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Blackwater Worldwide is building up its own Air Force.
Airmen might soon find Blackwater blimps patrolling Iraq and Afghanistan skies in addition to its helicopter and light transport aircraft already flying thousands of missions in theater.
Both of Prince’s companies have become the focus of lawsuits, investigations and criticism from U.S. and Iraqi lawmakers as well as military leaders and troops on the ground.
Many troops have questioned the tactics of Blackwater’s private security contractors, calling them “cowboys.” The FBI continues to investigate a September 2007 Baghdad shootout involving Blackwater contractors that left 17 Iraqi civilians dead.