has seen a lot of promise in Africa,” Prince, who served with SEAL Team 8 in Haiti and the Balkans, said during a visit to Hong Kong, later telling the South China Morning Post: “The problem is if you go alone, you bear the country risk on your own. You have to get support and maintenance there.”

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Retired Brigadier General Craig NixonThe company known for providing pre-eminent risk assessment, training and security solutions around the world is welcoming Brigadier General (Ret) Craig Nixon as CEO.

Nixon comes to ACADEMI (formally known as Black Water) from the McChrystal Group where as a partner, he worked closely with the executive and business teams of Fortune 500 technology companies including HP and SeaGate, and served as the McChrystal Group's senior advisor on strategy.

Nixon will replace current CEO Ted Wright who is stepping down from the position after overseeing the successful restructuring of the company, which is a leading provider of private training and security.

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The criminal investigation into the military contractor formerly known as Blackwater concluded Thursday when two executives pleaded guilty to misdemeanor firearms charges. Former Blackwater president Gary Jackson and former vice-president Bill Matthews each pleaded guilty to one count of failure to make and maintain records related to firearms. U.S. District Judge Louise Flanagan sentenced each to four months house arrest and fined them $5,000 each.

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The Rise of a New Private Security Firm

Post Date: January 24, 2013 | Category: Around the World

The Rise of a New Private Security Firm

The private company Typhon is preparing to operate alongside the world’s navies, offering protection to cargo vessels sailing around the Horn of Africa.

Anthony Sharp of Typhon, wants to escort your commercial ship through pirate-infested waters.  A 50-year-old veteran of tech startups, grew up with a love for ships. On February 7, he’ll turn that boyhood affection into what might be the first private navy since the 19th century. Sharp’s newest company, Typhon, will offer a fleet of armed ex-Royal Marines and sailors to escort commercial ships through pirate-infested waters. In essence, Typhon wants to be the Blackwater of the sea, minus the stuff about accidentally killing civilians.

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The re-birth of Security Giant Blackwater

Post Date: August 8, 2012 | Category: The Danger Zone

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Despite new ownership, a new board and new management, security contractor Xe Services LLC could never shake a troublesome nickname: the company formerly known as Blackwater. Now, it's the company formerly known as Xe.

Virginia-based Xe plans to unveil a new name—Academi—and new logo. In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Ted Wright, president and chief executive, said the name change aims to signal a strategy shift by one of the U.S. government's biggest providers of training and security services. Mr. Wright said Academi will try to be more "boring."

Founded by former Navy SEAL Erik Prince, the original Blackwater cultivated a special-operations mystique. But it was tarnished by a string of high-profile incidents, including a deadly 2007 shootout in Iraq that ultimately led to its reorganization and rebranding as Xe Services. Mr. Prince left the business in 2010, selling his stake to investor group USTC Holdings LLC.

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