From The Editor | April 22, 2024

Strength In Unity: SOF Week 2024 Brings Together Global Operators

John Headshot cropped  500 px wide

By John Oncea, Editor

GettyImages-1272208275 military defense plane

SOF Week is a convention for the entire SOF Community, akin to an “AUSA National Meeting” for the U.S. Army or the “AFA National Convention” for the U.S. Air Force. This year SOF Week is taking place May 6-10.

SOF Week 2024 is an annual conference for the international special operations forces (SOF) community, jointly sponsored by the U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) and the Global SOF Foundation. This year’s event takes place May 6-10 at the Tampa Convention Center in Tampa, FL and is expected to draw over 15,000 attendees.

“We are extremely excited to convene the community at SOF Week 2024,” said Stuart Bradin, President and CEO of GSOF. “This convention for U.S. and International SOF will include a diverse slate of programs including professional development sessions, interactive discussions about the future of SOF, and an up-close view of some of the best tech available to our warfighters. GSOF looks forward to working with USSOCOM to make SOF Week 2024 an impactful event.”

SOF Week 2024 is open to professional representatives from the defense and security sector, including U.S. and partner nation military, government personnel, non-profit organizations, exhibitors, think tanks, academia, and media. All attendees must pre-register online and undergo a security verification process.

SOF Week originated from the Special Operations Forces Industry Conference (SOFIC), which USSOCOM had been hosting in Tampa – was chosen as the host city because of its proximity to MacDill Air Force Base, home of USSOCOM – for over a decade.

In 2023, USSOCOM expanded the event into a broader convention called SOF Week to include the entire SOF community. The expansion involved increasing the size of the exhibition hall at the Tampa Convention Center and introducing new elements such as a SOF Week Campus in downtown Tampa, extensive programming, live capabilities demonstrations, and affiliate events.

Key Highlights

SOF Week 2024 features an expanded exhibition hall organized by USSOCOM Program Executive Office (PEO) areas, as well as extensive programming including senior keynote speakers, professional development seminars, industry engagements, business matchmaking, and non-profit interests.

There will be live capabilities demonstrations, the USSOCOM Annual Awards Ceremony and Dinner, and the SOF Week Campus in downtown Tampa. Several affiliate events are scheduled alongside the main conference, including:

“SOCOM is bringing the globally distributed SOF community to Tampa for industry collaboration, professional development, and networking,” said SOCOM Acquisition Executive Melissa Johnson. “The industry conference has attracted more than 600 exhibitors this year, proving the indispensable role that our industry partners play in the SOF network.”

The exhibition hall is organized by USSOCOM Program Executive Office (PEO) and Directorate areas of focus (Information Systems, Science and Technology, SOF Digital Applications, Special Air Warfare, Maritime, SOF Warrior, Services and SOF Support Activity) to facilitate meaningful interactions.

Other opportunities such as one-to-one meetings, small group roundtables, question-and-answer sessions, and networking opportunities are integral to the SOF Week agenda, providing ample opportunity for industry-to-government conversations.

“The value proposition of the week is to provide industry and government with meaningful opportunities to share ideas, provide updates, and discuss solutions to hard problems within the international SOF community,” said Johnson.