The National Training Center and Fort Irwin held a de-activation ceremony for the 51st Translator Interpreter Company, Regimental Support Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment at the Fort Irwin Theater, Sept. 23, 2016.
During the height of the Global War on Terrorism, the U.S. Army realized that it needed a more effective means of communication in order to win the hearts and minds of those impacted by the war. In 2003, the 51st TICO was established with 152 speakers of 14 target languages and dialects, including Arabic, Farsi, Pashtu, Kurdish and Dari.
The 51st TICO was activated at Fort Irwin in 2008, with the mission of training and deploying Soldiers, in support of contingency operations and joint exercises around the world.
“Since its activation, the Soldiers of the 51st TICO have demonstrated an unmatched mastery of various indigenous regional languages and dialects. Having deployed to over 20 countries throughout the Middle East, Africa, and Europe,” said U.S. Army Lt. Col. Ryan Moses, commander, RSS, 11th ACR. “Their missions ranged from supporting combat operations to grasping the various distinctive cultural nuances of sensitive issues related to diplomatic relations.”
As the 51st TICO closes one door, a new door opens. The company has been scaled down to form the 51st Translator Interpreter Platoon, while still maintaining the responsibility of providing competent experts in the most difficult environments.
“I look forward to seeing what is next and how the new structure will change the way the Soldiers are utilized,” said a tearful Capt. Jared Dahl, commander, 51st TICO. “The 51st TIPL is a new and exciting innovation in the Army, and the opportunity exists to create something that will continue to benefit the Army, no matter what region we conduct operations.”
In the eight short years that the 51st TICO served here at Fort Irwin, the organization built a powerful and lasting legacy that, few, if any other company could have accomplished in such a short time.
“Countless numbers of fathers, mothers, sons, brothers, sisters, and daughters are alive and have been able to return home from the Global War on Terror, because of the critical skill set that your unit provided,” said Moses. “It is through them, that the legacy of the 51st TICO, will endure.”