Formal GSF Launch
Tampa, Florida

On May 19, 2014, approximately 700 people gathered for a reception at the Tampa Bay History Center to celebrate the formal launch of the Global SOF Foundation. Guests at the event hailed from the public, private and nonprofit sectors; active and retired military; and the media. The event coincided with the 2014 International Special Operations Forces Conference hosted by U.S. Special Operations Command, in which SOF representatives from 84 nations converged in Tampa. 




View all the photos from the event here. 

GSF 101

The Global SOF Foundation (GSF) supports a new way of thinking about tackling the security challenges of the future. These challenges are dispersed across regions and nations. They require a global approach and perspective, one that SOF are a key component in delivering. It will fill a gap in advocating this point of view to global stakeholders: U.S. and international governments, U.S. and international lawmakers, academics and think tanks, industry, media and the public at large.


What is the Global SOF Foundation? 


The GSF is a non-profit organization dedicated to advocating for SOF -- for individuals both active and retired -- as well as for the whole force as a national and international asset to be employed strategically against global security challenges.


There isn't currently a proponent outside of governments that advocates for SOF as a constituency, nor as a force. The GSF intends to fill this gap, not as a charity organization, but as a professional association (similar to the Association of the U.S. Army, the Navy League, or the Air Force Association). However, as the name implies, the GSF viewpoint is not U.S.-centric. It is a proponent for all SOF worldwide. It intends to be the "go to" SOF organization outside of governments.


What will the GSF do?

  • Convene a diverse community of stakeholders interested in the future of SOF and global security
  • Provide unique networking opportunities as well as strategic, thought-provoking forums
  • Educate policymakers, both in the U.S. and other countries
  • Hold an annual global security forum
  • Provide a clearinghouse for SOF personnel's resumes when/if they are interested in private sector employment 

Why should I join?

  • Grow your network; don't atrophy your network!
  • Be part of an important endeavor to ensure Special Operations are appropriately enabled for success
  • Connect to industry to better prepare for post-military career
  • Enjoy free membership: if you are active duty military and police, then you join for free!

The GSF is partner-driven and will reflect partner priorities; this is an opportunity to shape the future!

GSF Corporate Partner logos on display at the May 19th Launch.


Upcoming Events

Thursday, July 10, 4 - 5 pm: Small Business Advisory Committee Meeting (invitation only)
Thursday, July 10, 5 - 7 pm: 
Networking Happy Hour at Hattrick's Tavern, Tampa, FL  
Thursday, July 17, 4:30-5:30 pm: Strategic Advisory Committee Meeting (invitation only)
Thursday, Sep. 11: GSF Event in Washington, DC (tentative)
Thursday, Oct. 2: GSF Event in La Jolla, CA (tentative)

Save the Date!
First Annual
Global SOF Forum

February 23-26, 2015

Tradewinds Resort
St. Pete Beach, FL 

Registration Information
Coming Soon! 

Shooting with SOF

The first of a series of events called Shooting with SOF kicked off on May 18, 2014 with the Operator Challenge. Held at the Hillsborough County Sheriffs Training Range outside Tampa, FL, the operator event is a way for those in the special operations community to bond, compete, shoot weapons being promoted by industry, and interface with the community. Events included the Green Mile, in which competitors ran in full body armor while flipping tires and doing pushups; an obstacle course; a shooting range event; and a shoot house.  The actual Shooting with SOF allowed local business leaders to fire a range of weapons, taking lessons from the operators themselves. A fundraiser aboard the SS American Victory followed, which benefited the Green Beret Foundation, the Global SOF Foundation and the Navy SEAL Foundation.  

Check out the event here.


Join Us on
Social Media 


The GSF is growing its connections on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Join us as we discuss relevant security issues to SOF. We need your help to spread the word about the sites, and we want to hear from you! Our members drive our thinking so send in discussion topics and comments.




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SOF Interoperability on Full Display in Tampa

On May 21, 2014, explosions rocked downtown Tampa. Gunfire rang out across the waterfront, helicopters dodged buildings, and rugged inflatable boats roared down the river. A multinational contingent of Special Operations Forces, in Tampa for U.S. Special Operations Command's biennial International SOF Conference, captivated local residents and the concurrent SOF Industry Conference attendees with an awe-inspiring capabilities demonstration, showcasing a range of SOF insertion and tactical capabilities.


