It’s no secret that Tampa is home to a large military community, centered around MacDill Air Force Base and the three- and four-star commands that call it home.  But, for as geographically close as this community is, it suffers from poor communication and an overall disconnect between groups that could be highly productive if connected.

For that reason, we are encouraging the Tampa defense community to do more to work together. At the GSF, we have a goal to build relationships worldwide—but there’s no reason that can’t start in our own backyard.   At our February Global SOF Symposium in Palm Harbor, FL, we were happy to see attendees from SOCOM, CENTCOM, and SOCCENT, the big three at MacDill, in addition to hundreds of others from the US and 25 countries.

So, here is a chronological list of opportunities that are worth your time in Tampa this spring.  Go to one, two, or all, and please don’t hesitate to provide us with feedback at info@globalsoffoundation.org (especially for #5)!

1.  Happy Hour: “Actionable Network Intelligence, Delivering Control and Security from the Core”

WHY ATTEND:  Hosting organizations Infoblox and Carahsoft will be covering “security’s most important topics and discussing today’s largest DNS Attacks.”   In addition to the delicious food and drink served up at Pane Rustica, this will be a great chance to have technical discussions with experts in all aspects of secure computer networking.

WHEN: Wednesday, March 22, 2017, from 3:00pm – 5:00pm
WHERE:  Pane Rustica, 3225 S MacDill Ave, Tampa, FL 33629
COST:  Free
Register here: http://carahevents.carahsoft.com/Event/Register/24160-cs1a

2. World Wide Technology TECday Tampa

WHY ATTEND:  WWT is a massive and influential company with a growing base here in Tampa.  They are also a GSF Founding Partner, so we’re pretty fond of them.  At this TECday, you’ll get hands-on access to the latest data center, enterprise networking, security and collaboration technologies. Rather than spending weeks in meetings with multiple OEMs, in one day you’ll be able to explore a variety of products through demonstrations and talk with peers and industry experts.

WHEN: Thursday, March 30, 2017, from 12:00pm – 7:00pm
WHERE:  TopGolf Tampa, 10690 Palm River Rd., Tampa, FL 33619 United States
COST:  Free
RSVP here: https://www2.wwt.com/event/tecday-tampa-2017/

3. Women in Defense Greater Tampa Bay “Get Informed” Luncheon

WHY ATTEND: Tampa’s growing chapter of WID holds monthly luncheons at the beautiful Tampa Yacht and Country Club, featuring tasty food and informative speakers.  You don’t have to be a woman to attend—men are allowing in, as well.  This month’s luncheon will focus on “Breaking the Mold: Lessons Learned from Women Business Owners.”

WHEN: Tuesday, April 4, 2017, from 11:30am – 1:00pm
WHERE:  Tampa Yacht and Country Club, 5320 Interbay Blvd., Tampa, 33611
COST:  $25 for members, $30 for potential members, $5 for Students, and Free for Active Duty Military
Register here: http://widgtb.com/programs/

4.  Capability Collaboration Events at SOFWERX

WHY ATTEND:  If you haven’t been to SOFWERX yet, the CCEs are a great opportunity to get your foot in the door and see what they’re all about.  SOFWERX was created under a Partnership Intermediary Agreement between Doolittle Institute and the United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) to bring people together to collaborate on tough problems.  These CCEs are held monthly, and a SOCOM Program Executive Office (PEO) is selected to choose each month’s topic.  Even if you can’t attend this event, it’s a good idea to join the SOFWERX Ecosystem on their site so that you’ll get emails on other upcoming opportunities.

WHEN: Wednesday, April 19, 2017, from 8:00am – 5:00pm
WHERE:  SOFWERX, 1320 E 9th Ave. Suite 100, Tampa, FL 33605
COST:  Free
Watch for more info: http://www.sofwerx.org

5.  The Global SOF Foundation Annual Tampa Reception

WHY ATTEND:  We’re a little biased on this one, but there is no better way to kick off SOFIC week than our Monday night reception.  Last year we had over 1,000 people attend to network, tour interactive displays from our Corporate Partners, and enjoy some of the best food and drink in the Tampa area.

WHEN: Monday, May 15, 2017, from 4:00pm – 10:00pm
WHERE:  Port Tampa Bay Terminal 2, E Cumberland Ave, Tampa, FL 33602
COST: Active Duty and Government are Free, GSF Members are $25, and non-members are $35.  Register now to save time at the door.
Register here: https://globalsoffoundation.org/annual-tampa-reception-0