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Special Operations Forces Exhibition (SOFEX 08)

Special Operations Forces Exhibition (SOFEX 08)

April 01, 2008

Under the patronage of the Jordanian Monarch His Majesty King Abdullah II and supervision of HRH Prince Faisal Bin Al Hussein, the Chairman of the SOFEX Board of Directors, and with the support of the Jordanian Special Operations Forces, the 4th Biennial SPECIAL OPERATIONS FORCES EXHIBITION (SOFEX 08) was held from April 1st to April 3rd in Jordan.

The Institute for Near East and Gulf Military Analysis, INEGMA and the leading international defense-trade newsweekly, Defense News organized the official SOFEX 2008 conference, which was held on March 31st, at the Le Royal Amman Hotel.

The high level, international conference addressed issues related to Adjusting Special Operations Forces’ Capabilities to Combat Global Terrorism such as : Combating Terrorism as an Ideology: Methods & Mechanisms Special Operations Forces in Counter-Insurgency / Terrorism Mobility & Firepower: Special Operations Requirements Special Forces for Homeland Security: Challenges & Solutions Special Forces in Urban Warfare: The Lebanese Experience Special Forces as Peacekeepers: A New Doctrine C4ISR for Special Operations: Needs & Means Special Forces of the 21st Century: Future Challenges.

8:00 Pre-Event: Speakers and attendees start arriving and will be treated to
Tea and Coffee before first session
   
9:30 First Session: Session opens with the arrival of
H.M. King Abdullah II (or a representative) immediately followed by Jordan’s Royal Salute
9:35 Brief Welcome speech by the MC followed by welcome speech by :
Maj. Gen. Jamal Al-Shawabkeh, Commander of Jordan’s Special Operations
  Keynote Speech: To be presented by H.M. the King or Jordanian Prime Minister
   
FIRST SESSION 
10:00 Special Operations Forces in Counter-Insurgency/Terrorism
Presented by: Maj. Gen. John Mulholland, Special Operations Command, USA 
10:25 Combating Terrorism as an Ideology: Methods & Mechanisms
  Speaker: Maj. Gen. Jamal Al-Shawabkeh, Commander of Jordan’s Special Operations
   
10:50 Panel Discussion with Q&A.
11:10 Coffee Break
   
SECOND SESSION
11:25 Mobility & Firepower: Special Operations Requirements
  Presented by: Maj. Gen. Adrian Brad Show, U.K
   
11:45 Special Forces for Homeland Security: Challenges & Solutions
Presented by:  Lt. Gen. Servet Yoruk
Special Operations Forces Commander, Turkish Armed Forces
   
12:05 Special Forces in Urban Warfare: Lebanese Experience
Presented by: Col Salah Qais, Commander of the Lebanese Commandos Regiment
   
12:25 Panel Discussion with Q&A 
12:45 Coffee Break
   
THIRD SESSION
13:00 Special Forces as Peacekeepers: A New Doctrine
Presented by: Maj. Gen. Tahir Mahmood, Commander Pakistani Special Services Group.
13:20 "Importance of Special Operation Elements and Teams Dispatched to Conventional Commands" Presented by: Brig. Gen. Adolfo Coloma Contreras, Spanish Special Operations Commander. 
   
13:40 Special Forces of the 21st Century: Future Challenges
Presented by: Contre-Admiral Jean-Pierre Martinez, Commander of French Special Forces. 
   
14:00 Panel Discussion with Q&A
14:20 Closing Statements by Organizer & Sponsor.
   
15:30 Lunch & End of Conference.
   
  Master of Ceremony will be Riad Kahwaji
Moderator: Tobias Naeagele, Editor-in-Chief, Defense News Media Group

Speakers & Lectures

Jordanian PM, Nader Al Dahabi delivers Key note speech at SOFEX ’08 conference on behalf of HM King Abdullah II
The Jordanian PM spoke in his opening speech at the SOFEX 2008 conference in Amman, about the importance of international solidarity in the fight against terrorism. Al-Dahabi was the first of a string of high profile speakers who spoke at the Le Royal Hotel, which was the venue of the 7th biennial official SOFEX conference....   More…


Maj. Gen Jamal Al-Shawabkeh speaks of Jordan’s experience with combating terrorism
Al-Shawabkeh emphasized the fact that only cooperation and collaborative efforts can win the war on Terror. The Jordanian Special Operations Chief went on to talk about the attacks that took place in the Jordanian capital three years ago which Al-Qaeda took responsibility for. He also said that the international “special operations community… has a vital role in [fighting international] terrorism”....More…


American Special Operations Commander talks at Jordan’s SOFEX of special Ops’ role in building government legitimacy
Maj. Gen. John Mullholand tackled in his speech at the SOFEX 2008 conference in Amman, Jordan the strategies through which special ops’ forces, which he recognized as often the first point of contact, can build government legitimacy, which in his opinion is essential in combating terrorism... More…
To view full presentation click here


Brig. Gen. Adolfo Coloma of Spain discusses the new and increased need for special operations forces in multinational operations
The Spanish Special operations commander, Brig. Gen Coloma discussed in his speech at the official conference of SOFEX ’08 the increased presence of special ops’ at multinational operations worldwide, and the means to adapt to this growing presence. Coloma is also the position of Joint Combined Special Operations Component commander for NATO response forces... More…
To view full presentation click here


Maj. Gen. Tahir Mahmoud addresses the role of Special Ops’ in peace keeping missions
Maj. Gen. Tahir, Commander of Pakistani Special Ops’, spoke of the different forms special ops’ participation in peacekeeping and enforcement missions can take. He addressed issues like security, training, hostage rescuing and counter-guerilla battles. He also pointed out the role special ops’ can play in training other UN forces elements in these peacekeeping missions.... More…
To view full presentation click here


Lebanese Commander gives unreleased details of the 105 days urban war against Fath Al-Islam at Nahr Al-Bared Camp
Colonel Saleh Qais gave what was seen by most attendees as a compelling presentation on the encounter of the Lebanese Commandos with the insurgents of Fateh Al-Islam at the Naher Al-Bared Refugee camp north of Tripoli. The Lebanese commander went on to describe the ferocity at which the militants fought and how despite the lack of equipment and unfavorable conditions at the camp, the Lebanese army was able to eradicate the movement. Finally, Colonel Saleh demonstrated the techniques and weapons used at the Naher al-Bared Battles by both the Lebanese commandos and Fateh Al-Islam militants.
To view full presentation click here


Martinez discusses the future challenges of Special Ops’ Forces at SOFEX conference.
Commander of the French Special forces, Rear Admiral Pierre Martinez addressed in his presentation issues of specialized technologies in Special Ops’ work. He spoke of the requirements technologies had to meet in order for them to be favored. Finally he spoke of the notion that no matter what advancements in this domain are, technology has its limitations, and “the soldiers themselves will continue to represent the true Special Forces…value”.
To view full presentation click here


UK Special Ops’ Commander discuss adaptation of armored vehicles for special operations.
Maj. Gen. Adrian Bradshaw gave a presentation at the SOFEX ’08 conference in which he talked about the possibilities of adapting already existing vehicles for Special Ops’ Forces battles. He elaborated on the advantages and disadvantages of adapting vehicles for both urban and rural missions, and on the usage of each adaptation on the battlefields.
To view full presentation click here