(19 May 2017) The Special Operations Forces Industry Conference is held in Tampa, Florida every year, and it’s like a supermarket for Navy SEALs. A grocery store for Green Berets. A Costco for commandoes.
It’s where the U.S. Special Operations Command, the Tampa-based unit that oversees all of the nation’s elite military teams, shops for equipment.
Lantern-jawed Marines in camo mingle with computer geeks in chinos who run complex intel programs on the convention floor. Panels such as “Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit Sessions” are popular, and alphabet soup acronyms are common in casual conversation (“Are you going to the USSOCOM J-Code Directors Panel?”).
Outside of the convention center, maritime displays of sleek boats with mounted weapons cruise by, and underwater drones surface on the regular.
Prototypes of new gadgets and gear are showcased. Everything from robots to holograms to tanks to lethal weapons are on display.
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