Somehow it’s just over 5 weeks until SOFIC Week–where did Spring go!?
We’ve been very busy over the past few months preparing for our Annual Tampa Reception, which we hold every year on the Monday of SOFIC week. This year’s will be extra special, as it marks the Global SOF Foundation’s 5 year anniversary! Highlights include Speed Networking, exciting sponsorships like Bourbon tasting and Nitro Ice Cream, and of course, the new waterfront location at Armature Works in Tampa. Register today to lock-in your Early Bird prices.
But, we wanted to step in and give you a bit of an update on some of the other things we’ve been up to over the past few weeks!
Euro Trip with Stu and MKP
As many of you know, our 4th international symposium will take place in Brussels, Belgium this October. There are many challenges associated with hosting a major Symposium in another country, and it’s no surprise that one of the biggest challenges is the separation. So, GSF President Stu Bradin and COO Meaghan Keeler-Pettigrew hit the skies for a quick trip to Belgium to make sure everything was tracking.
But first, France!
Every year, French SOF host an event called SOFINS at Camp de Souge military base near Bordeaux. Meaghan and Stu made sure their trip to Europe coincided with this event because it’s a great opportunity to engage with European SOF. As Stu said, “Most of the folks at SOFINS are super supportive of the GSF.” Awesome!
It also turned out to be a good way to interact with some of our GSF Partners, including MAS-Special Operations Training, Airbus, and Bren-Tronics! Always great to see them in action, especially with our international Partners.
Too soon, Stu and Meaghan said “Au revoir” to France and hopped over to Brussels, where they had meetings with Belgian SOF and the Symposium venue: Le Plaza Hotel. Everything went really well, and the Belgians are On. Their. Game. They are true professionals, and had answers and ideas for pretty much everything we asked. Things are looking good.
And perhaps most importantly…we found the location for the Thursday night after-party.
The Impexium Transition
As we’ve discussed in previous blogs, we just transitioned to a new GSF User Portal, hosted by a system called Impexium. Overall we’re very happy with the new system, but with anything there will be growing pains… so if you have any issues at all, please don’t hesitate to contact our Member Services Manager, Catlyn Smith.
We’ve put a lot of time into this new System, in hopes that YOU won’t have to put much time into it. We introduced our customers to it for the first time over the past couple of weeks primarily to register for the Annual Tampa Reception, and it seems to be working! Always exciting.
We are still working out a few bugs, and we have not yet launched the SOF for Life Career Center, so we do apologize for the break in service on that piece of our offerings. We almost have it working (hopefully much better than it used to) as desired and are hopeful that we’ll be able to launch it next week… stay tuned!
Aloha to PASOC!
The GSF was extremely honored this year to receive an invitation to the Pacific Area Special Operations Conference–or PASOC– in Honolulu, Hawaii. Despite the whole staff’s offers to accept the invitation, Stu and brand new GSF Director of Military Relations Rick Lamb decided they could bear that burden and flew over to Hawaii to attend.
Stu was very impressed. The event embraces the nature of its location and keeps the dress code and agenda laid back and intimate.
Stu and Rick had the opportunity to speak to several senior leaders about the GSF, and there was a lot of interest especially in our Capability Catalogs. It was a great way to get our foot in the door with more countries in the PACOM AOR.
We are looking forward to getting more involved in this region…
Intelligence Sharing in support of Multinational SOF Operations
Speaking of Partner Nations in different regions, the U.S. Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence (OUSD-I) has commissioned a study from the GSF to identify challenges and opportunities associated with sharing information and intelligence in multinational environments. The results of this study will be used to make policy recommendations to improve strategic, operational, and tactical cooperation between the U.S. and its partners and allies.
We’re very excited about this opportunity to work with the U.S. DoD! As part of this effort, we’re currently conducting a survey of SOF Personnel–both U.S. and non-U.S. operators and enablers. The survey will be open throughout May 2019, and we’re trying to get as many qualified respondents as possible. If you or someone you know is SOF or a SOF enabler, please take the survey here.
The next part of the project will be a working group that we’re going to hold in Washington, DC, at the beginning of June. It’s an invite-only workshop, and we’re expecting around 50 subject matter experts to come together to discuss the survey results and begin making policy recommendations.
That seems like it’s just the tip of the Stu-berg… we’ve also launched new Podcast episodes, started planning for Poland 2020, and are working hard to make the upcoming Demo Days at the Modern Warfare Symposium special… stay tuned for all that and more!
See you on May 20th in Tampa!