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  1. Senior Member
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    #1

    Anyone ever deal with overseas jobs with the company Vectrus?

    They've just sent me the attached job description for a "Systems Administrator 1" position in Kuwait. I'm curious as to how much a government contract with them would pay, as I've heard good things about the monetary potential of taking such jobs.
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  3. Senior Member
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    #2
    Send them an email and request the following information: a.) Salary b.) days/hours work c.) leave length. If it's a DOD contract you will need a Security + CE. Since it's Kuwait I think it's going to be at Camp Arifjan.
    My best guess is 110 or more. Beware that these DOD contracts make you work 12 hours a days shift and 6 to 7 days a week.

  4. Senior Member
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    #3
    I used to work on the other side of the room from these guys. I can't speak to the salary for sure, but 110 is probably about right. You'll likely work 5x12. Work night shift if you can, keeps you closer to being in sync time wise with your family/friends back home. You can get a calling card and use the phones to call home (you can get dumped out at edwards, I think it is, and reach the 800 number from your calling card there). Expect a lot of delay on voice calls though, as it's a satellite hop, so takes some practice to talk to people.

    Hottest I saw was 120F. I preferred night shift myself, a little quieter, easier to get away to MWR building and work out at the gym. Loose cotton clothing is key for the heat. If Vectrus runs this like ITT runs their TACSWACA contract, you'll life in town (probably an expat apartment building in Mahboullah), and drive to Arifjan each day for work. Get used to roundabouts vs intersections. You will need a physical before you go, and a physical when you get there, including chest xray, due to Kuwait's concerns about visitors bringing in TB, etc. I was there 8 months. It was a good experience (helped expand my networking experience, plus lets you experience two cultures, kuwait and army), but I was happy to get home. Oh yeah, if it's setup like ITT, they will cover apartment, food (at the dining facility on base, though they were pushing back on that at the time). So keep that in mind when judging the compensation.

  5. Senior Member
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    #4
    Valuable information, thank you all
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  6. Senior Member
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    #5
    Oh, and don't forget that Kuwait is a dry country. Sadiki is not exactly a tasty drink for sipping.

  7. Senior Member
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    #6
    Hehehe. Some people ended up getting drunk off of mouth wash and cough syrups. Kuwait is hot and dusty. I wasn't there long since I got shipped off to Bagram. You will need to get your medical completed by a provider and get all the shots before taking a 5 day course in Indiana. Then they'll fly you directly to Kuwait on Atlas Airlines which SUCK NUTS! You'll probably layover in Germany at some dinky airport and finally Kuwait. ENJOY

  8. Junior Member Registered Member
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    #7
    I'm in the same boat. Got a phone interview tomorrow morning. Any advice?

  9. Senior Member
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    #8
    Lee. They may run through a quick technical interview depending on the position.

  10. Senior Member
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    #9
    Also keep in mind that it is probably a 12 month contract with a bonus at the end that they hold out in front of you like a banana.
    If you leave before the contract is up..you don't get the bonus and may have to pay your own way home.
    They will give you a MOU (mode of understanding) contract and tell you to have your lawyer look it over.
    Who has money for a lawyer?

    On the plus side, if you stay out of country for a full 12 months, it is tax free ..up to 95k or so.

    I've had some friends work those contracts. None of them stayed over a year but they did get ahead and make some cash.

    Might be a good opportunity if you want to get ahead and make some money.

  11. Senior Member
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    #10
    As mjsinhsv mentioned, if you stay out the whole year (technically, 335 days, if memory serves), you will be mostly tax free. If you come back early though, you will owe taxes at full self employed rate for all of that money. Thta hurt. For pay, you get base pay plus state department standard upswing (I think it was 30% for Kuwait, 70% for Afghanistan, etc, when I was there in 07/0. You will also likely get bonuses at start, 6mo and end (the big one). When I went, they were still processing people through ft campbell. You got a physical before you went to ft campbell, then you got all of your shots and stuff again at Campbell (bring proof of your vacciination status, or you'll have to get everything again). Then when you got to Kuwait, you had more bloodwork and a chest xray.

    When you get there, you'll get a temporary 30 day work visa, and then a longer 1 year one processed through. You will also get a Kuwaiti driver's license.

