This blog was written by Jason Maglathlin, a SkillBridge Fellow at the Global SOF Foundation.
A Word from Global SOF’s Leadership
Like all of the civilized world, we are horrified by Russian aggression and its unprovoked attacks on Ukraine. One month into this current conflict, we remain in awe of our brave Ukrainian partners in their fight against tyranny, and we are humbled to offer what little assistance we can.
For the Foundation, this translates to information sharing and making connections among the individuals, nonprofits, and industry that wish to support Ukraine. Due to legal restrictions, The Global SOF foundation cannot donate to another non-profit, but we can support those who do.
When this organization was established eight years ago, Global SOF set out to forge a network of “good guys.” And although we never wish for war, it is heartening to see the GSOF network spring to action in the face of aggression and barbarity.
The relationships among members of the SOF community are solid and powerful, and the Foundation will continue to empower SOF, and its supporters to the best of its ability through whatever means possible.
Our Info-Sharing Hub
One of our most significant efforts has been establishing an information-sharing hub on the events in Ukraine. It includes news feeds and ways for people to donate safely to vetted organizations providing relief to both Ukraine and its displaced refugees in neighboring countries.
You can find our hub of information here: https://gsof.org/ukraine/.
The news feeds featured on our Ukraine page come from vetted resources worldwide. We intend to serve as a central location for current news and donations to NGOs supporting the people of Ukraine and, as always, continue to forge strategic partnerships between the military industry and the SOF forces that use that equipment.
The site isn’t just focused on English speaking news sources. We’ve also included a tab with links to multilingual resources and are adding a human-translation plugin through our Partner Lilt.
We will continue to add and grow the site as information and resources are available, and we welcome suggestions at firstname.lastname@example.org
In addition to our regular SOF-centric podcasts, we added guests that provide regional expertise, knowledge, and perspective on the war in Ukraine. We have posted three podcast interviews since the invasion of Ukraine began.
Below we’ve shared a brief synopsis of each episode. Click on the link below if you’re interested in gaining unrivaled knowledge on the ongoing war in Ukraine (or listen to SOFspot wherever you get your podcasts)!
In this episode, our guest was Oleksandr “Sasha” Danylyuk, chairman of the Ukrainian Center for Defense reforms and a member of the Ukrainian government’s inter-agency platform for countering hybrid threats. The discussion covers the Ukrainian people’s will to defend Ukraine, Russian Military tactics past and present, and Vladimir Putin’s erratic behavior.
For episode 62, Chelsea hosted retired GEN Riho Terras, a current Member of the European Parliament and the former Chief of Defense for Estonia. He spoke with Chelsea about the current state of the war, why the Russian approach is failing, and what the US and Partner Nations can do to provide the needed support to stop Vladimir Putin.
In episode 63, our guest was MG (Ret) Mike Repass, a former Special Operations Command – Europe (SOCEUR) commander and a contributing member of the Global SOF Advisory Council. GSOF’s President and CEO Stu Bradin spoke with him to gain insight into some of the lesser-known stories behind the war in Ukraine. The discussion includes the high-value natural resources in Ukraine, the humanitarian crisis that is building with Ukrainian refugees, and how he foresees the war unfolding.
We will continue speaking with regional experts on the situation in Ukraine and sharing via SOFspot… so make sure you subscribe and listen!
Corporate Partner VTCs
Since the invasion, the Foundation has held five Corporate Partner-only VTCs. These VTCs intend to create a shared operating picture and amass the collective power of the GSOF network to provide aid, fill gaps, and form strategic partnerships when and where only GSOF and its corporate partners can. All with the aim of helping Ukraine and the Ukrainian refugees fleeing the war.
Below is a brief overview of some of the most poignant and insightful corporate partners and allies that have provided updates on ongoing efforts to aid Ukraine.
- Ryan Berger: Our network has unique insight into the legislative processes underway in our nation’s capital to aid Ukraine in its time of need. Ryan Berger from Navigators Global provided details of the initial bill and follow-up after it was passed to fund aid for Ukraine.
Ryan also updated attendees on the Senator Ernst-led Congressional Delegation (CODEL) to Poland to meet the leaders and relief workers on the Polish Ukraine border. Along with Senator Ernst, there were eight to ten other members of Congress from both the US Senate and House of Representatives. Most recently, Ryan provided insight into our NATO allies’ steps to aid Ukraine and the Ukrainian refugees currently in neighboring countries.
- Roman Mileshko of Expedition Aviation: Roman provided an overview of the current conditions in Ukraine, including the current morale, the material requirements Ukraine needs, and the logistics challenges plaguing the donated material and supplies moving from Poland into Ukraine.
- Phil Anderson, President of Navigators Global: Phil gave an update on his recent trip to Poland and Ukraine and the details of the newly formed Ukraine Freedom Alliance, a non-profit organization founded after the invasion of Ukraine. https://ukrainefreedomalliance.org/
- Federico Garcia: Fede is one of our top Value-Added Resellers (VAR) in Spain. He detailed his efforts to support Ukraine from Spain by moving defense material to Poland for onward movement to Ukraine.
We’ve also had the benefit of hearing from other members of our Advisory Council, including but not limited to Lieutenant General (Retired) Michael Nagata, Major General (Retired) Jim Linder, and Major General (Retired) Michael Repass.
Global SOF feels it is imperative to keep our capability network engaged and connected. Consider becoming a corporate partner if you are interested in learning more and gaining access to our weekly VTCs to support Ukraine or receive help in getting your products into Ukraine.
Fundraising for Spirit of America
Due to our non-profit type and status, we are not currently in a position to raise funds directly for the Ukrainian aid effort. That won’t stop us from recommending a reputable non-profit on the ground and contributing to easing the burden of the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine.
One that we have chosen to endorse is Spirit of America. Spirit of America is working closely with US military and State Department personnel to meet the urgent needs of Ukrainian forces, provide humanitarian support inside Ukraine, and send assistance to refugees who have fled to safety. If you’re looking to give your hard-earned money to a great organization, please consider the Spirit of America. https://spiritofamerica.org/
If you are attending our eighth-anniversary reception in Tampa on May 16th (which we strongly encourage you to do), we have attached a fundraising effort directly to registration for that event.
So you can sign up to join us AND donate to support Spirit of America’s efforts in Ukraine all in one go!
Learn more and register below: