Fort Lewis invests in translation devices
The Army's Fort Lewis military reservation has procured 92
translation devices from Voxtec International for soldiers who are
about to be deployed to Iraq, according to the company. The Squid
SQ.200 wearable translation systems cost $1,800 apiece, according
The one-way translators contain a database of English phrases
translated into several key languages spoken throughout the Middle
East, including Arabic, Dari, Iraqi, Kurmanji, Pashto and Urdu.
Each unit comes preloaded with more than 2,000 phrases recorded by
professional linguists that can be played over a speaker attached
to the unit. A voice-activated menu allows soldiers to pick phrases
and move frequently used ones to an easy-to-activate location.
The devices could help troops mitigate what the military calls
an escalation of force situation, in which soldier encounter and
try to mitigate insurgent suicide attacks or Improvised Explosive
Joab Jackson is the senior technology editor for Government Computer News.