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Afghan interpreters, the forgotten heroes

June 1, 2011

Military personnel often see interpreters as being the forgotten heroes of the war in Afghanistan. Without them, the task of communicating with the Afghan local population would be near impossible for troops.

There are around 630 Afghan interpreters employed by coalition forces in Helmand and many go out on patrols and operations three or four times a day. Information gleaned by them can warn of imminent insurgent attacks and IED threats, and provide valuable intelligence.

It is a dangerous job and most are forced to live a double life to protect their families. Despite the risks the interpreters say their input into operations is the very least they can do. Comprehensive files are kept on each and every interpreter detailing their qualifications and experience in the role, which is seen as being pivotal to the success in Afghanistan.

Click on the BFBS video below to view a report all about the interpreters in Helmand.

One Comment leave one →
  1. June 1, 2011 21:42

    If you happen to know an Afghan interpreter, please tell him that I have a “Dari/Pashto Phrasebook for Military Personnel” which would be highly useful to him. Contact me (Bob Powers) at

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