Conferences around the world have been cancelled or otherwise adapted due to the coronavirus pandemic, and King Abdullah II participated in such an event Tuesday with special operations leaders from 57 countries.
The annual Special Operations Forces Industry Conference (SOFIC) moved to a virtual format for 2020 and the Jordanian king took part along with more than 200 other representatives from the military, industrial, and other related sectors.
SOFIC is “a platform for international special operations leaders to exchange views with industry leaders on ways to counter new challenges and build the capacities of special operations units around the world,” according to the Royal Hashemite Court.
The virtual SOFIC conference, themed “Expanding the Competitive Space,” is being held on Zoom from 11-15 May and includes keynote remarks, presentations, and Q&A sessions with United States Special Operations Command (SOCOM) leaders and acquisition, science, technology, and logistics professionals.
The conference was originally planned to take place in Tampa, Florida before the pandemic. Normally the event would welcome more than 15,000 attendees and 400 exhibitors for keynote addresses, workshops, panels, networking events, an awards gala, and a live special ops demonstration on the Tampa Bay waterfront.
“During this time, having an opportunity to explain our capability needs and give industry leaders a chance to tell us what they have to offer may be more important than ever,” said SOCOM Acquisition Executive Jim Smith. “We’re especially excited that an online format will not only meet the needs of our current, valued industry partners but may also attract new teammates from the digital and cyber tech base.”
Earlier in the week, King Abdullah visited Jordan’s Civil Defence Department with Crown Prince Al Hussein bin Abdullah II. The King and Crown Prince received a briefing on the medical services available to the public during their visit, including the addition of the country’s new mobile clinics. Since the pandemic started in Jordan, 210 ambulances have been outfitted with the necessary equipment to become mobile clinics.