BLACKWATER PATCH. Blackwater Worldwide, formerly Blackwater USA, is a self-described private military company founded in 1997 by Erik Prince and Al Clark. It has alternatively been referred to as a security contractor or a mercenary organization by numerous reports in the international media. In October 2007, Blackwater USA rebranded themselves as Blackwater Worldwide. Blackwater is based in the U.S. state of North Carolina, where it operates a tactical training facility that it claims is the world's largest. The company trains more than 40,000 people a year, from U.S. or foreign military and police services, as well as other U.S. government agencies. The training consists of military offensive and defensive operations, as well as smaller scale personnel security. Technologies used and techniques trained are not limited by U.S. domestic law, although it is unclear what legal status Blackwater operates under in the U.S. and other countries, or what protection the U.S. extends to Blackwater operations globally.