Thursday, November 17, 2022

5:00 - 9:00 pm
Grand Foyer
5:30 - 6:30 pm
Grand Foyer
6:30 - 9:00 pm
Honorable David Norquist
President and CEO NDIA

GEN Joseph Votel, USA (Ret) br> Former Commander, United States Special Operations Command
Rylander Awardee

LTG Kenneth Tovo, USA (Ret)
President, DOL Enterprises
DeProspero Awardee

CSM Bill Thetford, USA (Ret)
Former Senior Enlisted Leader, United States Central Command
Grand Ballroom
Friday, November 18, 2022

7:00 am - 6:00 pm
Grand Foyer
7:00 - 8:00 am
Grand Foyer
8:00 - 8:15 am
Symposium Abstract: This is a time made for SOF. Threats of uncertain nature with unclear intentions swirl like a dense grey fog. Recent actions by near peer state adversaries clearly demonstrate their desire to fracture international alliances and disrupt international order to achieve revisionist and revanchist goals. But to achieve these goals, adversaries do not rely purely on military power, rather they deploy a wide array of military, economic, technological tools carried out directly and by disaggregated surrogates, proxies and cybercriminal syndicates, both above and below the threshold of conflict. This mix of threats means that Special Operations Forces (SOF) cannot focus exclusively against one type of threat or a single form of conflict. The hyper-connected nature of the global environment also means that the friendly side is an equally complex mix of capabilities and players. The broad scope, massive scale, and malign actors expanding disorder globally, means that no single nation can compete and win alone. In order to prevail in this environment, the SOF enterprise will need to build enduring advantages with our allies and partners. Enduring advantage is not provided by new weapons systems, it is the product of realigned force structure, accelerating modernization, achieving significant technological breakthroughs, expanding collective cooperation with Allies and Partners, industry, and academia, and making significant investments in our extraordinary special operations forces and those who serve alongside them. The complex and disordered world of 2023 and beyond will demand forces that are intellectually agile, adept at developing and wielding tools of influence, and when necessary, be devastatingly lethal; SOF is perfectly poised to be that force.

COL (Ret) John Taft
Chair, NDIA SO/LIC Division

COL (Ret) Dean Hoffman
Co-Founder/President, Accel Innovation Corporation

MG Jim Boozer, USA (Ret)
Executive Vice President, NDIA  
Grand Ballroom
8:15 - 8:50 am
Joe Mariani
Senior Research Manager, Deloitte

Honorable Chris Maier
Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations Command and Low-Intensity Conflict
Grand Ballroom
8:55 - 9:25 am
Joe Mariani
Senior Research Manager

Lt Gen Tony Bauernfeind, USAF
Vice Commander, U.S. Special Operations Command
9:30 - 9:45 am
Grand Foyer
9:45 - 10:45 am
Abstract: In 2014, Russia crossed the threshold in Ukraine. Traditional military conflict involving large scale conventional forces have predominantly given way to a hybrid warfare involving cyberattacks, information campaigns, and a variety of other non-violent tactics. The world's far more brazen autocracies are challenging the established international order and competing with the United States and its Allies. State and non-state actors are increasingly pursuing their national objectives in a little-understood arena: the so-called "gray zone" between peace and open conflict. Examples include Russia’s use of "little green men" in Crimea, Wagner group activities in Africa and Syria, China's coercive use of economics through its Belt and Road Initiative, and their “little blue men” or maritime militia in disputed island chains. We are witnessing Russian state propaganda aggressively rallying its population to continue its brutal and unnecessary war in Ukraine. The Department of Defense has charged USSOCOM as the proponent for Irregular Warfare. This panel examines several case studies of new and emerging challenges, how the department and USSOCOM is evolving to compete globally, and how we must think differently about Irregular Warfare and Gray Zone conflicts through a policy and strategy lens.

CMSgt Gregory Smith, USAF (Ret)
Former United States Special Operations Command Senior Enlisted Leader

Congressman Ruben Gallego (D-AZ)
U.S. House of Representatives

BG Jasper Jeffers, USA
Deputy Director for Special Operations and Counter-Terrorism

Dr. Seth Jones
Senior Vice President; Harold Brown Chair; and Director, International Security Program, Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS); Author — Three Dangerous Men

Grand Ballroom
10:45 - 11:35 am
Abstract: The recently released National Defense Strategy discusses the need to operate differently. To achieve the stated goal of Integrated Deterrence, we must develop and combine our strengths to maximum effect, by working seamlessly across warfighting domains, theaters, the spectrum of conflict, other instruments of U.S. national power, and our unmatched network of Alliances and partnerships. Campaigning will strengthen deterrence and enable us to gain advantages against the full range of competitors’ coercive actions. The United States will operate forces, synchronize broader Department efforts, and align Department activities with other instruments of national power, to undermine acute forms of competitor coercion, complicate competitors’ military preparations, and develop our own warfighting capabilities together with Allies and partners. This panel examines how we leverage our long-standing relationships to compete. We also look at new partnerships and why these relationships matter.