    One thing I have noticed, is that customs at other countries tends to look harder at you when they see stamps in your passport in Arabic. I had a customs agent in Montreal openly admit that the reason I had to go over for additional search of my bags was because of the Kuwaiti visas and entry/exit stamps on my passport.

  12. Junior Member Registered Member
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    #11
    Wow. Thanks for the information. I have been to Kuwait before, but it was just in passing to come home from Iraq. So I have to stay gone for a year in order to get the tax break. Gotcha. I assume that I will be living off post due to Joel mentioning a driver's license. What about health insurance and any 401k? And how long do they give you before you have to be in country?

  13. Senior Member
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    #12
    It appears is the spawn of ITT. ITT Systems spun off Exelis which spun off Vectrus.

  14. Senior Member
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    #13
    This was network admin, not sysadmin, and was several years ago, but here's an idea of what you might be looking at:

    Hourly Rate: $27.64
    Danger Pay 15% of Base Hourly Rate
    Hardship Pay 10% of Base Hourly Rate
    Work Week: 60 hours
    Vacation: 192 hours per year (accrued at 16 hours per month)
    Vacation Hours: Paid at Base Hourly Rate
    Sick Time: 48 hours per contract year
    Housing: Company-provided, furnished, shared
    Ground Transportation: Company-provided, shared
    Sign-On-Bonus: $5,255.00 paid in two installments: $2,627.50 paid on first full payroll. $2,627.50 paid at the completion of 6 months of employment. Successful completion of the one-year contract is required to prevent forfeiture of the Sign-On bonus
    Travel Allowance: $3,000.00 annually paid in two installments; $1,500.00 paid at six months of employment; $1,500.00 paid at 12 months of employment
    Holidays 10 US Holidays
    Term of Employment: 1 Year
    Completion Bonus $9168.00 Paid at end of contract.
    Airfare Economy airfare from Home of Record to work site and return upon contract completion. Mobilization costs will be deducted upon failure to complete contract.
    Shipping Allowance: Up to 500 pounds via APO Parcel Post. Baggage Allowance from CRC is one 50 lb bag plus military-issued equipment received at CRC.
    Clearance: Secret
    Drug Screening Requirement

    There was health insurance too, but there is some question as to what healthcare you'd actually have access to over there. I never had to make use of it, but it was an Aetna global plan at the time.

  15. Senior Member
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    #14
    Nyblizzard

    I currently work for this company, but in a different country. Feel free to reach out to me personally if you have any specific questions.

  16. Junior Member
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    #15
    Does anyone have insight into the position as Network Administrator I in Afghanistan? I read the specifics, but am curious about the living conditions. They also informed that the work is 11.2 hours per day, 5 days a week; 56 hours a week. It would seem reasonable to that they request more hours from the employees.

    Does anyone know anything about living conditions, Internet service for private use to communicate with home, what you can take with you; is it bare minimums?
    Last edited by dgibso12; 05-07-2015 at 09:19 PM.

  17. Senior Member
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    #16
    I had an offer from them for SysAdmin 1 at the end of Dec '14. Offer was similar to the Network Admin that was posted by Joelsfood. A friend of mine works for them state side and hasn't had any complaints. Wish I could have gone but I was over ruled by my wife and 4 kids.

  18. Senior Member
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    #17
    Originally Posted by dgibso12
    Does anyone have insight into the position as Network Administrator I in Afghanistan? I read the specifics, but am curious about the living conditions. They also informed that the work is 11.2 hours per day, 5 days a week; 56 hours a week. It would seem reasonable to that they request more hours from the employees.

    Does anyone know anything about living conditions, Internet service for private use to communicate with home, what you can take with you; is it bare minimums?
    I'm currently working with Vectrus at Bagram Air Base, though not as a netadmin. Hopefully you'll find some of this information useful:


    We live in what is basically a collection of standard size shipping containers welded together to form an apartment block. The norm is to have one roommate. The ideal situation is for your roommate to work the opposite shift as yourself so you basically have the room to yourself while you're there. The housing is in a fantastic location. You're a 5 minute walk or less from the gym, dining facility, recreation center, and exchange (basically a small store that sells the essentials). There is also a free laundry service that has a 2-3 day turnaround. The food is just okay, though they don't have much variation in the menu and it can get repetitive. There's a pizza hut and subway within walking distance when you don't feel like eating at the dining facility.