The ISOF Conference itself intended to build on themes of collaboration and partnerships, and the demonstration put on full display the interoperability possible among international forces. Seventeen nations from across the globe participated in the demonstration, from Thailand to Jordan to Ireland. The demonstration cast Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn in the role of hostage, taken by enemy combatants and held on a barge anchored in the center of the river. To reclaim Mayor Buckhorn from his captors and bring him to safety, the multinational SOF teams inserted from air, land, and sea. Littlebirds dodged through the skyscrapers, depositing snipers on rooftops, a team of maritime SOF seamlessly executed a helocast, and another team conducted a fastrope assault out of a Blackhawk helicopter onto the enemy vessel. A land team roared through the streets of Tampa, guns blazing, to secure the enemy camp. A multinational SEAL team emerged from the depths of the bay to eliminate enemy sentries. And, in the denouement, a group of soldiers inserted from the air, executing an orderly, spiraling entrance into the battle space. 


As General Ray Odierno quipped in his keynote address to the conference attendees that evening, "flying in tonight, they had to close the airport down because of all the activity downtown. I heard helicopters flying around, and my initial thought was like being back in Baghdad: Special Operations closes down the airspace." Beyond theatrics for the residents of Tampa, and the display of a few of the unique capabilities that SOF provide, this demonstration illustrated the breadth of interoperability that SOF partners can achieve. As USSOCOM moves forward in strengthening its relationships through the "global SOF network" vision, it is this interoperability, as well as interoperability at the operational and strategic levels, that the Command -- and the Global SOF Foundation -- hopes to preserve and further.   


A New International Cell at USSOCOM

In May, U.S. Special Operations Command unveiled a new division: the J3-International. Formally showcased to SOF partners at the International SOF Conference in Tampa 19-22 May, the J3-I has the unique mission to integrate partner nation representatives into staff processes and partner nation perspectives into strategic planning and resourcing.  In line with Presidential guidance, the J3-I is tasked with strengthening partnerships between U.S. and partner SOF across the globe.  Currently, the J3-I houses officers from 11 nations, with the stated goal to increase this number to 60 by 2020.  The J3-I is a core component of the SOF 2020 vision pursued by USSOCOM under ADM McRaven's direction, aiming to bring the multilateral interoperability achieved after 13 years of coalition combat operations to the strategic level-enabling U.S. and partner SOF to coordinate, maximize resources, and establish unity of effort.  

Partner Spotlight

AC4S is among the original partners supporting the mission and vision of the Global SOF Foundation. Headquartered in Tampa, Florida and supporting Special Operations, Intelligence and Diplomacy globally, AC4S provides services and solutions in three business areas: Professional Services, C5ISR, and Mission Support.


Company founders, Norm Abdallah and Hugh Campbell, became early supporters of the Global SOF Foundation because AC4S has been focused on the SOF community since inception and absolutely believes in the vision and the importance of advocating on behalf of global SOF. 


Over the last 12 years, AC4S has supported SOF from the USSOCOM headquarters, to the components, to the Theater Special Operations Commands and several Joint Special Operations Task Forces. AC4S provides its support services in 18 different states and 12 countries -- mostly in non-permissive environments. AC4S is a veteran-owned business with an ISO 9001 Registered Quality Management System. 


According to AC4S President, Norm Abdallah, "The GSF will allow us to stay abreast of the issues and needs of the SOF community, network with the people and organizations focused on the SOF mission set, and share alternative approaches to meeting emerging mission requirements."



Haven't become a GSF Member yet?
What are you waiting for?

We want

to advocate for your needs as a member or supporter of the global special operations community. Individual members get the following:

  • Participation in a unique networking organization geared toward the global SOF community
  • Subscription to GSF newsletters and other media
  • Access to GSF forums, workshops, outreach, and other programs at member-only rates
  • Access to the online GSF membership directory (coming in Fall 2014)
  • Ability to post resumes for review by corporate partners (coming in Fall 2014)
  • Participation in subcommittees, task forces, special interest groups, and working groups through invitation
The Individual Membership Annual Fee is $25 and Lifetime Membership $500. Click here to purchase. 

Membership is free to active military and police personnel. Click here to sign up. 

Founding Partners


Small Business Partners

4644 West Gandy Blvd.
Suite 4-140 
Tampa, Florida 33611
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