What to Expect in Brussels

The Background

The Global Special Operations Forces (SOF) Foundation hosts an annual Symposium in Europe. This year’s event will be held in Brussels, Belgium from 1-3 October and feature key leaders from European Defense.

The event, which is the fourth European Symposium, will take place from Oct. 1-3, 2019.

The Foundation is the only professional association for the international SOF community. As a non-profit organization, it has partnered with the Belgian Ministry of Defense to execute this three-day opportunity, which features high-level speakers, networking opportunities, and a sold-out expo space for industry participation.

The Schedule

On Oct. 1, the European Union and NATO SOF representatives will host a joint government-only meeting in the symposium spaces, which will lend to a high level of government attendance. This is only the second such occurrence, the first happening at the Global SOF Symposium – Spain in 2018.

The “Walk Through History Welcome Reception” will also take place on Oct. 1, and will feature highlights of WWII history and milestones in Europe, unique photo opportunities, and local refreshments. This event is open to all event attendees, so don’t miss it!

What to Expect in Brussels

The full Symposium agenda occurs from Oct. 2-3 and features influential confirmed speakers, to include the Belgian Chief of Defense, the EU’s Chairman for the Military Committee, and NATO’s Assistant Secretary General for Emerging Security Challenges.

As the Global SOF Foundation is a networking organization, ample time is built into the schedule to allow attendees to discuss the presentations, make introductions, and peruse the Exhibit Hall. Networking events at this Symposium will bring many new faces together.

The final event of the week will definitely bring both new (and old!) faces together… the NSCC/NSHQ Reunion! This is a casual, no-host social at the nearby Delirium Cafe, but it is sure to be an awesome time! Make sure you stay for it.

What to Expect in Brussels

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The People

Conveniently located in the “heart of Europe,” this is a unique opportunity to meet directly with policymakers from 19 NATO nations (and counting). The Symposium has confirmed representatives attending from Australia, Belgium, Denmark, France, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, The Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Malta, Romania, Spain, the United Kingdom, the United States, and more!

Speakers range from the Secretary General of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, Mr. David Hobbs, to Rob de Wijk, the founder of The Hague Centre for Strategic Studies. These speakers will address a variety of topics, such as “Military Reform and Capability Packages for Modern Warfare” and “The Role Artificial Intelligence in SOF.”

What to Expect in Brussels

This event also gives defense companies with capabilities relevant to European SOF the opportunity to purchase exhibit space or sponsorship opportunities, all of which are detailed on the event website. In addition to over 30 confirmed exhibitors, this year’s sponsoring companies include:

What to Expect in Brussels
  • Platinum: Airbus and Crisis Response Company
  • Gold: Expedition Aviation
  • Silver: DSG Technologies and FN Herstal
  • Bronze: JFD Global
  • Welcome Reception, Lanyards, and Room Keys: Huntington Ingalls Industries
  • Belgian Beer: Skydweller Aero
  • Coffee Break and Program Guide: Cubic Mission Solutions
  • WiFi: Klas Telecom
  • Signage: Tampa Microwave

Many of these companies are also Global SOF Foundation Corporate Partners that continue to contribute to the international SOF community.

Join In!

Don’t miss this rare opportunity to join the global SOF community in Brussels!

Online Registration closes after Saturday, 28 Sept., so register today! If you miss the deadline, you can register on site at the event.

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