MACDILL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. – U.S. Special Operations Command and the National Defense Industrial Association co-hosted the annual Special Operations Command Industry Conference May 19-21 at the Tampa Convention Center, Tampa, Fla.The conference included discussion panels made up of USSOCOM’s component commanders, theater special operations command commanders and senior enlisted advisors who provided attendees with an understanding of requirements, operations, and technology issues in the context of SOF’s current missions.
The conference is an opportunity for military, government and industry personnel to network and exchange ideas. The conference’s purpose is reflected in this year’s theme, “Winning in a Complex World.”
“SOFIC is our one chance every year to gather the entire SOF enterprise,” said James F. Geurts, USSOCOM Acquisition Executive. “Our operators, our acquisition folks, our logistics folks, and industry get together to talk about our challenges, about our opportunities, and talk about how we can work together better.”
Our industry teammates are vital to us accomplishing our mission,” added Geurts. “Getting that communication and dialog together here as an enterprise is vitally important to our success.”
“SOFIC is a great opportunity to not only examine what we did right over the last year, but it is also a venue that helps us identify the direction we’re going to move in the future,” said Army Gen. Joseph L. Votel, commander of U.S. Special Operations Command. “Through this venue, we are able to collaborate and develop affordable solutions to support our young men and women across the globe.”
Attendees also had the opportunity to engage with USSOCOM’s acquisition personnel who identified top priorities, business opportunities, and interests as they relate to USSOCOM acquisition programs.
Another highlight of SOFIC is the Technology Exposition, where defense industry vendors display their latest equipment.
“We get to see the latest technology, we get to talk to developers, we get to talk to our teammates,” said Geurts. “So, whether in a different component, whether they are in acquisition, logistics, technology or an operational unit, by everybody getting together, we can understand the problems, understand the potential solutions, and then work on programs, and processes to get those tools and equipment into the hands of the operators.”
“Most SOF operations require non-SOF support. As SOF operators, we would not be able to achieve our mission success without the contributions of industry,” said Votel.