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International Special Operations Forces Week coming to Tampa

by Nick Stubbs
Thunderbolt staff writer
photo by Master Sgt. Ruby

Senior Airman Josiah Blanton, a pararescueman, fast ropes from a HH-60G Pave Hawk. Special operators from all branches of the military, along with representatives from more than 60 countries, will be present during International Special Operations Forces Week June 6 to 10 in Tampa.

U.S. Special Operations Command will host special operators and military representatives from more than 60 countries at the first International Special Operations Forces Week being held June 6 to 10 in Tampa.

Historically, USSOCOM and industry partners came together to foster strong government-to-industry relationships at SOF Week and the advanced planning briefing to industry. The theme for the first ISOF Week is "Partners in International Security." This year's event focuses on local and regional security issues with a collaborative and proactive stance to identify real solutions to growing security threats.

"International SOF Week represents USSOCOM's effort to identify common security concerns and to search for common security solutions," said Gen. Doug Brown, USSOCOM commander. "More than 60 nations will send a SOF delegation to Tampa and all have an equal opportunity to share their lessons and to learn from one another."

Two free events are open only to USSOCOM, U.S. Central Command and MacDill military ID card holders. Due to security concerns, family and friends are not authorized to attend either event. The first event is the industry exhibition at the Tampa Convention Center, which is open from 1 to 5 p.m. June 7; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. June 8 and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. June 9. The latest technologies available to special operations will be on display, and industry and special operators will be present to answer questions and offer hands-on experience with different equipment. Attendees are required to wear Class B uniforms or business casual equivalent for civilian attendees for both events.

The second event will feature special operations equipment static displays at MacDill in Hangar 3. The display will be open June 8 from 1 to 5 p.m. Remember to bring your military ID to both events.

The advanced planning briefing to industry is a two-day event during ISOF Week for USSOCOM's industry partners. They will receive briefings on business opportunities, upcoming acquisitions and information on existing technology pursuits.

"SOF Week connects manufacturers with SOCOM leadership," said Joe Daum, USSOCOM technology and industry liaison officer. "It gives our leadership exposure to the latest technology."

Other events include industry chief executive officers briefings, commander's conference, senior enlisted advisors conference, international conference, retired SOF senior leader's conference, ISOF Week Golf Tournament and ISOF Mess Night.

"International SOF Week is an ideal venue to build and reinforce lasting relationships of professional respect and trust," General Brown said.

Florida Keys Avenue will be closed periodically June 6 and 7 from the Officers’ Club to the Davis Conference Center due to increased traffic. During SOF Week, many high-ranking officers and distinguished guests are expected to visit MacDill, so remember to always practice the proper customs and courtesies.

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