Helping industry, government and the public understand the critical role of special operations (SO) and low-intensity conflict (LIC) forces in our national security strategy and how these forces are integrated into our military structure is the mission of NDIA’s SO/LIC Division.
A big part of that work is facilitating contact and cooperation between industry and SO and LIC forces to assure that those forces have access to ideas and technology from the U.S. industrial and academic base. The division gives voice to the concerns of the SO/LIC community and champions new, innovative ideas to meet the national security challenges of the 21st century. The division is composed of subject matter experts from the defense industry who, aided by government liaison participants, work to resolve difficult issues facing SO and LIC forces.
Through meetings and symposia, the division provides information on a variety of matters involving special operations, low-intensity conflict and related national security matters, including counternarcotics, combating terrorism, consequence management resulting from terrorist events, civil affairs, psychological operations, force protection, humanitarian operations and peacekeeping. The functional purview of the division follows the roles and missions of the assistant secretary of defense for SO/LIC, and the U.S. Special Operations Command commander. Division activities provide a forum for discussion of SO and LIC challenges and requirements, and provide an opportunity for SO and LIC leaders to present the policy, concepts and procedures guiding their respective commands and agencies in meeting national security goals.
The division’s highlight event is the SO/LIC Symposium & Exhibition, conducted each January/February. Each year, the division presents its R. Lynn Rylander Award to an individual who has made lasting contributions, singular or lifetime, to the SO/LIC community in support of the goals and objectives of NDIA and the division; the DeProspero Lifetime Achievement Award to recognize the sustained, distinguished service of an individual who has made distinctive lifetime contributions with significant impact in SO/LIC or irregular warfare; and Superior Achievement Awards to selected military and civilian personnel, recognizing individual achievement and contributions to SO/LIC missions and programs in the past year.