Numerous interpreters work in conflict zones, not as military interpreters, but as civilians working for humanitarian organizations.
These interpreters might be individuals with a strong interest in humanitarian work and knowledge of English and a “rare” language used in the humanitarian context, who are recruited specifically as interpreters by a humanitarian organization. For instance, the interpreters working for the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) are generally expatriate aid workers who have no direct family links with their country of assignment.
Alternatively, interpreters may themselves be beneficiaries of humanitarian organizations who speak English as well as the language used by beneficiaries. The interpreters ensuring communication between encamped or urban refugees and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), for example, are themselves refugees.
This difference in background has direct implications for training, which is what I explore in the talk below given at the University of Reading (UK) in the framework of the Translating in Danger Zones seminar series in October 2016.