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Apparently SOFIC, the “Special Operations Forces Industry Conference” run by the NDIA, is a big deal. I had never experienced it before, but then again I’ve only been in this industry for a couple years. This year I twisted Robert’s arm enough to get me a front row seat to the shindig, and boy was it worth the price of admission. Not only were there rows upon rows of product to salivate over, but the special operations community put on a small demonstration of their abilities live in the harbor in Tampa. From my seat — which was even closer to the action than the generals and dignitaries — it was amazing. I’ve patched together a quick video to showcase a taste of what went on. Needless to say it’s on the schedule for next year, too.

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  1. That was impressive! Best job I had in the Navy was a support tech for SEALs. The SWCC 11 meter RHIB is insanely maneuverable. Both communities have unbelievable levels of intensity and professionalism.

    Leghorn you are one lucky man with a great job!

  2. I don’t know how to score these things so it just looks like mom going grocery shopping in such a way that would give a 14 year old a hard-on.

  3. Might want to send some of these guys to Nigeria, I hear we may have located some kidnappers who need to be separated from their manhood.

  4. Curious- those fellas strapped to the helo at the end, does the chopper winch them back into the cabin, or does it just fly off with them dangling freely like that?

    • They fly freely below, hoping the radar altimeter is working properly and that there are no power cables freshly strung…. I have heard in a hover if you alternately pull pitch to rise, then drop back down, you can get those guys below to bounce off each other….supposed to sound like you are whacking a couple of coconut trees together…..

  5. Wow, do they always hold that in Tampa? I’ve lived here all my life and I’ve never heard of it!

  6. I’m surprised the guns worked so well with blanks. They must have been a pain in the a$$ to clean.

  7. Wow, I always am amazed at these guys skills. Especially the pilots on those MH-500 Little Birds and MH-60 Pave-Hawks.

  8. What a waste of money (I’m sure at taxpayer’s expense). What was learned/demonstrated here that those in attendance needed to know/experience? Surely none of those involved viewed this as a real training operation. Stupid politics.

      • That is NOT training. Its theater commonly known as “Dog and Pony Show”.

        Side note is that sounds like as part of Obuma closing of the US MIl, he will be dump 1/3 of the helicopter fleet (including all Kiowa/OH6 series).

    • Training is training. May as well get in some recruiting for the same buck. There’s your smart taxpayer money.

      Now me, I think the country has no use for any military beyond volunteer militia. But if these guys are going to train, they may as well train in public and get some recruiting bang for the buck while they are at it.

      I also expect the stress of doing it in public adds some dimension to the training that they don’t get back oon base, out of sight.

    • I see no problem with it. It’s not uncommon for the military to have an “open house” of sort with the public to showcase techniques and wares. For most people who don’t have any exposure to the military, this is the next best thing.

  9. Cool, but everyone seemed to be moving at DAPS (Dog And Pony Show) speed, not real OMFG They’re Shooting At Us speed. Which is totally logical, but could lead one to underestimate how good these guys really are.

  10. Any Tom, Dick, and Abdul could’ve blasted that Blackhawk out of the sky with an RPG in the time it took those guys to fast rope out of it.

    • Not in the land of the once was free, they couldn’t. Since here, the 2nd, written to prevent against government abuse and tyranny by awesome guys like these taking orders from decidedly less awesome ones like you know who.

  11. “We ought to support our allies… with our money and our ships…but it is dangerous to our liberties and destructive to our trade to encourage great numbers of our people to depend for their livelihood upon the profession of arms.” Pitt the Elder 1746.

  12. ” We ought to support our allies…with our money and our ships…but it is dangerous to our liberties and destructive to our trade to encourage great numbers of our people to depend for their livelihood upon the profession of arms.” Pitt the Elder 1746.

    • Yes there certainly are a plethora of armed federal employees (and a declining number of armed dedicated soldiers to defend the Constitution (from them)).

  13. I always figured that special ops could kick Tampa Bay’s ass, especially after the crappy draft the Buckos just had.

  14. Good video, but I will never use a porta-potty in the Tampa Bay area again after seeing that RIB boat demo….. Worse than over hydrated clowns at the circus when you have some business to complete in privacy….

  15. Even moving slow those SWCC boats are badass.

    Got to play opfor for them one time. Pretty fun.

  16. This video brings back memories of when I visited the USS Intrepid in NYC as a kid. It was pre 9/11, so you could still have fun and get your picture taken sitting on landing craft or in the cockpit of a Jet on the runway. I even found a photo of my eight year old self with a huge grin on my face standing behind a Browning M2. They had a show exactly like this right off the starboard side of the museum; blanks, helicopter airlift, the whole nine yards. I couldn’t imagine a show like that being put on in Manhattan today. I’m sure the Tampa crowd enjoyed it more anyway. (most) Floridians are gun friendly people.

  17. First, kinda feel bad for these guys having to play dress up for other’s amusement.
    Second, um not a lot to be impressed by there. We’re talking Top Shot level drama/action here. BFD.
    I am not questioning their ability, bravery, etc, just stating that this particular dog and pony show was tranq’ed up Shetlands and pugs.

  18. In the late 80’s when I was stationed at Norfolk, the SEALS used to do a demo called Frog Fest at the Norfolk waterfront. They usually combined with flybys of all the available fleet air assets from Oceana NAS they could put together and at least one warship would park downtown (a cruiser or destroyer, not some piddly ass frigate) for folks to gawk at with all the missiles hanging off it. The last year I went the demonstration team parachuted into the water and took over the ship being used for tours, That was cool as hell to watch.

  19. Helicopter and rapid assault, at first I could not figure out what the helicopter demonstrating, thought the pilot was waiting for the valet?

  20. I went in 2012, what a great trade show.
    I kept trying to explain it to others.
    “See, its like a trade show, with booths and such, but instead of a booth with new laptops, it will be a booth of miniguns..,next to a booth or rocket launchers”

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