Blackwater Worldwide Plans New Training Facility
Blackwater Worldwide, more commonly known as Blackwater USA, plans to build a military training center in Otay Mesa. The contractor's plans to build a training facility in the rural East County city o
Tom Fudge: Remember Blackwater ? The company that trains security guards who work for the U.S. government in Iraq? Earlier this year, they wanted to develop an 824-acre training site in Potrero in San Diego's East County. Public opposition caused them to give up that effort, but they didn't go away. Earlier this week we learned that they are planning to develop a training facility in a commercial/industrial area on Otay Mesa. In fact, in Marchthey got the city approval to do it.
Blackwater has become a magnet for controversy since September of last year. That's when the company's security guards in Iraq opened fire, killing 17 Iraqi civilians. Critics call them a collection of mercenaries, doing work in Iraq that should be entrusted to uniformed personnel.
Here in San Diego we've already gotten a strong reaction from Blackwater opponents regarding the latest news. In fact, we're expecting to see a protest on Friday in front of the Otay Mesa building that's expected to house the Blackwater facility.
- Amita Sharma , investigative reporter for KPBS News.