Academi PMC, formerly known as Xe Services LLC, formerly Blackwater Worldwide and originally Blackwater USA, is a private security company consisting of professional military, law enforcement, security, peacekeeping, and stability operation personnel. It was founded by a former Navy SEAL in in 1997, and is involved in United States military operations in both Iraq and Afghanistan.
Blackwater consists of five separate units: Blackwater Training Center, Blackwater Target Systems, Blackwater Security Consulting, Blackwater Canine, and Raven Development Group. The Blackwater Training Center is the largest private firearms and tactical training center in the United States.
Blackwater was first brought into the national spotlight when, on March 31, 2004, four contractors for the company, operating in Fallujah, Iraq, were killed in broad daylight by Iraqi resistance fighters. Blackwater broke into the headlines again when critics alleged that its employees had shot innocent civilians during a firefight in Baghdad, Iraq, in September 2007, and that this was a part of a greater problem involving a "cowboy culture" in Iraq. Blackwater founder, Erik Prince, appeared before the United States House Oversight and Government Reform Committee and stating that his company had a "record of honorable service" to the United States. Prince claims that in 16,000 missions in Iraq since 2005, Blackwater contractors have discharged their weapons fewer than 200 times.