CORONAVIRUS NEWS: NDIA Cancels Special Operations Forces Industry Conference

By Jon Harper

Safety concerns surrounding the ongoing coronavirus pandemic have led to a decision to cancel this year’s Special Operations Forces Industry Conference, also known as SOFIC, the National Defense Industrial Association announced March 20.


The annual confab is a high-profile event where industry, officials from the special operations community and journalists meet in Tampa, Florida, to discuss acquisition programs and technology sought by the nation’s most elite warfighters. NDIA manages the event for SOCOM, which is based in Tampa. Last year’s conference drew 13,000 attendees and more than 400 exhibitors.


Further details on SOFIC are available on SOFIC.org.


This year’s event, scheduled for May 11-14 at the Tampa Convention Center, would have featured the biennial capabilities demonstration of international Special Operations Forces including U.S. allies and partners. However, it has been called off after the novel coronavirus known as COVID-19 spread across the globe and to all 50 states in the United States as well as Washington, D.C.

Government agencies such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Defense Department have discouraged large gatherings and promoted “social distancing” and other practices to try to mitigate the public health crisis.


“NDIA and USSOCOM fully agree the safety and wellness of attendees and participants always are our utmost priority,” Retired Air Force Gen. Hawk Carlisle, NDIA’s president and CEO, said in a statement first obtained by National Defense. “We look forward to this important annual gathering of the special operations community and the people and businesses that support them, surrounded by the warm welcome of Tampa. We will look forward to this gathering next year.”


Topics: Special Operations

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