Stephen Jones, our Director of Partner Relations, is sharing the last round in the series on Items of Interest in Europe. Read on to see what’s left…

If you didn’t read the previous blogs on items of interest in Europe, Stu and Steve have laid out both the critical and first rounds of essential items of interest for several nations that are strongly supporting the 2019 Global SOF Symposium – Belgium. The largest category we have by far is the “essential” items of interest, so this is Part 3 of that list. 

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 FINAL round of essential items.


  • Processing, Exploitation, and Dissemination Capabilities – Tools that help manage and generate actionable intelligence from the complex, high-volume data produced by sensors.
  • CWMD Sensors- Platform for providing data convergence and sensor integration that delivers real-time situational understanding and enhanced mission-centric collaboration. Instant access to information is changing the way warfighters and leaders perform their missions. A specialized platform that provides exceptional mission value and is a key enabler to the vision of DoD and NATO CWMD missions, as well as a force multiplier in years to come.
  • Sensors and Real-Time Tagging/Tracking Devices – Wireless devices and services that provide real-time indication of movement, events (Shots fired, Chemical/Bio/Nuclear release) over LOS/BLOS and Satellite links, specifically with reactive response capabilities.
The Round-Up - Last Essential Items of Interest for European SOF


  • FARP Kits – Grounding wires, fire bottles, etc. to refuel somewhere other than an airfield.
  • Advanced Special Operations Aviation Training – Comprehensive training program for existing pilots to conduct special operations aviation, to include SOPs and TTPs.
  • SOF Aviation Requirement SMEs – Acquisition and the modification/finishing requirements necessary to provide a SOF capable system. Experts with in-depth knowledge of security assistance regulations.
  • Fixed Wing Platforms – Airpower capabilities that are adaptable, innovative and can effectively enable SOF to accomplish missions. These platforms provide the backbone for SOF airborne mobility, aerial refueling support, airborne precision engagement, and aerial surveillance capabilities. They provide critical infiltration and exfiltration, and they resupply capabilities for SOF in and out of hostile territory.
  • Rotary Wing Platforms – Light, medium, and heavy vertical take-off platforms are used to transport SOF and SOF assets in a variety of operational situations. Equipment that enables increased payloads, lethality, survivability, and situational awareness while decreasing crew workload.
  • Night Navigation Enabling Avionics – Technology that allows SOF aviation assets to navigate at night, at low levels over water and dense foliage, and in denied space minimizing detection.
  • Enhanced Night Vision Imaging Systems – EOS/FLIR, with types of thermal imaging equipment for aerial surveillance to allow SOF aviation assets to operate at night and in all weather conditions. Capabilities including, but not limited to, encrypted communication.
  • External Weapon Pod – Scalable external weapon pod that can be quickly mounted on existing SOF aviation assets.
  • Joint Terminal Attack Controller Training – Training qualified service members in directing the action of combat aircraft.
  • Flight Simulation Systems – Reduce training costs but maintain pilot quality with realistic flight simulators.
The Round-Up - Last Essential Items of Interest for European SOF


