Steve steps in! Stephen Jones, our Director of Partner Relations, has grabbed the torch from Stu to continue the series on Items of Interest in Europe. Read on to get his take….

If you didn’t read the previous blogs on items of interest in Europe, Stu laid out the CRITICAL items of interest for several nations that are strongly supporting the 2019 Global SOF Symposium – Belgium in Brussels, happening from 1- 3 October. A lot of the “critical” needs are being addressed because the nations have forces deployed who are pushing those, so the largest category we have is the “essential” items of interest. 

Essential Items of Interest

The essential items of interest are generally being filled by aging equipment or fielded in limited numbers. Most nations are trying to get an understanding of what is available to replace these aging or limited capabilities. For the Symposium, we collaborated with three nations to frame their items of interest. The essential category is so large that we have broken it up into multiple blogs to ensure people read and digest them. 

Read on for the SECOND round of essential items.


MORE Essential Items of Interest for European SOF
  • Boarding equipment – Ladder, power ascenders, launcher, poles, and hooks that are lighter and more durable than current inventory.
  • Vessels – High-speed boats, coastal patrol, multi-fuel outboard engines, electric outboard, hovercrafts, and kayaks of various sizes and capabilities that can support the employment of SOF in extreme environments.
  • Liferafts – Including pack mounted single person occupancy to over 100-person mass evacuation. Each bespoke solution is performance optimized for a specific operating environment including maritime, rotary wing, fixed wing, and covert special operations forces.
  • Next Generation MASS and LMASS – Constructed from high-quality, durable, lightweight, breathable, waterproof fabrics to provide increased comfort in a wide range of environmental conditions. Suits contain intelligent design features such as intuitive ‘no look’ positive zip closure and in-field operator replaceable wrist and neck seals.
  • Lifejackets – Developed for virtually any mission profile, these jackets are low profile, lightweight, ergonomic, and inflatable with patented 3D bladder technology and buoyancy aids that are adaptable to modular armor capable tactical vests.
  • Anti-Terror and Smuggling Training – Build and develop maritime defenses against smuggling and terrorism.
  • Anti-Piracy Measures – Maritime interdiction operation in support of anti-piracy measures onboard merchant and military vessels.
  • High-speed boat Operations – Coastal patrol craft enabling interoperability between land, naval, air forces and coalition partners.
  • VBSS Training – Tactical team movements, boarding and climbing, and rappelling techniques, self-defense tactics, and weapons handling.
  • Underwater Operations – Such as Combat diving, semi-closed rebreather training, underwater demolition and EOD, diver propulsion device, underwater cache.
  • Heliborne Insertion – Including small firearms training onboard a vessel.


  • Biometrics Collection and Analysis Tools – Rugged deployable devices that are interoperable with current USSOCOM biometrics databases.
  • Computer Forensics – Rugged field-deployable tools that allow for data extraction from computers and hard drives.
  • Geospatial Technology – High fidelity, street-level information from any place in the world, no matter how remote or inaccessible.
  • Handheld Geospatial Mapping, Tracking, Planning Communications and Survey Tool – Software that operates on handheld devices to enhance soldier understanding of the battlefield while securely communicating critical information to peers, partners, and leaders as required.
  • Human Geography – Foundational, geospatially-referenced intelligence on a city, country or regional level.
  • Imagery and Geospatial Analysis – Extracting actionable information from commercial imagery via imagery analysis, predictive analysis, and modeling, crowdsourcing, automated big data processing and social media analysis.
  • Intelligence Analysis Products and Training – For HUMINT, SIGINT, OSINT, IMINT, GEOINT, and FMV.
  • Basic and Advanced Military Intelligence Officers Courses – Provide the tools necessary for the military to function as intelligence officers at the junior to senior levels of responsibility. Subjects include map reading, use of automated tools, Joint Intelligence Preparation of the Operations Environment, ISR synchronization matrices, advanced analytical writing, all source analysis, and targeting.
  • All-Source Intelligence Analysis – Provide advanced collection, exploitation, analysis, targeting, and cleared language services to U.S. SOF.
  • Threat Network Analysis – Provide the analytical tools and methodologies to construct and analyze threat network structures, threat organization, identify critical nodes, types of associations, geodesic analysis, conventional and asymmetric threat group structures, interoperability of threat network cells, threat network use of social media, threat network strengths and threat network vulnerabilities.
  • Transnational Threat Analysis – Provides the tools and methodologies to analyze transnational threats to include organized crime organizations, terrorist groups, weapons and narcotics trafficking, and insurgent organizations. Participants will discuss how various transnational groups are organized, relationships, similarities, differences, and their strengths and vulnerabilities.
  • Intelligence Support to Asymmetric Warfare Threats – Provide discussions on various asymmetric threats, the analytical concepts, and methodologies that can be applied to counter asymmetric threats, and how threat groups adapt to asymmetric warfare to exploit conventional force threats and weaknesses.
  • 3D GEOINT – Faced with sophisticated adversaries, today’s warfighter requires familiarity with an area before deployment. Training, planning, and rehearsal demand realistic 3D situational awareness—as well as the ability to georeference disparate information. Visualization is critical to success. 3D surface models and precise digital elevations enhance GEOINT data—covering the globe to support preparation, rehearsal, and execution.
MORE Essential Items of Interest for European SOF
  • Precision 3D Geo-Registration – Remote sensing — via satellites, manned aircraft, unmanned aerial vehicles, or drones — has provided a wealth of new geospatial data to interpret and analyze. Analysts and operators know, however, that this data often is distorted, inaccurate, or misaligned. Sensor data needs to be georegistered, so it aligns with the actual places it is describing, is useful, and provides meaning. Current methods of precision mensuration rely on stereo pairs of photographs, are labor intensive, and can’t always measure the z-factor where you need it, e.g., on the sides of buildings. This paradigm, however, just changed. Precision 3D Registration (P3DR) synthesizes the globe in 3D — a worldwide 3D foundation — with sophisticated algorithms to deliver fast, accurate, and reliable georegistration of your sensor data, anywhere.
  • Prisoner Management – Technological and logistical advances in expeditionary prisoner/detainee pods and supporting rooms as well as temporary prisoner billeting.
  • Commercial Satellite Imagery – Raw and processed high-resolution commercial satellite imagery that is non-ITAR controlled and may be shared with partner nations.
  • Technical Forensic Training – For computer, mobile, and wireless platforms.
  • Targeting of High Value Individuals – Provide targeting fundamentals, lethal and non-lethal methods of targeting, target nomination, target prioritization, risk management, the Find, Fix, Finish, Exploit, Analyze, Disseminate process, the Decide, Detect, Deliver, Assess process and the production of target support packages in support of targeting operations.
  • Intelligence Support to the MDMP – Provide the fundamentals to produce intelligence products to support each of the seven steps of MDMP to include mission analysis, IPB, requirements development, decision support matrices, wargaming, and identifying threat courses of action, risk assessments and recommending Priority Intelligence Requirements.
  • Intelligence Support to IO – Provide discussions on each function of IO and their roles in shaping the operations environment throughout all phases of the military operations from pre-conflict to post-conflict stabilization force operations.
  • MESH Radios for Data and/or Digital Voice – Scalable low and high power / low and high bandwidth solutions for text/Blue Force Tracking messaging, voice, data, and video; mitigate the effects of terrain, noise, and distance.
  • Software Tools to Create a COP – Provides greater situational awareness and drives improved decision-making processes for operators, security forces and first responders maximizing the power of geospatial technology.
  • Cellular Geolocation and Exploitation – Simple field deployable devices to help locate devices and extract data from them.