Kristen Hajduk
Fellow, National Security Institute

Tyler Brace
Professional Staff Member, U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations

Frank Sanders
Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence

Joy Shanaberger
Founding Partner and CEO, Boone Group
Grand Ballroom
11:35 am - 12:55pm
Grand Foyer
1:00 - 1:55 pm
Abstract: 20 years of sustained combat operations have created a new phenomenon across the joint force. SOLIC and USSOCOM have recognized the enduring effects of these operations. In 2020, SOLIC and USSOCOM added a fifth POTFF domain, the Cognitive Domain, designed to enhance, monitor, advance, and protect the cognitive health and performance of the SOF operator. The goal is to maximize cognitive functioning of individual and collective SOF through appropriate monitoring exposures to blasts and impacts, assessing brain functioning and cognitive performance, and training. The primary priorities of the Cognitive Domain include cognitive enhancement, exposure monitoring, and brain health protection. USSOCOM, in conjunction with the Martino Center for Neurological Imaging, Massachusetts General Hospital, began a study on the effects of repetitive low-level blast exposure. This study, ReBlast, is among several initiatives breaking new ground in mapping and understanding Traumatic Brain Injury and its effects on cognitive function, neuroplasticity, and human performance.

SGM Matthew Parrish, USA
Senior Enlisted Leader, Preservation of the Force and Family Program, U.S. Special Operations Command

VADM Timothy Szymanski, USA (Ret)
Former Deputy Commander, U.S. Special Operations Command

Dr. Yelena Bodien, Ph.D.
Assistant Investigator, Neurology, Neurocritical Care Faculty, Massachusetts General Hospital

Dr. Brian Edlow, MD
Critical Care Neurologist, Neurocritical Faculty, Massachusetts General Hospital

Jeff Byers
Chief Executive Officer, Momentous  
2:00 - 2:45 pm
Abstract: Competition among states remains a constant strategic consideration across multiple regions, and SOCOM must adapt to maintain advantage. Information technology is an instrument used by our competitors, allowing countries like China and Russia to exploit and manipulate populations across the globe. The need to actively engage foreign audiences to expose, counter, and compete with hostile propaganda and disinformation is critical in today’s Gray Zone environment. SOCOM is the Department of Defense’s Joint Proponent and Coordinating Authority for Military Information Support Operations. As such, SOCOM must continue to seek tools and methods that optimize warfighter capability to detect, monitor, assess, understand, and act in the information environment. They must have the capability to disrupt the enemy’s decision-making process, influence the sentiments of local populations, and shape the international narrative. This discussion will bring together, Department of Defense (maybe Department of State) and industry leaders to address the artificial intelligence, machine learning, big data and automation required to operate at the speed of relevance. It will discuss how to align efforts across the interagency and how to best enable our partners to resist exploitation and manipulation by their adversaries. It will address the future of conflict and discuss how SOF can build advantages to meet their national defense strategy requirements.

COL Vic Garcia, USA (Ret)
Former Chief of Information Operations, U.S. Special Operations Command

Thomas Browning
Deputy Chief Technology Officer for Mission Capabilities (DCTO(MC)), Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering (OUSD(R&E)

MG Matthew Easley, USA
Deputy Principal Information Operations Advisor to the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations & Low-Intensity Conflict (ASD/SO/LIC))

Richard Tilley
Director, Office of Irregular Warfare and Competition

COL Rhea Pritchett, USA
Program Executive Officer, Digital Applications, Special Operations Forces, U.S. Special Operations Command

Grand Ballroom
2:45 - 3:15 pm
Grand Foyer
3:15 - 4:00 pm
Abstract: This panel will discuss the newly published SOF Operating Concept 2040 and the pathway to the transforming USSOCOM force design to meet the needs of the 2022 National Defense Strategy.

Dr. Jessica Libertini
Director of Applied Research, Joint Special Operations University Center for Adaptive and Innovative Statecraft

Erin Logan
Deputy Secretary of Defense for Special Operations Plans and Policy (SOPP)

Kim Field
Director, J5, U.S. Special Operations Command

Col Ian Fletcher, USMC
Director, Plans, Combat Development & Integration, U.S. Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command (MARSOC), J8

Lisa Sanders
Director, Science & Technology, U.S. Special Operations Command
Grand Ballroom
4:00 - 4:45 pm
Abstract: The increasing availability and affordability of capabilities in space and cyberspace provides a wider array of state and non-state actors opportunities unforeseen 15 years ago. This translates into a wider array of constructive and nefarious behavior and objectives, to the degree that prior global common norms are challenged as space and the space-oriented cyberspace concerns are viewed not just competitively but as valid targets and legitimate battle ground amid gray zone conflicts. This evolving scenario and threat create a strategic imperative for Special Operations Forces: we must innovate to both defend and use this realm to help secure national security objectives on earth and in space. In so doing, we need to both better understand and collaboratively harness other state and non-state actors who may have already and soon will gain significant, if not unprecedented, capabilities themselves. This interactive panel will consider what a future of increasing “gray zone” conflicts means for SOF, space, and cyber activities - and explore the why, what, and how of innovating for advantage amid our era of global turbulence and change. Fortune favors the brave.

Dr. David Bray
Distinguished Fellow, Henry S. Stimson Center and Atlantic Council

Daniel Folliard
Incoming Chief Digital and Artificial Intelligence Officer, U.S. Special Operations Command

Dr. Lillian Alessa
Chief Scientist, U.S. Special Operations Command, J5

Jared Summers
Chief Technology Officer, VXVII Airborn Corps

Brent Andberg, SES
Special and Enabling Capabilities Portfolio Leader, Strategic Capabilities Office, Office of the U.S Secretary of Defense
Grand Ballroom
4:45 - 6:00 pm
Grand Foyer