In a statement dated March 3, 2017, the DoD announced the winners of a super-sized, 10-year language services contract. The USD 9.86bn Army contract will be divided among nine companies and run through March 16, 2027.

Winning slots in the framework are ABM Government Services, CALNET, CWU, Global Linguist Solutions, SSI (Mid Atlantic Professionals), Mission Essential, SOS International (SOSi), Valbin, and WorldWide Language Resources.

The contracting authority, the US Army Intelligence and Security Command in Fort Belvoir, Virginia, received 20 bids. The award comprises multiple foreign language support contracts under the program called Defense Language Interpretation Translation Enterprise (DLITE II).

The DLITE II contract will provide interpreting, translating, and transcription services for US Army missions across the globe. Much of it will be “short notice and urgent” and include locations like Iraq, Afghanistan, Bosnia, and Guantanamo Bay.

According to the Defense Department RFP, contractors are expected to supervise and report on the services they deliver on a daily basis, including costs. It is also desirable for DLITE II contractors to employ linguists with secondary level, mission-related skills like medical, legal, engineering, and military.

Only three of the nine companies awarded are language service providers (LSPs) in the narrow sense — WorldWide Language Resources, Valbin, and Global Linguist Solutions — with the latter two primarily serving the US government.

Contract winners Mission Essential and SOSi started out as LSPs, but have since expanded their focus to serve other government requirements. ABM specializes in facilities management, CALNET in IT and intelligence, CWU in staffing, and SSI in language training.

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