The GSOF 2021 symposiums gets underway today with a line-up of top-level, VIP speakers from the global Special Operations Forces (SOF) military, government, academic and industry organisations.
The symposium will cover a range of topics affecting the SOF community, including collective defence in Eastern Europe, warfare trends, developments and forecasts, human risk and performance, artificial intelligence, regional intelligence sharing, financial support and procurement, and SOF recruitment and retention.
The agenda features a number of senior leader keynotes and panel discussions. On day one this will include a discussion of ‘Prospects for a Central European Regional SOF Headquarters’ from Major General David Tabor, Commander, Special Operations Command Europe; Major General Tamás Sándor, Commander, Special Operations Forces, Hungary; Brigadier General Branislav Benka, SOF Commander, Slovakia; and Major Matija Jazbec, SOF Commander, Slovenia.
This will be followed in the afternoon by the Senior Leader Address from Vice Admiral Timothy Szymanski, Deputy Commander, US Special Operations Command.
Day two will begin with a SOF Commanders’ Roundtable session, followed by a Senior Leader Conversation from Dr Jacek Bartosiak, CEO and Founder of Strategy & Future, The Future of Central European Defence and Security; and Major General PhD Piotr A. Bɫazeusz, Deputy Chief of General Staff, Polish Armed Forces. The afternoon Senior Leader Moderated Panel will discuss ‘Prospects for Regional Intelligence Centers’, with insights from Mr William “Bill” Fleser, Former Deputy Director of the J3-International Division of USSOCOM; Alex Dunmire, Senior Director of Analytic Programs, Maxar; Commander Deivydas, Director, Baltic SOF Intel Fusion Cell; and Mr Piotr Krawczyk, Chief, Foreign Intelligence Agency.
GSOF 2021 will also host almost 50 defence and security suppliers on the exhibition floor, including major industry players who will be highlighting a range of products and services aimed at supporting global SOF operations. Additionally, several networking events will take place throughout the event, allowing attendees to engage with industry leaders, senior military personnel and representatives from more than 20 international delegations.
“Today, the need for professional, well-equipped special forces is more critical than ever before – with the rise of Grey Zone warfare and non-state actors, Special Forces represent the most important line of defence,” Stu Bradin, President and CEO, Global SOF Foundation, said. “It is with great privilege and honour that we host SOF commanders, specialists and decision-makers from around the world at GSOF 2021 so that we can collectively discover new ways to operate and share intelligence and information in support of the forces that keep us safe.”