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MILITARY TECHNOLOGY (MILTECH) is the world's leading international tri-service defence monthly magazine in the English language. MILITARY TECHNOLOGY is "Required Reading for Defence Professionals". Follow us on Twitter: MILTECH1

20 May 2015

“Winning in a Complex World”

This year’s conference theme of SOFIC, “Winning in a Complex World,” is providing a
forum for military, government, academia and industry to network and discuss
current and future challenges and how to best support Special Operations
Forces (SOF) around the globe.

Over 10,000 visitors preregistered and already the first day was packed. 340
companies present their solutions and products. This year is not an
“international” SOFIC – it is a biyearly change between domestic and an
international event – although there are numerous international SOF partners
invited and present, e.g. from Jordan, UAE (they even have their own booth
of the Presidential Guard), KSK (DEU), MARSOF (NLD), Norway, France and many
other. From the Airborne, Ranger and Special Forces arm patches it is
obvious that the US Forces are the majority.

USSOCOM Commander, General Joseph L. Votel opened the conference with a
nearly hour-long speech, and more than 1,500 attendees were listening. He
said, that the USSOCOM normally spend 1.8% of the annual defence budget,
that means even SOF have to spent it in a wise way. He presented his
priorities, in 3rd place today is building up partnerships around the world.
The needs for SOF missions are so high, even the US can’t manage it alone.
In 4th comes the preparation for the future trends. “It needs courage and
the right thinking and the help of the industry to come up with the right
solution at the right time”, so the commander. One of the top priorities of
procurement are UAS. Last year the procurement of tactical UAS was doubled.
Another technology topic and driver of importance is TALOS. The project is
now 1.5 years running, with hundreds of partners. Originally the prototype
should be ready by 2017, now the first full integrates TALOS should be
delivered in August 2018. He asked the industry to develop the equipment to
win tomorrows challenges. And therefore new partnerships between the
military, industry, education and other partners have to be created.
“Industry is inexplicable part of SOF! We are in this together”, so the

USSOCOM Acquisition Executive, Mr. James F. Geurts followed the commanders
speech and provided perspectives on SOF’s challenges and needs.

Over the course of three days, attendees will also have the opportunity to
engage with USSOCOM Program Executive Officers and Directors, Program
Managers, the Office of Small Business Programs representative, the
Technology & Industry Liaison Office representative, and other acquisition
experts who will identify top priorities, business opportunities, and
interests as they relate to USSOCOM acquisition programs.
Andre Forkert

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