Considerations for the Civilian Expeditionary Workforce

Preparing to Operate Amidst Private Security Contractors

by Molly Dunigan

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The U.S. Department of Defense established the Civilian Expeditionary Workforce (CEW) in 2009 as a pre-identified subset of its civilian workforce that is organized, trained, and equipped to deploy in support of combat operations, contingencies, emergency operations, humanitarian missions, disaster relief, restoration of order, drug interdiction, and stability operations. Meanwhile, deployments of another type of civilian — private military and security contractors — have reached unprecedented levels in recent years. Building on prior RAND research on the role and effect of private security contractors during Operation Iraqi Freedom, this paper provides background on points of overlap between the CEW and contractors and the implications of the prior study's findings for the CEW and the U.S. military more broadly. It is intended to help CEW leaders and personnel understand the challenges of interacting with private security contractors and how they might play a role in helping the military coordinate with them. In addition, data on how the U.S. military and U.S. Department of State view these contractors might inform how CEW personnel approach their jobs in theaters where both operate. In current operations in Afghanistan, it will be important for CEW planners to consider how to prepare CEW personnel for their exposure to private security contractors intheater, including the nuances related to their background or nationality and their ability to hinder or assist operations. Ultimately, there is a potential role for the CEW as a civil-military liaison between the U.S. military and private security contractors.

The research described in this report was prepared for the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD). The research was conducted within the RAND National Defense Research Institute, a federally funded research and development center sponsored by OSD, the Joint Staff, the Unified Combatant Commands, the Navy, the Marine Corps, the defense agencies, and the defense Intelligence Community.

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