TAMPA, FL – The 2016 Special Operations Forces Industry Conference (SOFIC) hosted well over 10,000 attendees and featured 400 exhibiting companies. Located at the Tampa Convention Center from May 23–26, the conference provided a forum for military, government, academia and industry stakeholders to network, collaborate and discuss current and future initiatives for supporting Special Operations Forces (SOF).
USSOCOM Commander, GEN Raymond Thomas III, and USSOCOM Acquisition Executive, Mr. James F. Geurts, provided perspectives on SOF requirements, trends, and future needs and how industry partners can contribute solutions and new capabilities. The conference included panels of USSOCOM’s Component Commanders, Theater Special Operations Command Commanders, and senior military leaders who provided overviews of acquisition requirements, operations, and technology needs in the context of SOF’s global missions.
“The industrial base is an indispensable SOF partner that continues to innovate and develop new technologies that will give our forces the advantage to decisively win,” said GEN Thomas. “This week was an opportunity to gather all the components of the special operations force enterprise to share collective ideas and explore our future together.”
“SOF requirements have grown substantially, as has the demand for the best equipment and technological advances. This week gives our operators, acquisition specialists, logisticians, industry and partner nations the opportunity to come together in one place, at one time to discuss issues, review challenges, and examine new opportunities and solutions so we can rapidly field technology, provide better protection and better capability for our forces operating around the globe,” said Geurts.
SOFIC also provided updates on the Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit (TALOS), and included a USSOCOM Marketplace, where Command experts provided overviews of the specific areas where they could use assistance.
“This week was a great opportunity for innovators, industry stakeholders and SOCOM to meet in-person and exchange ideas to assist in fulfilling the evolving needs of the warfighter,” said NDIA Executive Vice President Gen. Barry Bates, USA (Ret.). “SOFIC attendees will walk away with constructive information about how to work with SOCOM and a better understanding of what they need to get the job done. It was a very productive week that provided value to all in attendance.”
In addition to keynotes, panel presentations, roundtable discussions and program-specific breakouts, the SOFIC Exhibit Hall was filled to capacity and featured new technologies, training systems, vehicles, aircraft and individual equipment, all designed to support the SOF community.
Video footage can be found at YouTube.com/SOFICTV.