Triple Canopy Inc.

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Triple Canopy Inc. is a private military corporation founded in September 2003 by Thomas Katis, Matthew Mann and John Peters. By 2005 they had accumulated over $90 million in government contracts. In April, 2009 journalist Jeremy Scahill reported that the Barack Obama administration signed contracts with Triple Canopy to work in the Middle East. [1] [1]

Triple Canopy is an "eclectic group of individuals from a dizzying array of backgrounds. From bankers to Green Berets, from technologists to management consultants, the one thing in common is that coveted combination of ability, character and intelligence. At Triple Canopy, we are our people, and we are the best," says their website.


  • Triple Canopy, founded by veterans of the US special force's Delta unit, headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, employs over 300 employees, attracts Green Berets and Delta Force soldiers, and is owned privately. [2][3]
  • They are an active firm, already involved in firefights in Iraq.--April 2004.
  • Triple Canopy is one of several companies mentioned as pooling their resources with others in Iraq. Though this is often necessary, given the situation and the lack of US troops to back them up, some are concerned this is leading to a consolidation of power of private companies in a war zone. --July 2004.
  • It is reported Triple Canopy has more than that in Iraq alone, with around 350. --October 2004.

Operations in Iraq

Early in 2004, Triple Canopy "won government contracts to guard 13 Coalition Provisional Authority headquarters throughout Iraq. (The renewable six-month deals were worth, in all, about $90 million.)" [4]

"Triple Canopy now has about 1,000 men in Iraq, about 200 of them American and almost all the rest from Chile and Fiji. Its rivals include British firms that draw from the elite units of the U.K. military and outfits that draw from South African veterans of the wars to save apartheid. Australians and Ukrainians and Romanians and Iraqis are all making their livings in the business. Many have experience as soldiers; some have been in law enforcement. The firms guard the huge American corporations struggling to carry out Iraq's reconstruction. The private gunmen try to hold the insurgents at bay so that supplies can be delivered and power stations can be built. And companies like Triple Canopy shield American government compounds from attack. With guns poking out from sport utility vehicles, they usher American officials from meeting to meeting. They defend the buildings and people whom the insurgency would most like to reach." --August 2005.

Defending the "Green Zone"

On November 4, 2005, Paul Martin reported in the Washington Times that "British-based Global Strategies Group lost the contract" to defend Baghdad's "Green Zone" "in an open bidding process and handed over responsibility" to Triple Canopy Inc. on November 1, 2005,

"Iraqi officials [said] security inside Baghdad's heavily fortified green zone could be compromised by the turnover," Martin wrote.

"Another concern is that Triple Canopy employees have been recruited mainly in Latin America and speak little English. Global Strategies relies heavily on British-trained Nepalese Gurkhas and Sri Lankans, a majority of whom speak at least some English and often speak it well. ... 'A delay in communicating a problem because the guard cannot speak English down his walkie-talkie can have fatal consequences,' said a security specialist familiar with procedures in Baghdad.

"Yet another worry is over internal discipline. Fights already have broken out between Peruvian and Chilean guards, according to an American businessman living inside the green zone. 'Apparently they had some scores to settle from past conflicts in that continent,' he said."

Sport shooting

Triple Canopy is currently the defendent in a lawsuit filed by three former employees who worked for Triple Canopy under a contract for KBR. Former Army Ranger Shane Schmidt and former Marine Charles L. Sheppard III claim in the lawsuit that on July 8, 2004, while en route to the Baghdad airport, their shift leader declared he was "going to kill someone today" and shortly afterwards stepped out of the vehicle and fired rounds of his M4 rifle through the windshield of a stopped truck.

The suit goes on to claim the shift leader said, "This didn't happen, understand?" Soon after, the shift leader stated he had "never shot anyone with my handgun before" and then fired his handgun through the windshield of a parked taxi, killing the driver.

When Schmidt and Sheppard reported the incident, they were fired by Triple Canopy. The shift leader was sent back to the United States. Triple Canopy has not denied the incident occurred, rather they argue that no violation of Virginia law occurred and that Schmidt and Sheppard were "at-will" employees and could be fired for any reason. [5]


Recently, Triple Canopy has stopped recruiting from the Philippines and started in war-experienced rich El Salvador. Company spokesman, Joe Mayo, says, "They've got the right background for the type of work we are doing." After training in Jordan, the troops will head to Iraq for site security. --(inactive link)

Triple Canopy has been engaged in recruiting counter-insurgency military around Latin America, mostly from Peru, Chile, Colombia, El Salvador. --October 31, 2005.

It has been reported that Triple Canopy has contracted with the Peruvian Army to set up training exercises at the base in Huachipa. The Peruvian newspaper El Comercio reported in October, 2005 that the Peruvian Army has trained a total of 678 soldiers for Triple Canopy already.

Triply Canopy has also been linked to training exercises in Honduras at facilities set up in the 1980s by the CIA. The Honduran government expelled 105 Chilean soldiers who had been recruited by a Triple Canopy subsidiary, Your Solutions. The Honduran newspaper, La Tribuna, reported that Your Solutions has shipped over a couple hundred soldiers from Honduras to Iraq. [6]


On June 15th, 2007, Triple Canopy announced their acquisition of Clayton Consultants, Inc., a crisis management security consultancy offering incident response services and security consulting for threats like kidnappings, ransoms and extortion against their clients. The addition of Clayton under the Triple Canopy umbrella will expand their range of available services. [7]


In July 2005, Triple Canopy Inc. announced that it was relocating its offices from Chicago and moving to a federal government-centric location in Fairfax County [Virginia]. Specific terms of Triple Canopy's lease agreement with property owner America's Capital Partners have not been revealed. America's Capital handles its own leasing activities and currently markets office space in the six-story building, located at 2250 Corporate Park Dr., for about $26 per sf. [8]

Campaign Contributions

Three executives each wrote $2,000 checks for the Bush-Cheney campaign in March [2004]. [9]

Two $1,000 donations were made by Eddie Payne, a Triple Canopy subcontractor, to the RNC and to the Bush-Cheney re-election campaign. [10]


Board of Directors

Executive Team

Strategic Advisory Board

As of December 7, 2005, the following personnel are no longer listed on the "Leadership" page by Triple Canopy, Inc.

Contact information

Corporate Headquarters:
2250 Corporate Park Drive
Suite 300
Herndon, VA 20171
Phone: +1 703 673 5000
Fax: +1 703 673 5001

Business Development Office:
2107 Wilson Boulevard
Suite 650
Arlington, VA 22201
Phone: +1 703 740 3455
Fax: +1 703 740 3530

Additional Locations:
Amman, Jordan
Baghdad, Iraq
Kabul, Afghanistan

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External resources

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