CETRA Provides Language Services for Chiefs of Defense Conference

CETRA was recently tasked by the US Pacific Command with providing high-level language services for the annual Chiefs of Defense (CHOD) conference, which is a prestigious meeting of high-ranking military representatives of the more than 30 major Asia-Pacific countries. This year’s event, which was held in Manila from September 5 – 7, 2016, was hosted by the Armed Forces of the Philippines and US Pacific Command.

It was the sixth time CETRA provided language services for the conference.

The CETRA interpretation team at the 2016 CHOD conference in Manila.

The CHOD Conference brings together key military leaders and policy makers to discuss regional and global challenges and to promote multilateral cooperation in the Indo-Asia-Pacific. CETRA recruited and assigned 22 high-level simultaneous interpreters representing 11 languages and a three-person team of audio/visual technicians over the course of the conference. The interpreters and staff were recruited from countries across the region and US.  Similarly, the needed language services equipment was sourced locally in Manila and in the US.

Robin Smith, the Interpretation Services Manager at CETRA, provided overall oversight of interpreter recruitment and the coordination of logistics, as well as on-site project management of the interpretation and audio/visual teams.

“It was a team effort at CETRA, along with a solid working partnership with the US Pacific Command, that enabled us to put together such an accomplished project team and effective language services,” said Smith. “The interpreters were excellent, equipment was spot-on and all logistics were coordinated seamlessly.  We worked together and that made all the difference.”

The languages requested were Khmer, Laotian, Chinese, Thai, Korean, Russian, Mongolian, Vietnamese, Indonesian, Japanese, Portuguese, and Spanish. The interpreters were recruited both locally and internationally, and were selected for their linguistic and diplomatic expertise. They provided simultaneous interpretation support to the various Chiefs of Defense and their delegates throughout the conference.

The Indo-Asia-Pacific region is home to a large percentage of the world’s population, a vast array of languages and religions, several of the world’s largest military forces and some of the largest economies in the world. The main topic of this year’s meeting was forging cooperative ties amid emerging challenges to secure a common future.

CETRA is an experienced provider of conference interpretation, including linguists and equipment, for international US military and diplomatic conferences in CONUS and OCONUS locations. CETRA previously provided similar language services for CHOD conferences that were held in Hawaii, Australia and South Korea.