4th Global Special Operations Forces Symposium in Europe

Belgium has just hosted the 4th Global Special Operations Symposium in Europe. Organized in Brussels by the Global SOF Foundation with, in this case, the assistance of the Belgian Special Operations Regiment, the event has gathered an impressive array of participants, both from the Special Operations world and the international defense industry.

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(Picture source: Global SOF Symposium)

As its CEO Stuart “Stu” Bradin explained to Army Recognition, the Global SOF Foundation is the only professional association for the international SOF community. It 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. This non-profit organization has partnered with the Belgian Special Operations Command to execute this event, which features high-level speakers, networking opportunities, and a nearly sold-out expo space for industry participation. Colonel Tom Bilo, commander of the Belgian Special Operations Regiment, explained Army Recognition how far this kind of foundation and its activities are precious for the SOF world.

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The Belgian Special Forces have made a long way since the creation of the commando and airborne units inside the British army in 1942 (Picture source: Army Recognition)

Conveniently located in the “heart of Europe,” the 4th Global SOF Symposium has been a unique opportunity to meet directly with policymakers from many NATO nations and the EU Military Staff (EUMS). The Symposium has confirmed representatives attending from Australia, Belgium, Denmark, France, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, The Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Malta, Romania, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The Symposium agenda has featured influential confirmed speakers, to include the Belgian Chief of Defence, the Chairman of the EU Military Committee, and NATO’s Assistant Secretary-General for Emerging Security Challenges.

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Lectures and debates about Special Operations took place at a sustained pace (Picture source: Belgian MoD)

Other speakers ranged from the Secretary-General of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, Mr. David Hobbs, to Rob de Wijk, the founder of The Hague Centre for Strategic Studies. These speakers addressed a variety of topics, such as “Military Reform and Capability Packages for Modern Warfare” and “The Role of Artificial Intelligence in SOF.”

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Colonel Tom Bilo, C.O. of the Belgian SO Regt, Gen Maj.Gen. Johan Peeters, Assistant Chief of Staff Operations and Training (Belgian Land Component), Colonel Vincent Descheemaeker, Director of the Belgian Special Operations Command (Picture source: Belgian MoD)

As the Global SOF Foundation is a networking organization, ample time was built into the schedule to allow attendees to discuss the presentations and peruse the Exhibit Hall. Networking events at this Symposium forged many new relationships. This event also gave defense companies with capabilities relevant to European and NATO SOF the opportunity to exhibit their equipment and create a dialogue with potential customers.

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Gen. Marc Compernol, Chief of Defense, Belgian army, and Col. Vincent Descheemaeker, Director of the Belgian Special Operations Command and former C.O. of the Belgian Special Operations Regiment, discuss with Stuart "Stu" Bradin, CEO of the Global SOF Foundation (Picture source: Belgian MoD)

 Some key products exhibited at the Symposium

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FN Ballistic Calculator mounted on FN SCAR-H PR (Picture source: Army Recognition)

 FN Herstal exhibited its new Ballistic Calculator, the most compact, high-performance weapon mounted (or dismounted) range finder on the market. This all-in-one system can be attached to all squad weapons or sniper/marksman rifle and offers multiple-use features: ballistic calculator, visible and infrared laser pointer, variable infrared illuminator, laser range finder, and connectivity. The system includes an advanced laser range finder and can measure a human-size target at distances of up to 1,750 meters without having to change position. The system features an integrated ballistic solver that provides real-time firing solutions. The state-of-the-art OLED screen displays a relevant and accurate ballistic correction data.

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FN Ballistic Calculator mounted on FN SCAR-H PR (Picture source: Army Recognition)

The FN Ballistic Calculator can be attached to accessory rails (like Picatinny) of the following host weapons using a secure rapid-mounting system: sniper or marksman rifle (e.g. FN SCAR-H PR) or support weapon (e.g. FN MINIMI or FN MAG). The system is ITAR-free.

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FN Ballistic Calculator mounted on FN SCAR-H PR (Picture source: Army Recognition)

DSG Technology, a Norwegian company, unveiled stunning and unrivaled ammunition: the CAV-X. CAV-X - Supercavitating Ammunition. Supercavitation is the use of cavitation effects to create a bubble of gas or vapor large enough to encompass an object travelling through a liquid, greatly reducing the skin friction drag on the object and enabling high speeds. Current applications are mainly limited to projectiles or fast supercavitating torpedoes. In water, cavitation occurs when water pressure is lowered below the water’s vapor pressure, forming bubbles of vapor. A supercavitating object is a high speed submerged object that is designed to initiate a cavitation bubble at the nose which (either naturally or augmented with internally generated gas) extends past the aft end of the object, substantially reducing the skin friction drag that would be present if the sides of the object were in contact with the liquid in which the object is submerged.

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DSG's "star" unveiled at the Symposium was its CAV-X ammunition for underwater use (Picture source: Army Recognition)

Classified as Multi Environment Ammunition – MEA – this projectile is effective against submerged targets and targets in the air. Depending on the weapon and the used loading variant, this ammunition is suitable for use in partial or fully submerged weapons, regardless of if the target is in water or on the surface. Due to the unconventional shape and significant mass, this round offers great armor-piercing capability against Multi-Layer Structures. This shape is also very effective against targets with fiber structure or mud, even when covered by sand. This projectile may be offered in two loading variants, A2 and X2, where both enable swimming capabilities. A2 load is the most powerful when engaging targets in air or water, but can only be shot from the air. Suitable for patrol boats, machine guns, coastal guards, and dedicated marksmen that would engage Multi-environment threats. X2 load is designed for combat swimmers and SOF personnel who operates submerged.

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DSG's CAV-X ammunition enables shooting from above to underwater targets, or the opposite (Picture source: DSG)

Never before have soldiers had the capability to take out targets in the air from a submerged position. Whether it is a CCTV camera, a water pump, antenna or an enemy. DSG’s Cav-X ammunition enables divers to fire their weapon from a submerged position, taking out targets on the surface before surfacing themselves. Divers will additionally now have the capabilities to defend themselves underwater against enemies and wildlife. Additionally, taking out submerged targets such as listening pipes e.t.c will also be effective with this ammunition.

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Underwater firing test (Picture source: DSG)

Shooting from the air into the water will give new capabilities to Navy and coastguard. Shooting against targets in water, where conventional ammunition would represent a risk of bullet ricochet is no longer an issue with our Cav-X supercavitating rounds, since the projectiles continue into the water.

DSG’s 7.62×51 XMP rounds has the same effect on target as a standard .50 caliber bullet, which makes it ideal to use in a mini-gun on a small helicopter where weight is critical.

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Eyewear, new multi-stereo headset for environment awareness, new helmets, batteries, communication devices: the range of products marketed by Revision Military is expanding (Picture source: Army Recognition)

Revision Military develops and delivers purpose-buit protective soldier equipment for military use worldwide. The company, which began with eyewear, has expanded to face, head, and torso protection as well as energy storage and power management products, continues to develop innovative capabilities for integrated, performance-enhancing soldier systems. It has just won a big contract with a temporarily unspecified army of Western Europe to supply it with helmets.

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Power management kit with automatic identification of the batteries to be reloaded (Picture source: Army Recognition)

 Don’t miss the broadcasted report on Army Recognition’s Defense web TV!


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