ITS Tactical is headed out to Tampa, Florida this week for SOFIC, the Special Operations Forces Industry Conference, which runs May 22nd thru the 24th at the Tampa Convention Center.
SOFIC is the defense industry’s premier event, much like SHOT Show for the outdoor industry, but on a much smaller scale. The Special Operations community and the defense industry behind it is relatively small when compared to the outdoor industry as a whole.
The conference provides a forum for military, government and industry professionals to collaborate, network and discuss challenges and how to best build key global partnerships that support the Special Operations community.
USSOCOM (United States Special Operations Command) is headquartered at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, which is the primary reason the conference is held here. The idea for SOCOM was realized after Operation Eagle Claw in 1980 and the debacle at Desert One, which led to a botched rescue attempt of 52 Americans being held at the US Embassy in Tehran, Iran.
Since being created in 1987, SOCOM has been the joint component of overseeing each different branch of service’s Special Operations Command. For example, the Army has ARSOC (Army Special Operations Command), The Navy has NAVSOC (Naval Special Warfare Command), the Marine Corps has MARSOC (Marine Special Operations Command) and the Air Force has AFSOC (Air Force Special Operations Command). While each functions as an individual command, SOCOM oversees command and control when joint service operations take place.
SOFIC is generally limited to active duty military, first responders and government employees, but industry affiliates, NDIA (National Defense Industrial Association) members and press are allowed as well.
It’s important to understand that while we’ll be providing coverage of SOFIC, there are many things we can’t and won’t take photos of, so our coverage won’t be as extensive as SHOT Show. That’s not to say we won’t have great coverage, but we do want to mention that caveat.
Be sure to follow our coverage this week from Tampa at ITS Tactical. We’ll also be providing updates via Facebook and Twitter with what we’re seeing too. A particular event to note is that Special Operations Forces from ten different countries are staging a mock attack on Tampa during the show, demonstrating their capabilities. We’ll be sure to be on hand to give you a front row seat!
Here’s a look at a couple of videos from SOFIC to give you a feel for the conference and the size of the show floor.
Be sure to check back here tomorrow for the start of our coverage from SOFIC!
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