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Archive for the ‘SOFIC’ Category

SOFIC Is Dead! Long Live SOF Week!

Wednesday, February 8th, 2023

Last fall, the National Defense Industrial Association announced that there wouldn’t be a Special Operations Forces Industry Conference in 2023. It was kind of like someone cancelling Christmas. But never fear, while it’s true that there won’t be a SOFIC, there will be an event focused on USSOCOM this May.

The Global SOF Foundation will, for at least the next few years, host SOF Week on behalf of United States Special Operations Command.

Bottom Line Up Front: SOF Week will continue the industry focused programming that was a staple of SOFIC, to include PEO briefings, PEO one-on-one meetings, SOCOM Acquisition focused briefings, and the Acquisition Executive Keynote.

This year, SOF Week is 8-11 May, 2023 at the SOF Week Campus, which primarily includes the Tampa Convention Center, Tampa Marriott Water Street, Tampa Westin Waterside, the Tampa JW Marriott, and surrounding areas. Although it’s a little earlier in the month than in years past, it’s in the same location.

Many in industry are concerned that there hasn’t been much communication from GSOF or their tradeshow partner Clarion Defense regarding booth space. This is because it has taken longer than expected to work out all of the details with USSOCOM. But things are now moving along at a brisk pace.

This year offers to be bigger than ever and in response GSOF has increased floor space for vendors. However, demand is at an all-time high and space is selling out very quickly. GSOF tells me the list for space requests included over 1,000 companies; literally.

You can see the current floorplan for yourself… click the drop down under “Maps” to see both floors here.  

However, GSOF hears your concerns and is working to offer other opportunities for Industry like Industry Matchmaking and reservable meeting space.

Which brings me to my next point. Who better to run SOF Week? With GSOF in charge, many of us feel that the event is home, being organized and presented by former members of the the various SOF components.

As it evolves SOF Week will better align with the Command and its goals of engagement. SOF Week not only encompasses the industry conference and capabilities demonstration that many are accustomed to, but there are generally other Command events during the week.

Having said that, there won’t be a big capabilities demonstration, Commander’s Conference, or international SOF conference this year; SOCOM runs that event, and it only runs on even years. So, it will be back in 2024 and is fully directed by USSOCOM.

However, within this week-long framework, GSOF will work with USSOCOM to enhance the experience by providing additional opportunities for attendees including transition programming, professional development, internationally focused panels, and academic discussions.

Over the next few weeks we’ll focus on SOF Week and various new features for participants, both government and industry alike.

Please spread the word, “SOFIC Is Dead! Long Live SOF Week!”

Visit for more information.

GSOF To Host SOF Week In Place Of SOFIC

Friday, July 15th, 2022

Earlier today NDIA announced that there would not be a SOFIC for 2023. We have just learned that SOCOM is partnering with Global SOF, an industry association representing companies which do briskness specifically with SOF.

GSOF released this statement:

From the desk of Stu Bradin:
2023 SOF Week (formerly known as SOFIC): Good News! Did you want me to make this the first bullet? No way. On 14 July we received word from USSOCOM GEN Clarke that GSOF was selected to run SOF Week 2023.

SO WHAT? It will be a 2 year MOU starting in 2023 and in 2024 it will include international SOF Week. This is a huge honor and opportunity that we think will better synchronize our efforts and better support the SOF community. SOF will work with USSOCOM to make SOF Week the best event in the US – more akin to a national convention for SOF rather than just an industry conference. Changing from SOFIC to SOF Week will make this event bigger, and it will hopefully bring in more of the SOF Community. It will not be easy, but we got this! We want your input to make this a success. Please attend one of the virtual Focus Groups this month.

You can sign up for the virtual focus groups here.

No SOFIC in 2023?

Friday, July 15th, 2022

After a two year hiatus of in-person events, this year’s Special Operations Forces Industry Conference was a very large affair with lots of industry and government participation.

So it came as a surprise when the National Defense Industrial Association, which presents the event in conjunction with the United States Special Operations Command, posted this message :

Dear Valued SOFIC Partners,

USSOCOM has informed NDIA that they will not execute SOFIC in 2023.

NDIA is extremely proud of our strong partnership with USSOCOM and the exceptional conferences we presented over the past 12 years, including our very successful 2022 Conference.

NDIA will continue to work with all stakeholders to promote collaboration between government and industry to deliver innovative capabilities to our warfighters.

We are extremely grateful for all your support to NDIA and SOFIC over the years.


Christine M. Klein
Sr. VP, Meetings, Divisions & Partnerships

Allison H. Carpenter
Director, Exhibits & Sponsorships

Over the years SOFIC has been one of the best events for industry and military interaction.

While it seems that USSOCOM won’t be holding a major flagship event, chances are good that SOFIC, or a similar event, will return to its roots and become smaller with less official command involvement. We know that several organizations have been vying to sponsor such an event.

We will keep you posted.

