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National Defense Magazine12/5/2017
By Jon Harper SIMI VALLEY, Calif. — President Donald Trump’s controversial “America First” policies were a major focus of discussions Dec. 2 at the Reagan National Defense Forum, as government officials and industry executives took stock of what has happened during his first year in office.

The annual conference held at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California, brings together top national security officials and industry executives to discuss some of the major challenges facing the United States. This year’s event was co-sponsored by dozens of defense companies and other organizations including the National Defense Industrial Association.

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BY STEW MAGNUSON

Unique technology needs mean more opportunities for small businesses and startups to get their foot in the door with SOCOM, program managers have said. The command has become known as an organization that has come up with some inventive ways to speed up traditional military acquisition regimes.

“We want new voices and new ideas,” Geurts said.

One practice SOCOM uses to acquire and discover new technologies is “technical experimentation” venues. It invites technology developers to bring their works in progress to a hosted event three to four times per year. Each event has a specific theme. Special operators with experience in the field are on hand to assess the technology and provide feedback, which helps them to improve their products, said Kelly Stratton-Feix, director of acquisition agility at special operations forces’ acquisition, technology and logistics office.

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