U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM) has its own budget and authorities to rapidly procure whatever specialized equipment it needs to complete its missions. That’s why the National Defense Industry Association sponsors the Special Operations Forces Industry Conference (SOFIC), to give SOCOM face-time with members of the defense industry to discuss gaps in capabilities and how industry can best fill them.
“The real purpose of the conference is that we do have an opportunity, there are forums that you can get to a level of discussion that both industry and special operators need to be part of as they develop capabilities and systems and products to meet the needs of the SOCOM warfighter,” NDIA President and retired Air Force General Herbert “Hawk” Carlisle said on Agency in Focus — SOCOM.
And that face-time doesn’t just occur at the highest levels. Carlisle said the conference features individuals from every tier of responsibility mingling together: from the admirals and generals at SOCOM to the warfighters operating in the field, from industry executives and CEOs to the engineers designing new technologies. This leads to a more open flow of ideas and collaboration, from what special operators need to what industry can bring to the table.