Delegates from more than 70 nations will attend the International Special Operations Forces conference, May 21-24, at the Tampa Convention Center. The theme of this year’s ISOF is “optimizing special operations forces.” Throughout the week, international SOF commanders will discuss ways to improve interoperability, increase lethality, and optimize how SOF sources global requirements and various training venues. ISOF is a way for the global SOF community to meet, learn from each other and advance a coordinated effort to meet global security challenges.
ISOF week coincides with the annual Special Operations Forces Industry Conference, also held at the Tampa Bay Convention Center. SOFIC will have panels with the component and theater special operations commanders as well as presentations by Special Operations Forces Acquisition, Technology and Logistics Directorate.
SOFIC provides the opportunity for USSOCOM personnel to network with defense industry professionals and government attendees. Attendees will view the latest in SOF equipment and capabilities from 444 exhibitors.
The ISOF week conference provides unique opportunities for the global SOF community to strengthen enduring relationships, share current technologies, enhance cooperation and identify commonalities and challenges. These events support USSOCOM’s ongoing efforts to formalize and strengthen existing international network partnerships, and to engage with key stakeholder publics.
Two rigid-hulled inflatable boats and a MH-6 Little Bird approach the Tampa Convention Center during a capabilities demonstration in Tampa, Florida.. Photo by Tech Sgt. Angelita Lawrence.
The capstone event is a capabilities exercise on May 23 and will demonstrate the international special operations spirit of cooperation and abilities. Aside from U.S. Special Operations Forces, commandos from 8 countries will conduct a scenario-based demonstration in the area surrounding the Tampa Convention Center in order to demonstrate the capabilities of multinational SOF cooperation.
Two Navy SEALs surface before boarding a cruise ship in Tampa. Photo by Michael Bottoms.
Weather permitting the demonstration will feature snipers on the roofs of Tampa General Hospital and Tampa Convention Center, six-man teams on helicopters, attacking and fast roping onto a cruise ship, and performing a hostage rescue. Another scenario will feature a 14-man team converging and attacking an enemy encampment by ground military vehicles and two 14-man teams infiltrating via water on rigid-hull inflatable boats.
The Special Operations Forces Industry Conference is the premiere conference for the SOF community to interact with industry and to collaborate on the challenges, initiatives and way-ahead in delivering the most cutting-edge capabilities into the hands of SOF operators. SOFIC provides educational sessions, demonstrations, interaction with exhibitors and many networking opportunities during the event. SOFIC is the single most important opportunity for developing, nurturing and exercising the growing network across industry, government, academia and international partners.