Northrop Grumman wins U.S. contract for translation services

Friday, May 7, 2004

A major U.S. defense contractor has been awarded a project to provide Arabic translation services in Europe.

The U.S. Army, Europe, has awarded Northrop Grumman a $97 million contract to continue providing Arabic support services in Europe over the next 3.5 years. The contract's six-month base period was valued at $9.5 million with three additional one-year options.

Under this contract, Northrop Grumman will recruit, screen and train translators fluent in several languages, including Arabic, to serve as interpreters for commanding officials, military intelligence units, political advisers, military patrols and police units. In addition to providing Arabic, the company will also be contracted for support services in Serbo-Croatian, Albanian, Bulgarian, Hungarian, Macedonian, Romanian, Russian and Slovenian.

In 1995, Northrop Grumman was first awarded what was termed the Balkans linguist support contract. So far, the company has been paid more than $225 million for the translation service.

"This important win not only maintains Northrop Grumman's position as a major provider of linguist support to the military but also provides for growth as U.S. forces reposition to bases in Eastern Europe," said Jim Johnson, Northrop Grumman's program manager for the Balkans linguist support contract.

Johnson said candidates for the job of translators include U.S. citizens and local nationals. He said recruits must pass a rigorous screening process that includes language testing, security clearance determination and a medical examination before receiving orientation from Northrop Grumman personnel.

Trained interpreters would then be transported by the military to the Balkans. The interpreters would wear military-issued battle dress uniforms, eat in the army's dining area and given access to the same facilities as soldiers.

Executives said Northrop Grumman would also recruit civilians fluent in Arabic, Farsi, Pashto and Urdu to serve as translators in a number of different locations around the world for other U.S. Army projects.

Copyright 2004 East West Services, Inc.

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