December 12-13, 2018 | Chester H. Ferguson Law Center | Tampa, Florida

DSI’s 7th Special Operations & Irregular Warfare Symposium provides members within the special operations community, regional combatant commands, Department of State, Intelligence Community, academia, industry, and other critical partners an open forum to discuss the strategic priorities and operational needs required to meet national goals, as well as aid the U.S. Military in achieving mission success when combating modern-day threats.

This Year’s Confirmed Speakers Include:

Keynote Speaker:
Honorable Owen West
Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations/Low-Intensity Conflict


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


RADM Hugh W. Howard, USN



MG E. John Deedrick, USA
Commanding General, 1st Special Forces Command



Dr Hicks CircleDr. Kathleen H. Hicks
Senior Vice President; Henry A. Kissinger Chair
Director, International Security Program


Panel Discussion: SOF AT&L Top Acquisition Priorities
SOF Badge for sitePanel Moderator: Mr. Howard Strahan,Deputy Director, S&T
COL David Phillips, USA,PEO Rotary Wing
COL Joel Babbitt, USA,PEO SOF Warrior
COL James D. Miller, USA, Director, TALOS Program
Ms. Margaret McCaskey, PEO Special Reconnaissance, Surveillance & Exploitation

Download the Agenda for Complete List of Speakers


Why You Should Attend This Symposium:

The 2018 Special Operations & Irregular Warfare Symposium will provide an educational ‘town-hall’ style forum to discuss the strategic goals and operational needs required to combat evolving threat networks and protect U.S. national security interests, as well as aid the U.S. Military in remaining agile and lethal when dealing with a complex security environment. This event will detail how SOF expertise is needed to effectively deter and overcome these unconventional challenges.

This symposium will highlight some of the important efforts currently underway to ensure Special Operations Forces have a sufficient amount of strategic resources to accomplish their mission. It will give an overview of policies being developed, in support of DoD strategies related to SOF and combating terrorism. The event will also examine SOF gray zone conflict response and what expeditionary capabilities are being pursued to defeat our nation’s adversaries.

The 2018 Special Operations and Irregular Warfare Symposium brings together a whole-of-government approach with both military and civil offices, as well as key leaders in industry with the sole objective of advancing the unique and critical effects that Special Operations Forces have in achieving and maintaining a military advantage around the world.

DSI’s team specializes in the extensive research and development of our Symposium’s content and focus areas, and we will assemble the most respected minds in U.S. and Partner SOF community, as well as key policy-makers across military and civilian offices. Our non-partisan approach allows us to reach across all services and organizations to bring together a truly holistic group of decision makers and solution providers.


DSI is Proud to Support the Special Operations Warrior Foundation


Topics to be Covered at the 2018 Symposium:

– Supporting persistent and distributed global combatant command operations for a decisive SOF Advantage

– Developing policy guidance in support of DoD strategies related to SOF and combatting

– Ensuring that Special Operations Forces can quickly adapt by closely monitoring
emerging international terrorism techniques

– Enhancing operational capabilities to guide ‘Gray Zone’ conflict response and address irregular warfare tactics used by the adversary to challenge regional stability

– Advancing the training and equipping of NSW forces for various special operations and activities

– Developing a shared understanding of threat networks that pose a danger to the U.S. through increased work with foreign partners

– Detailing SOF AT&L top acquisition priorities that are currently being undertaken to mitigate risk and speed delivery of service to special operations forces

– Guiding a more connected SOF enterprise with agility and adaptability to face and overcome unique challenges

– Implementing TALOS to increase SOF readiness capabilities with the end goal being a more decisive overmatch for the enemy


At our Symposium You Have the Ability To:

Gain Education & Insight: Walk away with knowledge gained from our senior level speakers on some of the complex challenges facing our tactical communications community.

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 given the opportunity to address our speaker faculty with their questions, comments or ideas.


Participating Organizations at Last Year’s Symposium:

USSOCOM, USAID, Global Engagement Center- Department of State, U.S. Naval, CTTSO, DoD, Special Operations Liaison, NAVAIR, HQDA, G-3/5 War Plans, SOCNORTH SOJ-55, Belgian Special Forces, US Pacific Fleet, OSD (P) African Affairs, CANSOFCOM, JIDA, Joint Staff- DDSO, USCENTCOM CJ3-IO, USASOC, Able Squadron- Asymmetric Warfare Group, US Army INSCOM G3, DLA Troop Support, NCTC, National Security Council, ODNI, NATO SOHQ, AFSOC, NSWC, SOCSOUTH, Center for Naval Analyses, SOCCENT, SOF AT&L, MARSOC, Naval War College, FBI, OUSD(I), CSIS, Bramer Group, Elysian Labs, Zodiac Milpro, TrustComm, Saab Defense and Security USA, PAE, Booz Allen Hamilton, Motorola Solutions, Applied Research, Ball Aerospace, Global Ordnance, Bell Helicopter, Radix Engineering, Azimuth Corp, FLIR Systems Inc., Kord Technologies, Draper Laboratory, Axiologic Solutions, S5G Solutions, Alion Science and Technology, Composite Techs, LLC., GMU, Knighthawk Protections, SyTech Corporation, Near East Center for Strategic Engagement (NEC-SE) and many more!


Exhibit and Sponsorship Information:

The 2018 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.


Operating Guidance for Government Attendees:

DSI’s symposium directly supports DoD and Federal 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 training forum, and a widely attended gathering.


SOF 2018_Sponsors and Supporting Partners 2

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.