Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Blackwater Founder Addresses Grand Rapids Club

Erik Prince, founder and CEO of Blackwater, once again returned to his West Michigan roots and addressed the Economic Club of Grand Rapids, the Chicago Tribune reports.

He pointed out that in over 18,000 security detail operations, Blackwater has not once lost a client. "No one under our care has been killed or injured," Prince told an audience. But the popular image that this has been done through the heavy and excessive use of firepower is totally wrong. In less than half of one percent of those 18,000 missions were firearms even discharged.

Prince also discussed the history of private security contractors in the United States, tracing them back to the American Revolution.

In discussing the founding of Blackwater and its 7,000-acre training facility, Prince expressed disappointment with some of the small sites at which he had to train during his years as a Navy SEAL. "No one had ever done it on an industrial scale," he said.

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