And Now, For The Rest Of The Story

Saturday, May 21st, 2022

Earlier in the week we showed you the awesome, Tigerstripe attired mannequin in the Velocity Systems booth. What we didn’t show you was the back.

This prototype assault pack is inspired by the British PLCE Bergen side pocket which in turn came from the Berghaus Vulcan removable side pocket. Slightly bigger, Travis added a bungee and some Velcro. I told him he should put it into production. What do you think?

SOFIC 22 – SOAL Marine

Friday, May 20th, 2022

SOAL Marine Group exhibited with Wing Inflatables. The Kraka Jet Board is a rigid inflatable platform which can be manned or unmanned to perform infiltration and exfiltration of swimmers and material, ISR, and even armed overwatch.

It can navigated by its passengers, remote controlled, or programmed for a predetermined course. Kraka Jet Board can be airdropped and is inflatable within seconds thanks to an onboard air tank.

The system can also be cached up to 26 meters underwater and is powered by a 11 kW brushless electric motor offering up to 18 knots of speed. The rechargeable battery that can be swapped out as needed.

A remote weapon station or ISR mast can also be placed on the Kraka. This model will support two fully equipped swimmers but there are larger versions which will support a quad or Polaris UTV for river crossings.

SOFIC 22 – Tampa Microwave

Friday, May 20th, 2022

Tampa Microwave is a Thales company and offers specialized communications systems like the new Raider Scout.

Raider Scout is a SATCOM terminal designed to be used by the non-Signaler which can be used with both INMARSAT and military satellites. You simply connect your end user device of choice. It weighs less than 35 pounds but offers four to five times the amount of bandwidth normally associated with such systems. With this asynchronous system you can expect 20 MB up and over 40 MB down.

Highly mobile, the system can be set up within one minute and satellite acquired within five. Both training and operation is simple.

It is powered by an internal rechargeable battery offering up to 30 minutes of use per charge but can also be powered by an external power source such as a battery or shore power.

SOFIC 22 – Juggernaut

Friday, May 20th, 2022

Juggernaut launched their new VELOX mount which is an USB-C Armor Docking Mount for your End User Device, serving as an ecosystem to facilitate ease of use regardless of cables associated with your EUD and radios.

Tension can be adjusted to ensure your EUD stays where you want it and there is a soft bungee strap to keep it stowed when not needed.

Not only is VELOX IP-68 certified, it is also EMI shielded and is compatible with Glenaire, ODU, and Omnetics connectors.

Also, it’s not only compatible with Juggernaut’s latest line up of cases, but it’s also backwards compatible.

Finally, the pins on the case automatically align with the pins on the VELOX mount as you snap your EUD into place on the mount.

SOFIC 22 – USSOCOM Weapons Update

Friday, May 20th, 2022

There wasn’t a lot briefed this year as USSOCOM has decided to go quiet with industry, over concerns adversaries may determine and exploit their capability gaps. This strategy may prove challenging while trying to fill those gaps, particularly the more exquisite requirements.

The Program Executive Office Special Operations Warrior team only briefed a few immediate items of interest.

There are currently two open weapon competitions, the Mid Range Gas Gun and Light Medium Machine Gun and both address overmatch concerns.

The 6.5 Creedmoor MRGG consists of two variants, Assault and Sniper Support. We introduced the FN America candidates during last week’s Modern Day Marine coverage. This is essentially a do over of an earlier attempt at selecting a weapon.

I asked PEO SOF Warrior, COL Anh Ha if SOCOM planned to continue to invest in 6.5 CM considering the recent Army decision to adopt 6.8x51mm Common Case Ammunition. He responded that the command’s concern is overmatch and that the planned to proceed with 6.5 CM but would monitor the Army’s 6.8 efforts.

Although not briefed on slides SOCOM plans to move ahead with the Lightweight Assault Machine Gun program. However, I doubt will survive the budget axe once an Assessment Director takes a look at it. The XM250 will be a service common beltfed solution meaning MFP 2 funds pay for it rather than the MFP 11 SOF budget. If it is determined that it still must be chambered in 6.5 CM, the manufacturer has been demonstrating a barrel swap from 6.8 to 6.5. The only cost to SOCOM in that case would be the SOF unique barrel.

The LMG-M is a beltfed machine gun which fires a .338 Norma Mag cartridge offering the range of an M2 at less than the weight of an M240. Instead of area targets at that range, the gunner will be able to engage point targets with semi or full auto fire. Although there are multiple small arms updates across DoD, this program is the single most important capability on the horizon.

As far as ammunition goes they are constantly in a state of improvement of various small arms calibers, concentrating particularly on terminal effects. In FY24 they will begin to examine alternative case materials.

The Enhanced Close Quarters Sight (E-CQS) is a planned replacement for the SU-231A holographic weapons sight. This new capability will add a digital overlay which will port data from Android Team Awareness Kit and can be turned off when not needed.

Last, but not least, the proposed Day and Night Heads Up Display (DANHUD) will integrate with the ATAK and transition the operator’s focus from the End User Device to the battelspace around them, increasing situational awareness.