  • COP – Simple, scalable platforms that enable information sharing from brigade level to the operator.
  • Alternatives to GPS for Position, Navigation & Timing – Devices that continue providing PNT services in the absence of trusted GPS signaling.
  • Conventional and Alternative Field Power Systems – Flex Fuel/Universal Fuel generators, solar, wind, and fuel cell technologies that extend the operating range and deployment time when disconnected from conventional logistical lines of support.
  • Unprecedented, High-Performance Removable Faraday Cage – 110 dB minimum RF attenuation. Allows users to go “off grid” at will, preventing location tracking, RF detection/emissions or RF hacking when enabled, even if near a cell tower, cell detector or cell interceptor (rogue base station). Hardened, air-gapped platform, companion two-factor authentication app, extensible platform enables addition of other features/capabilities (e.g., off-board encryption, tactical radio, voice morphing, RF awareness, traffic monitoring, multi-factor authentication and biometrics, etc.)
  • Cyber Defense – Software that helps protect communications networks from compromise. 
MORE Essential Items of Interest for European SOF
  • Alternatives to RF Communications – Copper wire, fiber optic and free-space optical communications for LPD/LPI communications and to mitigate against hostile RF environments.
  • Extreme Weather Detection and Tracking – The capability to detect, track, and provide impact and launch coordinates in milliseconds for tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, etc.
  • Mortar Fire Detection and Tracking – The capability to detect, track, and provide impact and location coordinates in milliseconds for mortar fire.
  • Lithium-Ion batteries – For radios, robots, sensors, etc.
  • Virtual Mobile Infrastructure (VMI) – Secure, user-centric technology providing access to sensitive mobile apps and data from any device without compromising enterprise security. A mobile thin client provides access to the virtual mobile environment running in the data center, leaving no data or apps at rest on physical mobile endpoints.
  • Software Defined Network (SDN) – Virtualized network architecture that provides increased security, performance, and reliability. Provides controlled flow of traffic, creates secure logical network connections, improves throughput, and reduces the effects of latency and jitter. Supports aggregate multiple WAN connections over multiple mediums, provides managed attribution and integrates complementary technologies to assure secure communication.

I know everyone attends various tradeshows and events, but I think this approach is unique and worthy of industry support. These nations have money, they are growing their SOF, and they are serious about making their forces better and more interoperable. 

One of the greatest things about my job is I get to meet with industry and international SOF all the time. No matter where I go, nations are always looking for new game-changing technologies that make their SOF better and more interoperable.

Everything you want to know about the Symposium in Brussels is on our website at Check it out.

Reader Interactions


  1. Stu,
    My company can answer several of the questions/priorities as it relates to passive cyber/EW Operational Preparation of the Environment (Cyber OPE). I would like to get an invite as an exhibitor at the Symposium if that is still possible. We also do LPI/LPD non-attributable comms (COVCOMM).

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