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Friday, February 22, 2008       Free Headline Alerts

U.S. tab for translation services in Iraq could hit $4.6 billion

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Army has turned to private contractors to supply translators and analysts for Arabic and other languages in Iraq as well as other regional states.

The military has launched a five-year project meant to embed thousands of Iraqi translators into U.S. ground force units in Iraq, Middle East Newsline reported.

The prime beneficiary of the project has been Global Linguist Solutions, based in Falls Church, Va. GLS, a joint venture of DynCorp International and McNeil Technologies, which has won a contract with a maximum value of $4.6 billion through 2013.

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The contract, awarded by U.S. Intelligence and Security Command, called for the recruitment of up to 7,000 translators from Iraq and the United States. Under the program, GLS would employ up to 6,000 locally-hired translators and up to 1,000 U. S. citizens with security clearances who are native speakers of languages spoken in Iraq.

DynCorp has billions of dollars worth of security contracts with the State Department, particularly in bolstering the protection of U.S. embassy personnel. McNeil recruits and deploys linguists, including in Iraq.

This was the third time GLS has won such an army contract. The last contract to GLS was awarded in December 2007 amid a protest by a rival firm. On Feb. 15, 2008, GLS won the award for a third time.

"Under the contract, GLS will provide foreign-language interpretation and translation services to the U.S. Army and other U.S. government agencies supporting OIF, including embedded Iraqi translators who operate with U.S. forces," GLS said.

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