SOFIC 2014 – Preview
As the United States continues its drawdown in Afghanistan and shifts focus to the Pacific, the integration of Special Operations Forces (“SOF”) worldwide and the training of SOF personnel remain key elements of success. The prioritization of the SOF readiness is just a sample of what is slated for discussion at the annual Special Operations Forces Industry Conference (“SOFIC”), to be held May 20-22, 2014 in Tampa, FL.
This year’s conference is expected to attract over 300 exhibitors, panelists, industry experts, and attendees. Key topics will include this year’s theme, “Strengthening the Global SOF Network,” and the United States Special Operations Command (“USSOCOM”) 2020 strategic direction global initiatives. In addition, the conference has geared its panels, comprised of SOCOM commanders and advisors, to give attendees and the marketplace an insider’s view on the challenges, trends, technology issues, and requirements necessary to fully support the SOF mission. According to USSOCOM Commander, Admiral William H. McRaven, today’s SOCOM mission is threefold: (i) people – taking care of SOF personnel and their families; (ii) technology – using technology to increase the safety of exacting special operations, and; (iii) partners – expanding partnerships of all kinds worldwide.
In recent years, the changing nature of U.S. international engagement has prompted a rebalancing of SOF assets, shifting away from a focus on strike proficiencies and toward a deliberate return to the core competencies of training and advising worldwide. While last year’s conference theme, “Strengthening the SOF Bond,” focused on the unique capabilities that have been developed throughout the past decade of war, this year’s conference will focus on efforts to reconfiguring the shape and character, rather than the size, of SOF and SOCOM assets in order to ensure strong capabilities over the near-term.