SOFINS 2023, the biennial French Special Forces exposition and conference kicks off tomorrow at Camp de Souge near Bordeaux, reports Bob Morrison.
Scheduled to run from Tuesday until Thursday this week SOFINS 2023, organised by Cercle de l’Arbalète, has expanded considerably since we last visited in 2019; the 2021 event ran, but unfortunately flights from the UK were cancelled by a COVID spike. In addition to the packed main expo building, from which the restaurants section has this year been relocated to a separate temporary building to free up more space for exhibitor stands, there is also a new outdoor stands area specifically for displaying SpecOps vehicles, helicopters and watercraft etc.
The whole village, temporarily constructed alongside the French Special Forces base runway, was a hive of activity today as the stand builders worked like Trojans to get everything assembled and finished off before the first delegations arrive tomorrow morning, but while the place was ‘under construction’ it gave me a chance to snap some of the vehicles before the flags, bunting and suits make the view too cluttered. The downside to doing this, however, is that few of the weapons were fitted to the mounts and other important bits and pieces still had to be attached.
The next three days look like they will be pretty busy for me, so you will probably need to wait until I’m back at my base to discover more about the vehicles on this page, but hopefully my snaps will whet your appetite a little.
[images © Bob Morrison]