    The private internet is okay for afghanistan, but that isn't saying alot. The service is through a company called DHI, formerly SniperHill (you can google them to read reviews).Their plans range from a 256k link to a 2Mb link. The LOVE to price-gouge everyone out here, as they're the only game in town. The 2Mb plan is around $160/month. They use an authentication server that only allows one device to be connected through your account at a time. You can connect through a wired or wi-fi connection, though the wi-fi can be flaky. I suggest you bring a 10-12 ft LAN cable with you. VPNs are technically against the rules here, but the ISP does nothing to block them.


    As far as what to pack, here's what to keep in mind:
    1. You're limited in space. The rooms come with one floor to ceiling locker. You can also store some stuff on the top bunk of your bed if you get a bunkbed.
    2. The company will only reimburse you for one standard size checked bag. They won't reimburse you for an additional bag or overweight baggage.
    3. You'll spend a week at Ft. Bliss, Texas. There you'll be issued a standard military duffel bag with around 60-70lbs of gear, which you'll have to carry around with you while you're transiting.

    If I had to do it over again, I'd get a large backpack and pack it with 4-5 days of clothing, a towel, a pair of flip-flops for the shower (this item is a must - trust me) plus electronics, small amounts of toiletries, etc. And just bring that with me. The exchange here carries just about everything you'll need, and Amazon ships here in 1-1.5 weeks. If you can, get a large tuffbox and fill that with anything else you think you'll need and ship it ahead of time if you can get the address. If you know you'll be going to Bagram, I can give you the address here and hold on to the stuff for you if you want.

    One last thing: if you have an unlocked smart phone with a removable SIM, a local phone company offers pay as you go plans at a decent rate. You'll need a local mobile number regardless as you have to call in to your workcenter for accountability if there's an attack on base. Feel free to contact me if you have any further questions.


  19. Junior Member
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    #18
    Thank you for the excellent info. I had to laugh at the private Internet; Wow. I would hope to get lucky and get a roommate to share a connection for email while there. Any suggestions for an unlocked phone model?

    Things are moving forward; medical scheduled for Mon (5/11) and dental is Thurs (5/14), no known issues with health and immunization will follow. I am awaiting the renewed passport and driver’s license- maybe two to three more weeks.

    From what you are saying I can take a large backpack with clothing and stuff (flip flops) with me (50# max?), then acquire the military gear bag for the last two legs (Ft Bliss to Kuwait and Afghanistan). Does Vectrus pick up the tab for the gear bag from Ft. Bliss?

    The recruiter told me domestic carrier to El Paso, stay there a week, then military transport to Kuwait for three days, then off to Afghanistan. Do we stay on base at Ft Bliss or at a local hotel and what will we do for a week?

    My final destination will be revealed when I get to Ft. Bliss. Too bad for that, I wouldn’t mind taking you up on the shipping offer. We definitely need meet when I get there.
    Thanks

