Erik Prince, famous Navy SEAL and former CEO of Blackwater, has a new mission and a new company. Frontier Services Group (FSG) is providing expeditionary logistics and asset management to companies working in Africa. They hope to cut a nice slice out of the $1 trillion China plans to spend on African transportation infrastructure. Based in Hong Kong with subsidiaries in Africa, FSG is cleverly positioned and intelligently promoted.

The interesting part is that Chinese government owns 15 percent of FSG. This is exercised by China’s largest state-owned corporation, the Citic Group. The two corporations have interlocking boards with Chinese Citic executives also sitting on the board of FSG. CITIC Group is not what you might expect from a Chinese government corporation. They have 44 subsidiaries including banks in Hong Kong, New Zealand, Australia, Canada, and the United States with approximately $12 billion in assets.

According to their website:

“Frontier Services Group Limited (FSG) offers world-class logistics solutions across the African continent. Providing ground, airborne, and maritime logistical services for international and local enterprises, UN, NGOs, and governments seeking safe, reliable and integrated logistics capabilities. FSG is a proven provider of end to end expeditionary solutions that span Sea / Air / Land. At FSG, corporate social responsibility isn’t simply a buzzword, it’s our grounding philosophy in all that we do. FSG strives to incorporate sustainable engagement with local communities wherever we operate to ensure we make a positive, lasting difference in the lives of those encounter and serve. We take seriously the importance of encouraging diversity within our teams, promoting our core ethical values, and valuing health and safety.  FSG is a partner to governments, companies, and NGOs in achieving their humanitarian mission objectives.”

Prince is very proud of his accomplishments. Blackwater never lost a U.S. government official under their protection during 100,000 missions in Iraq and Afghanistan. As we find out more about State Department security in Benghazi, this is even more impressive.

Blackwater Worldwide has recently been in the news again as four former security guards were convicted  for their part in a 2007 incident in Baghdad’s Nisour Square, which left a number of civilians dead and wounded.

In June 2009, CIA Director Leon Panetta revealed in classified testimony to Congress that Blackwater and Prince operated a global network of informants engaged in identifying and locating al Qaeda operatives. This information leaked to the press and Prince was compromised. Prince has written of his experiences in his recent book, Civilian Warriors: The Inside Story of Blackwater and the Unsung Heroes of the War on Terror.

Prince has come through a series of U.S. government investigations and is understandably bitter. He has a taken on a superhuman mission on a continent filled with drama and disease. I believe Mr. Prince is an American patriot, even if he does not have a great relationship with the current administration. Prince does not believe that there is a conflict between China’s development in Africa and American interests. He has said, “The United States and China are among each other’s largest trading partners, and I think countries that trade goods together tend not to trade lead.”