Sharpening the ability of U.S. Special Forces to execute global operations takes more than just advanced weaponry and unwavering bravery; reflecting this perspective, the U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) recently revealed a $250 million foreign language and cultural training program whose aim is to help these elite units interact more effectively with any “target region’s people.”
As the unified combatant command of the Department of Defense, USSOCOM launched this initiative for special ops units DOD-wide, ranging from the respective Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine SOCs to regional commands such as SOC Africa, SOC Central, SOC Europe, SOC Korea, SOC Pacific and SOC South.
According to contracting documents that Patriot Update located via routine database research, USSOCOM on Dec. 21 acknowledged the first round of contracts for this quarter-billion-dollar endeavor, though four vendors actually secured the awards in September 2012.
USSOCOM will arrange for the provision of such services on an as-needed basis, and will spell out its specific needs with each “task order” placed. The contractor may be called to conduct training, for example, will the objective of achieving basic- or survival-level proficiency to mission-specific or professional-level proficiency.
Instruction could be conducted in various locations or environments, from standard or virtual classroom situations to “live environment training,” or LET.
The solicitation defines LET as “a validated language and cultural immersion training event conducted in a foreign host nation (HN). LET facilitates students’ training in their target language offering by giving them an opportunity to observe HN traditions and gain a better understanding of its culture and history.”
The four prime contractors are The Buffalo Group LLC of Reston, Va., Mid Atlantic Professionals, Inc. of Germantown, Md., Global Technology Solutions LLC of Richmond, Va., and Multilingual Solutions, Inc., of Rockville, Md.
They will provide soldiers with language instruction in speaking and listening, and to a lesser degree in reading and writing in “general and military topics.”
The regional expertise and cultural-training components will “focus on any aspect of the target region’s history, demography, politics, customs, beliefs, practices, and/or artifacts.” The specific goal of such instruction is to help examine “the roles such concepts and objects play in interactions with the target region’s people.”
Contract Award #H92222-12-D-0026
Contract Award #H92222-12-D-0027
Contract Award #H92222-12-D-0028
Contract Award #H92222-12-D-0021