  20. Senior Member
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    #19
    Good luck with all the processing. You shouldn't have too many issues with the medical/dental. That stuff is handled fairly quickly.
    What I was saying about the backpack was that if I were to do it all over again, i'd bring 4-5 days worth of clothes and all the essentials in my carry on. It's less of a hassle carrying one bag (the military bag) when transiting than carrying the military bag AND a large personal bag. You'll have to pack carefully, as I believe most air carriers limit carry on bags to around 15lbs. The aircraft from El-Paso to Kuwait will be a civilian aircraft chartered by the military, so you don't have to pay baggage fees on that leg, though they are pretty strict on their baggage requirements. The flight itself was actually pretty nice for me, which blew away my expectations from my previous experience with military charters. The aircraft was a newer model (Boeing 777 I believe) with USB ports and personal entertainment screens in each seat. The real bonus was that the aircraft was half empty the entire way so you can take a couple of seats and stretch out if you wanted to.
    At Ft. Bliss you'll stay in the barracks on base. I went through in January and it wasn't much to write home about. The beds aren't very comfortable and they give you lenin that looks like it was used at Guantanamo. You do have the option to stay at a hotel, but it's on your own dime and they expect that you'll make it to all appointments on time. You'll also want to get a rental car if you decide to stay off base.
    Your time at Bliss will be spent going over processing to go over seas. The first day is nothing but briefings as to what to expect and paperwork. You'll have a full day devoted to medical processing, where they basically verify everything that was done at your physical and dental appointments. The next day is gear issue, which can take up to a full day. Then you'll have vehicle roll-over training and a simulated rifle range, which is pretty fun. All in all, there will be alot of sitting around and waiting, so load up the Kindle or bring a book to read. The company will give you a list of CBTs to accomplish a week or two before you go to Bliss. My advice is to complete as many of them as you can before you leave for Bliss. If you don't, you'll have to do them at Bliss on your free time, along with about 100 other contractors who are trying to do the same thing. They expect all CBTs to be complete by Wednesday the week you're there. The hours at Ft. Bliss vary, but you can usually count on starting around 7am and being done by 5pm, sometimes as early as 2-3pm.
    If you do decide to stay on base, there's plenty to do on your free time. The base exchange there is the absolute nicest i've seen on any military installation in my 11 years in the military. Its more of a mall than anything else. They have tons of restaurants. Buffalo Wild Wings, Texas Roadhouse, Dennys, a legit Irish Pub, and a sushi joint, in addition to a full size food court with the standard fast food joints that go along with it. They also have a stadium-style movie theatre showing first run movies. You can buy almost anything you'll ever need at the different stores here. A bonus perk is that the military runs a free base shuttle around base just for people at CRC. My advice would be to eat as much good food as you can there, cause after a month eating at the chow hall here you'll miss a good steak dinner, not to mention alcohol (which is illegal in Afghan, by the way).
    You'll spend Sunday-thursday at Bliss, then 3 days of processing in Kuwait. You'll more than likely spend more than 3 days total in Kuwait, as you'll have to wait for a flight out to Afghanistan. The 3 days of processing will be at the Vectrus compound downtown in Kuwait. There are lots of restaurants nearby and malls and such to visit.
    As far as phone models, I personally have an LG G3, but pretty much any phone with a removable SIM card will work. More than likely the phone you have already will be good to go, just make sure it's a "global phone" (meaning it'll work on both CDMA and GSM networks) and that your provider doesn't lock the phone down to their network. Verizon by default doesn't lock their smart phones, and most other carriers will unlock it if you call them and tell them you're going overseas. Most carriers will also suspend your plan (which doesn't affect whether it'll work over here or not, just on their network in the US). Verizon suspended mine for a year with just a phone call. The phone provider here advertises 3g, but it's definitely not as reliable as in the states.
    I don't want to violate OPSEC, but let's just say i'm 90% confident that you'll be assigned to Bagram. If you want to ship some stuff, you have two options:
    1. Buy stuff at Bliss and ship it from there once you know for certain where you'll be going or
    2. Ship it to Bagram before knowing for sure you'll be assigned here. If it turns out you get assigned to another base in Afghanistan, it's free to mail it from base to base in theater, and it usually takes about a week give or take.
    I definitely look forward to meeting you when you get here. If you want, send me a PM with your email address and I can answer any other questions you may have through that.

  21. Junior Member
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    #20
    I asked tech to lift the restriction on my account - it is new and I can't PM yet.

  22. Senior Member
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    #21
    fair enough. feel free to carry on the conversation here if you want.

  23. Junior Member Registered Member
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    #22
    Few questions for you guys if you don't mind.. Does the base pay ~110K include the State Dept upswing of 30 or 70%? Also, what kind of questions do they ask for their phone interviews for the System Administrator role?

  24. Senior Member
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    #23
    I've only seen base pay quoted as hourly, not salary. In that case, the quoted hourly rate was before any upswing. The $110K salary sounds like that would include the upswing from my experience. I can't answer your specific question as I'm not a SysAd, but their technical interviews tend to not be that in-depth.

  25. Junior Member Registered Member
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    #24
    Gotcha, thank you sir!

  26. Junior Member
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    #25
    If you take a look at Joelsfood response. It is very accurate and adds up to an approximation of 6 digits, but as Wtrwlkr wrote; the pay is hourly and based on the position and possibly location.


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