The National Defense Industrial Association’s annual Special Operations Forces Industry Conference will be held in May as scheduled, but over the internet rather than its traditional locale of Tampa, Florida.
The association, headquartered in Arlington, Virginia, first announced March 20 that 2020’s SOFIC conference scheduled for May 11-14 would be canceled following new guidance from the U.S. government regarding the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus.
However, an update issued April 6 states the conference will be held May 11-15, but as a virtual event dubbed “vSOFIC.”
The conference “will offer a variety of learning and one-on-one sessions between industry and USSOCOM,” the email said. Virtual sessions will be held with Special Operations Command Commander Army Gen. Richard Clarke, SOCOM Acquisition Executive James Smith, and a variety of component commanders, program executive officers and acquisition experts.
A number of defense industry-related conferences have had to cancel or postpone their 2020 events as state governors across the country have issued shelter-in-place orders for their citizens, and the Defense Department has issued travel restrictions for all non-mission critical personnel through May 11.
“We understand the importance of the collaboration between industry and government and academia to solve those most difficult challenges our warfighters are facing, to make sure they have the equipment, the training and the capability to do the mission the nation asked them to do,” said NDIA President and CEO Hawk Carlisle, a retired Air Force general and former commander of Air Combat Command.
“This will be a virtual event that will allow you to hear directly from special operations leaders across the country about the challenges they’re facing and what they’re trying to do, the equipment needs and the acquisition strategy to get the capability to the warfighters,” he said in an Instagram video.
Additional details and registration information can be found at vsofic.org.