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This article is provided courtesy of Stars and Stripes, which got its start as a newspaper for Union troops during the Civil War, and has been published continuously since 1942 in Europe and 1945 in the Pacific. Stripes reporters have been in the field with American soldiers, sailors and airmen in World War II, Korea, the Cold War, Vietnam, the Gulf War, Bosnia and Kosovo, and are now on assignment in the Middle East.

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College Classes Will Continue for Downrange Troops

(Department of Defense photo)
(Department of Defense photo)

KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany -- The Defense Department has awarded the University of Maryland University College a $16.2 million contract to continue delivering educational services to U.S. troops serving in the Middle East and Africa, the school said.

The 54-month contract calls for UMUC to provide instructional undergraduate, graduate and post-graduate programs and education support services for the Marine Corps, Army, Air Force, Navy and Coast Guard in the U.S. Central Command and in the U.S. Africa Command areas of responsibility, according to the DOD announcement of the contract.

The university will offer instruction at various downrange locations, including Afghanistan, Bahrain, Djibouti, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, the Pentagon said.

Students at those locations will have access to on-site and online courses, as well as testing services, UMUC said in a statement released late Thursday.

The contract extends through the 2020-21 academic year.

"UMUC continues to be the primary education service provider for U.S. military personnel deployed around the world," Lloyd Miles, a retired Army general and senior vice president for UMUC's global military operations, said in a statement. "The awarding of this contract is clear affirmation of the dedication of our faculty and staff abroad and a university-wide commitment to those who serve and sacrifice to protect us."

UMUC also announced that in addition to undergraduate liberal arts programs, servicemembers and eligible civilians for the first time will be able to take classes and earn a Master of Business Administration at the U.S. naval base in Bahrain.

UMUC holds contracts to offer instruction in Europe through 2023 and in Asia through 2022.

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