  • LRF/D — A laser light source which is used to designate a target. Laser designators provide targeting for laser-guided bombs, missiles, or precision artillery munitions, such as the Paveway series of bombs, AGM-114 Hellfire, or the M712 Copperhead round, respectively.
  • D-ATKS/SATCOM — This system makes it possible to use the downlink channel to broadcast any kind of information running on IP stream such as video, pictures, telemetries, etc.; and the uplink channel for command and control of the UAV itself and/or the various payloads. The system works on 256-bit Advanced Encryption System.
  • Group 1 UASs – Typically hand-launched, portable systems employed at the small unit level or for base security. They can provide “over the hill” or “around the corner” type of reconnaissance, surveillance, and target acquisition. Payloads are modular such as fixed EOIR systems. Data from these systems is limited to the user/operator, usually within close proximity to the UAS. These systems operate at altitudes less than 1,200 feet above ground level.
  • Group 2 UAS – Typically medium-size, catapult-launched, mobile systems that usually support brigade-level and lower ISR and RSTA requirements. These systems operate at altitudes less than 3,500 feet above ground level with a local to medium range. They usually operate from unimproved areas and do not usually require an improved runway. Payloads may include a sensor ball with EOIR and a LRF/D capability.
  • Group 3 UASs – Larger systems that operate at medium altitudes and usually have medium to long range and extended endurance. Their payloads may include a sensor ball with EOIR, LRF/D, Synthetic Aperture Radar, moving target indicator, SIGINT, communications relay, and CBRNE detection. Some systems carry weapons. These systems operate at altitudes less than 18,000 feet below mean sea level with a local to medium range. They usually operate from unimproved areas and may not require an improved runway.
  • EOIR Sensors — EOIR multi-sensor systems for near real-time data transfer to the GCS and remote locations.
  • SAR — A form of radar used to create images of objects, such as landscapes – these images can be either two or three-dimensional representations of the object. SAR uses the motion of the radar antenna over a targeted region to provide finer spatial resolution than is possible with conventional beam-scanning radars. SAR is typically mounted on a moving platform such as an aircraft or spacecraft and has its origins in an advanced form of side-looking airborne radar.
  • AIS —The Automatic Identification System is an automatic tracking system used on aircraft and by air traffic services for identifying and locating vessels by electronically exchanging data with other nearby aircraft, AIS base stations, and satellites. AIS information supplements aircraft radar.
  • GCS — The GCS ensures the following: Real-time telemetric data exchange with an UAV; Telemetric data processing and screening as text and image data; Flight configuration and useful load operation control; Flight task automatic preparation and its loading onto an onboard complex; On-board complex technical state control; Reception, display, record, storage and real-time presentation on the monitor screens of the information received from the useful load.
  • GCS Software — Standard GCS software for planning and executing UAV missions.
  • C-UAS – Designed to detect, track, identify, and defeat UAS engaged in hostile airborne surveillance and potentially malicious activity. A complete system will provide command and control across the detect, track, identity, and defeat cycle, ensure digital interoperability with joint integrated air and missile defense, and field non-kinetic/kinetic capabilities versus UAS in defense of a maneuver force.
  • Drone Detection and Interdiction Systems 
The Round-Up - Last Essential Items of Interest for European SOF


  • Data Analysis – Cloud, Big Data, and associated analytics.


  • CBRNE Operations Equipment – Includes, but is not limited to the latest technology in Masks, Impregnated Uniforms, Under-garments, Over-garments, Remote Sensors, Robotics, Detection Equipment, Reach Back Capabilities, Disruption Technologies, Render Safe TTP, Package and Transport TTP, Expedient and Deliberate Decontamination, and Casualty Care and Evacuation.


The Round-Up - Last Essential Items of Interest for European SOF
  • Canine Requirements, Doctrine and Program Development – Provide Canine (K9) SMEs on Doctrine, Organization, and Training Development at the Unit level. Provide assistance in Canine Selection, Early Infant Drive Analysis, Adolescent Canine Detection Enhancement, and Tactical K9 Team Development. The program may include basic recommendations on veterinary care, feeding, boarding, and exercise, as well as advanced recommendations on airborne training, and environmental and threat mitigation measures like ballistic vests, sensor goggles, cameras, and re-breather K9 masks for select mission sets. Each program can be tailored to the needs of the unit and the maturity of the existing Canine capability.
  • Canine Capabilities Training – Training canines and their handlers for core capabilities include explosives detection, tracking, and protection work.


  • Inflatable Wall System – Rapidly Deployable and fully scalable, walls can be used to create an immersive and realistic CQB/Active Shooter training environment anywhere. The Walls are resistant to all types of training ammunition and are customizable with a selection of shapes to replicate several different structures or operating scenarios.


  • C-WMD and C-IED Exercise Design SME – Provide support for C-WMD and C-IED exercise design, planning, execution, data collection and analysis, and after action reporting.
  • EOD, C-IED, and C-WMD Requirements and Doctrine Development – Provide SOF/JCIDS subject matter expertise for Doctrine, Organization, Training, Materiel, Leadership and Education, Personnel, Facilities and Policy analysis, CBA, and requirements development (ICD, CDD, CPD) in support of EOD, C-IED, and C-WMD forces and operations.

These European SOF organizations have money, are growing their SOF, and are serious about making their forces better and more interoperable.

See you in Belgium!

If you have any questions about anything listed in this blog series, feel free to reach out to me at and we can talk about it.

Otherwise, everything you should know about the Symposium in Brussels is on our website at Check it out, and we hope to see you there on 1-3 October 2019.


Reader Interactions


  1. Will you be sharing ahead of time the list of folks who will address/lead these discussions at the Brussels symposium?

    • Hello! You can see the agenda for the Symposium here:

      Thank you for reading!

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