DATES: December 5-6, 2017

VENUE: Mary M. Gates Learning Center, Alexandria, VA

The 2017 Special Operations and Irregular Warfare Symposium allows members of the Special Operations Community, regional combatant commands, Department of State, Intelligence Community, industry, academia, and other critical partners to come together in a town-hall forum to discuss the operational, strategic, and tactical needs required to conduct missions involving SOF and irregular warfare. This program will incite discussion surrounding the role of Special Operations Forces in our country’s defense force, and the impact USSOCOM and its partners have in achieving a global military advantage.


This year’s confirmed speakers:


Mark Mitchell, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations/Low-Intensity Conflict (ASD SO/LIC) 



LTG Michael Nagata, USA, Director, Directorate of Strategic Operational Planning, National Counterterrorism Center



MG James Kraft, USA, Deputy Commanding General, USASOC




Garry Reid, Director for Defense Intelligence (Intelligence and Security), Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence



AMB James Franklin Jeffrey, Philip Solondz Distinguished Fellow, The Washington Institute


Why you should attend this year’s Symposium:

  • This educational symposium will bring together members of the Special Operations community, regional combatant commands, Department of State, Intelligence Community, industry and academia to discuss the current and future direction of SOF missions as well as the strategic significance of conducting Irregular Warfare missions.
  • The objective of this year’s symposium is to emphasize the unique and crucial role Special Operations Forces have in attaining and achieving national and international security while protecting US interests. Given rising political tensions, it is crucial to prevent military aggression and prepare for future threats. This symposium will deliberate on effective methods to equip and train the most prepared and strategically ready warfighters to accomplish these unconventional and unique missions.
  • This symposium will feature senior level discussions surrounding updates and new developments ranging from strategic capabilities required for Irregular Warfare to the methodologies of countering the proliferation of WMD. This program will also highlight the resources needed to have a ready and winning SOF, the significant benefits Unconventional Warfare has in achieving victory over adversaries, and lastly, how to effectively conduct and win in grey-zone conflicts.

Previous SOF Event Photos – 175+ Participants

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Exhibit and Sponsorship Information

  • The 2017 Special Operations & Irregular Warfare Symposium provides opportunities including exhibit space, round table discussions, product demonstrations, and networking receptions. Download the Sponsorship and Exhibiting Prospectus Here.
  • Download the Sponsorship and Exhibiting Prospectus Here.

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Topics to be covered at the 2017 Symposium:

  • – Overview of current and future requirements needed to support SOF missions
  • – Enabling unconventional warfare to address grey zone conflicts
  • – Efforts to counter violent extremists and preventing and countering groups from becoming radicalized 
  • – Providing training and assistance to foreign government to aid their national security and secure US interests
  • – Developing and enhancing a hybrid of irregular and regular capabilities to challenge stability of regions
  • – Policy and oversight of strategic capabilities and resources for Special Operations
  • – Objectives towards multilateral, regional, and bilateral defense relations with all foreign governments assigned

 At our Symposium you will have the ability to:

  • – Gain Education & Insight:  Walk away with knowledge gained from our senior level speakers on some of the complex challenges facing special operations forces.
  • – Build Partnerships: The agenda is designed to allow for ample networking opportunities and the ability to engage in constructive dialogue among all in attendance.
  • – Influence:  Help foster ideas! Share your own insight and knowledge during our interactive sessions. All attendees are encouraged to address our speaker faculty and each other with their questions, comments or ideas.

Operating Guidance for Government Attendees:

  • DSI’s Symposium directly supports DoD, IC, and Government priorities by providing a conduit for officials to efficiently reach audiences outside of their respective offices that directly impact their department’s mission success, at no charge to the government, and in an efficient expenditure of time.
  • DSI’s Symposium will provide a forum to address and improve internal and external initiatives, meet with and hear from partner organizations, disseminate vital capability requirements to industry, increase visibility within the larger community, and generally support their mission.

  • The Symposium is open and complimentary to all DoD and Federal employees and is considered an educational and training forum.

  • (Industry and academia members are charged a fee for admission)


Past Participating Organizations:

  • IAP Worldwide Services, Inc., Special Boat Team 20, Harris Wireless Corporation, NRL, DHS/Verification Division, NGA, Criterion Systems, Federal Resources/4th ANGLICO, Northrop Grumman, Beacon Global Strategies, Lockheed Martin, JANUS Research Group, Signature Science LLC, Joint Staff IW, USSOCOM J6X, Northrop Grumman, US Coast Guard St. Michael’s Inc, JHU-APL, The Eagles Wings Foundation, McLeod Group, LLC, St. Michael’s Inc,  L-3 NSS CAIAC USAF, Harris Corporation, US Congress, Virginia Army National Guard, US State Department, DoD, Naval Special Warfare Command, Defense Group Inc., iDirect Government, L-3 TCS L-3 Aerospace Systems, USSOCOM, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, KEYW Corporation, Joint Staff IW, IBM, Boeing, Starlite Aviation Group, IBM, SES GS, The MITRE Corporation USNWC, Decision Technologies Inc, SPAWAR Systems Center Atlantic, The Boeing Company, OTI, USAID, Lockheed Martin, AeroVironment, Inc, Atlantic Council, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Emerging Technology Support, ProSol, GDIT, Lockheed Martin, NCI, PAE, Barbaricum, AFSOC, USAID, Louis Berger, US Air Force, US Department of State, IBM i2 Smarter Planet,  TRACER Inc., NSHQ, US Dept. of State,  Motorola Solutions Inc,  The Patuxent Partnership, PricewaterhouseCoopers, St. Michael’s Inc, SDL Government, IAT, Textron Systems, VX Technologies, General Atomics Aeronautical, ANSER  OASD (SO/LIC), USMC, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Harris, GDIT, CALIBRE, Ultracell, Inc, BCF Solutions, IBM, IT Consulting Partners, Technical Innovation, Northrop Grumman, PM CISS, CTTSO/SCOS, CSG Solutions, NASIC, ProteQ, & more

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  • DSI is honored to Support the families of US Special Operators through donations to the Special Operations Warrior Foundation.

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Advisory Board

DSI strives to provide the most up to date, mission relevant, topics and discussion points for our meetings.  In order to assure that we are providing the best subject content possible, our Advisory Board Members have volunteered to share their respective insight and expertise with us. We are truly grateful to have their support and guidance as we strive to continually create truly effective meetings and events for all.  Learn more about our Advisory Board Members.