European SOF Commanders line up for GSOF Symposium Europe 2022

Special Operations Forces (SOF) commanders from across Europe will lead discussions on the need for SOF-specific funding and cross-national operations when GSOF Europe 2022 opens next month in Budapest, Hungary.
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Jankel Fox RRV (Rapid Reaction Vehicle) of the Belgian Special Operations Regiment, armed with a MAG 7.62mm and a 40mm grenade launcher regarded as a "devastating" weapon by its users (Picture source: Army Recognition)

The three-day event starts with the government-only seminar on Tuesday 4th October. Commander of Hungarian Defence Forces, Lt Gen Ruszin-Szendi, will begin by setting the scene from the Hungarian perspective. He will be followed by a panel discussion from Major General Tamás Sándor, SOF Commander, Hungary; Brigadier General Claudiu Dobocan, SOF Commander, Romania; and Colonel Vasileios Zotos, Section Head of Supply and Procurement Office, Hellenic Army General Staff, Special Forces Directorate, who will discuss the impact of SOF funding on operational commanders.

With the concept of joint Special Forces operations gaining traction in Europe, three nations - Denmark, the Netherlands and Belgium - are pushing forward with plans for a joint SOF command. Major General Peter Boysen, SOF Commander Denmark will be joined by Major General Ron Smits, SOF Commander The Netherlands, and Colonel Frédéric Linotte, SOF Commander Belgium, to share insight into the realities of joint SOF acquisition efforts to date.

Further exploration of the ideas and opportunities for collaborative special operations headquarters that would serve multiple regions and mission sets will take place on day two, when the full symposium opens. Hungary's Major General Sándor will take part in a panel on Regional SOF HQ along with Brigadier General Branislav Benka, SOF Commander, Slovakia; Brigadier General Philipp Ségur-Cabanac, SOF Commander, Austria; and Lieutenant Colonel Miha Rijavec, SOF Commander, Slovenia.

The afternoon will see Major General Richard E. Angle, Commander, 1st Special Operations Command, U.S. Army Special Operations Command share his perspectives on the convergence of the SOF, cyber and Space mission sets for delivering success in today and tomorrow's conflicts; followed on day three by a keynote speech from Brigadier General Ladislav Rebilas, SOF Director of the Czech Republic.

"The European SOF community is at a critical juncture where transformation depends on getting the funding, equipment and joint tactics, techniques and procedures in place to meet the changing complexities of the battlefield," Stu Bradin, President and CEO, Global SOF Foundation, said. "A big part of enabling this is the opportunity for these organizations to come together and discuss their requirements, learn from others and forge the way ahead pragmatically.

"GSOF Europe provides the leading European forum to facilitate this, bringing together industry, academia and government decision-makers to focus on how to fund, equip and field their SOF formations effectively."

The Global SOF Foundation is a non-profit organization that aims to build and grow an international network of military, government, commercial and educational stakeholders in order to advance SOF capabilities and partnerships to confront global and networked threats.