the Ministry of Defence has appointed thebigword to provide interpreters to support UK operations in Afghanistan. The three-year contract will cover the period of planned withdrawal of combat troops by NATO and handover to Afghan security forces. The interpreters will work under the leadership of UK Military Commanders and their role will be to accompany British patrols as well as working on military bases. They will act as liaison between troops and the indigenous population, the Afghan National Army and Afghan National Police. In addition, thebigword linguists will provide interpreting and translation services in UK bases.

thebigword, the world top-20 translation and interpreting business with its headquarters in Leeds, UK, won the contract in a competitive tender and was appointed based on the quality and price of its bid. The company will be responsible for recruitment and security clearance of interpreters and will partner with the International School of Linguists to provide specialist training. Interpreters will need to be fluent in Pashto, Dari or Baluchi. Lt Col (Retd) Andrew Smith has been appointed to head up thebigword’s Military Division and will be travelling to Helmand Province during June to make preparations for the arrival of the first group of interpreters.

Lt Col Smith says: “thebigword is delighted to have been appointed to provide interpreters for Afghanistan. This is a highly sensitive and very influential role as NATO hands over the security reins in the run-up to the 2014 deadline for the withdrawal of combat troops.”

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