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Thursday, September 3, 2009

Blackwater Worldwide

Blackwater Worldwide
Xe Services LLC
Type Private military security firm
Founded 1997
Founder(s) Erik Prince
Headquarters Moyock, North Carolina, USA[1]
Industry Private military and security contractor
Divisions Nine

Xe Services LLC (pronounced /zi/) is a private military company founded as Blackwater USA in 1997 by Erik Prince and Al Clark.[2][3] In October 2007, the company was renamed Blackwater Worldwide and was colloquially referred to as "Blackwater". It has drawn controversy, and has a wide array of business divisions, subsidiaries, and spin-off corporations.
Based in the U.S. state of North Carolina, Xe operates a tactical training facility (36°27′N 76°12′W / 36.45°N 76.2°W / 36.45; -76.2) which the company claims is the world's largest, and at which the company trains more than 40,000 people a year, mostly from U.S. or foreign military and police services. The training consists of military offensive and defensive operations, as well as smaller scale personal security.

The company announced on February 13, 2009, that it would operate under the new name "Xe". In a memo sent to employees, President Gary Jackson wrote that the new name "reflects the change in company focus away from the business of providing private security." A spokesman for the company stated that it feels the Blackwater name is too closely associated with the company's work in Iraq.[9] Spokeswoman Anne Tyrrell said there was no meaning in the new name, which the company spent over a year to arrive at in an internal search.

Xe is currently the largest of the U.S. State Department's three private security contractors. Of the 987 contractors Xe provides, 744 are U.S. citizens. At least 90 percent of the company's revenue comes from government contracts, of which two-thirds are no-bid contracts. Xe provided security services in Iraq to the United States federal government, particularly the Department of State on a contractual basis. They no longer have a license to operate in Iraq: the new Iraqi government made multiple attempts to expel them from their country, and denied their application for an operating license in January 2009.

However, the company is still under contract with the State Department and some Xe personnel will likely remain in Iraq at least until September, 2009.
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