Fall. Has. Been. Busy.
If you haven’t heard, we just wrapped up TWO full-blown symposiums over 35 days. The Modern Warfare Symposium was in August and the Global SOF Symposium in Spain took place in September. BUT, we’ve caught our breath and now we’re back into the GSF groove. Here’s some highlights from last week.
Back at the PALT
We’ve talked about the PALT before, but if you’re not up to date on PEO-STRI’s monthly PALT sessions, you can learn more about them in this blog. One thing we’ve started to do this Fall is host a lunch in Orlando for our Corporate Partners and friends who attend the PALT.
October 16th was our second such lunch, which we held at The Social House right by PEO-STRI–or as we now call it The “World’s Largest Salad” House. We had around a dozen attendees, including a few people from Orlando companies whom we’d never met before.
It was a great way to strengthen the Tampa – Orlando bond, and we’re definitely planning to continue these lunches. However, since you’ll all be with us at the 2018 GSF National Capital Region Reception for the November PALT and they take December off, our next lunch won’t take place until January 8th.
Supporting Partners in the DC Area
Speaking of the National Capital Region, GSF Director of Partner Relations Stephen Jones had a busy week in the U.S. capital!
First off, he attended “Asymmetric Threat Symposium XI: Solutions and Innovations for Defeating Asymmetric Threats,” an event that’s co-sponsored by GSF Founding Partner, CACI. This annual event is a “non-partisan, not-for-profit, pro-bono forum for furthering the national dialogue on asymmetric threats to national security.”
Steve said it was an engaging and relevant discussion, and he was especially impressed by the event venue in Tysons Corner, Virginia.
Next up, Steve went to an event at New America (which is also hosting the invite-only SOF Policy Forum in November), called “Self-Sovereign Identity in the Developing World.” He said it was a fascinating discussion–so many people are talking about the possibilities enabled by biometrics, and this was the first time he’d heard people talk about the potential human rights violations that such data may cause.
Meeting with Leaders in Texas and Tampa
GSF President Stu Bradin spent the middle of the week in Austin, Texas! His primary purpose was to visit the new U.S. Army Futures Command, but he met with a few Corporate Partners in the area, and enjoyed a good catch-up lunch with ADM (Ret) William McRaven. Stu learned about the unique Army Future Studies Group, which may or may not have a few secret doors into secret rooms. WHAT?!
Meanwhile, in Tampa, GSF Director of International Engagements–SGM (Ret) Rick Lamb, had an exciting meeting with the Deputy Commander of the Iraqi Counter-Terrorism Forces. Rick shared an excellent recap of the lunch, which is best shared in his words:
The GSF broke bread with LTG Abdul-Wahab al-Sa’adi, the Deputy Commander of the Iraqi Counter-Terrorism Services (ICTS) during a recent trip to Tampa. LTG Al-Sa’adi led Iraqi forces in operations against Daesh (ISIS) during the Battle of Baiji, the second Battle of Tikrit, and the liberation of both Fallujah and Mosul. In over five years of continuous combat against Daesh, LTG Al-Sa’adi was wounded four times by direct fire and survived multiple assassination attempts by SVBIED. He led his forces through a “meat grinder” against a fanatical enemy and his unit sustained heavy losses not seen since the war with Iran. LTG Al-Sa’adi was directly responsible for saving his Nation and liberated thousands of oppressed people from medieval savagery. The world at large owes him a debt of gratitude. It was an honor to share his table!
Well, folks, we’re jumping on the bandwagon and starting a GSF Podcast! The podcast, which we’ve named SOFspot, will talk about a variety of topics, ranging from interviews with SOF heroes, policy issues, Veteran benefits, and more.
This week, we recorded our first ever episode, which talks about the founding and mission of the GSF. The cast of the ‘cast was Stu, Rick, Meaghan Keeler-Pettigrew (GSF COO), and Chelsea Hamashin (GSF Director of Marketing). All of the equipment seemed to work (yay!) and the conversation was flowing.
We’re excited to share it with you, but we need to build up our arsenal a bit first… but we’re excited about how this first foray into podcasting went.
We’ll keep you posted on when we launch… stay tuned for more info on that and all of our other GSF events and activities.