Washington, D.C. – The House Armed Services Committee (HASC) is seeking more information on an innovative Special Operations Command program that seeks to engage the private sector.

Dubbed “SOFWERX,” the initiative creates a forum for accelerating the acquisition of innovative capabilities to SOCOM.

Within the House version of the fiscal year 2017 National Defense Authorization Act, the Armed Services Committee asks for a briefing on the initiative from SOCOM.

Specifically, it seeks information both on any new projects undertaken by SOFWERX as well as how SOCOM is sharing technological advances and lessons learned with the rest of the Department of Defense. The report urged the command to limit the growth of the program to ensure the affordability of the Future Years Defense Program.

According to the committee report, SOCOM expects to spend $2.5 million in fiscal year 2017 on SOFWERX facility and support, although related research, development, test, and evaluation efforts are not yet fully defined.

HASC cites an example of a SOFWERX project currently underway: the Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit effort. Long a development goal of SOCOM, the so-called “Iron-Man Suit” would incorporate armor, weapons, and sensors to better enable commandos breaching doors.

Congressional negotiators on the House and Senate Armed Services Committees continue to hammer out the details of the NDAA – likely following Thanksgiving recess. Only once agreement is reached will the final provisions – including any provisions related to SOFWERX – become clear.

Featured image courtesy of SOFWERX.

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