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EXHIBITIONS AND CONFERENCES

10 May 13. The French special operations command led for a first time in Europe a three-day trade show and conference, signaling the niche market formed by the élite forces’ operational needs. The show, dubbed special operations forces innovation network seminar, or SOFINS, ran April 9 to 11, and was a French response to the U.S. special operations industry conference (SOFIC) and Jordan’s special operations forces exhibition and conference (SOFEX). The special operations forces were among the elements identified as part of the new model armed forces in France’s white paper on defense and national published April 29. The report pointed to the leading role played by the special forces in recent operations, and their ability to respond quickly, flexibly and to work deep in hostile and complex terrain. The show highlighted the procurement process operated by the French special forces, a parliamentary defense specialist said. The special operations command, Defense Ministry, procurement office and regional agencies assembled a shop window to sell French military and security technology to special forces of friendly nations and allies, and the arms of the domestic special operations units. (Source: Defense News)
14 May 13. ComDef 2013, September 4th 2013, the 41st conference in the Common Defense series will have the theme, “Strengthening the Global Cooperative Framework”.
– Sequestration looms in a hotly contested US political arena
+ What will its impact be on force structure?,
+ what programs are likely to be impacted?,
+ will it lead to more protectionism?
+ who will be BRAC’ed?
– how will the Pacific tilt impact NATO?,
+ where are the low hanging fruit of cooperation and capability?
– where should friends and allies invest their capability?,
– in what technologies and capabilities should governments invest?
– what will be the impact of cancelled programs on arms exports?
– how potent are existing and envisaged export control regimes?
Government and industry representatives from more than 25 countries will be present. Network with Government and industry leaders from all US Services and Agencies at this premier international event held in Washington.

15 May 13. After a year of declining attendance at defense industry conferences and a spate of cancelled industry events this past spring, the jam-packed Special Operations Forces Industry Conference (SOFIC) here this week feels like a throwback to pre-sequestration times. The Association of the US Army Winter event in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., in February offers a good example. The Army had reduced its presence to about 50 soldiers this year, down from about 500 in 2012, and the floor space had been reduced dramatically. In contrast, the SOFIC event hosted by the National Defense Industry Association boasted 7,000 attendees, with 336 companies having purchased floor space. One person familiar with the workings of the show said there were actually a few hundred companies that wanted to show their wares but were put on a waiting list because the Tampa Convention Center didn’t have enough space to hold them all. The floor space sold out in one day when it was opened up last summer. In order to get around the lack of space, a few contractors like Saab rented out space at hotels across the street from the convention center, where they held court and put on demos of their gear. (Source: Defense News)

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