To support my efforts to build a strong network of professionals, it’s important to get involved with community events and join organizations that share similar industry interests. For this reason, I conducted research to find a couple Intelligence community (IC) conferences that bring trust leaders from the civil and government sectors together to address trends and future plans for innovation within specified fields. Below, I’ve identified two conferences and briefly outlined how they would benefit my professional endeavors.
To start, I would definitely benefit from the “Airborne ISR & Command and Control (C2) Battle Management 2015” conference because it focuses on the Aerospace and Defense industry topics that I specialize in formally known as Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) operations. If I were to attend this conference, I would get to hear from civil and government leaders in the United States also gain an international perspective on current and future ISR capabilities and strategic plans. Above all, my past experience working in this field will give me the opportunity to offer potential solutions to any obstacles the industry is facing and further establish my credibility as a professional in the field.
Next, I could learn much from attending the “Next Generation Integrated ISR Conference” because it focuses on Big Data & Intelligence topics that directly relate to my profession and the opportunities I seek as a Defense Consultant. By attending this event, I would gain knowledge on future ISR requirements and insight to how the industry can best support the Military in achieving these requirements.
Equally important, I sought opportunities to join both local and national organizations in the defense and space and big data/intelligence industries to surround myself with like-minded professionals.
Here is are two organizations I plan to get become a contributing member of for professional development at the local and national/international defense community levels.
The San Diego Military Advisory Council (SDMAC) is a member-based, non-profit 501-c(6) business organization committed to preserving San Diego as the largest and most important military community in the U.S. Becoming a member of SDMAC bring many personal and professional benefits. According to SDMAC (2014), members can take advantage of monthly meetups that feature prominent speakers, civilian and military, from the Department of Defense, the Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard. This provides not only the opportunity to hear firsthand from the knowledgeable leadership, but also an opportunity to meet and network with 400+ military and civilian business leaders of the local community.
Additionally members enjoy real-time updates on issues and trends impacting the defense industry, as well as, unique interactions and networking with senior military leaders (active/retired). Members are given the opportunity to get involved in areas they have experience or are interested in learning more by participating in various focus group committees (i.e. Unmanned Systems, Veteran’s Education and Employment, Military Medical Care, and Bases and Infrastructure).
The Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association (AFCEA) is one of the world’s premier C4I professional societies. With over 33,000 members on four continents, AFCEA is comprised of political, military and industry leaders (AFCEA, 2015).
Most exciting, by joining AFCEA as an individual member I would reap the benefits joining an extensive network of government and industry professionals in the fields of IT, communications, intelligence and homeland security. In addition, I would have access to excellent network opportunities through chapter and regional activities tailored to meet local professional development needs and have the opportunity to attend national/international conventions, exhibitions conferences and symposiums sponsored by the organization. Likewise, the organization offers its members academic privileges and professional development education opportunities through their associate programs.