US Nat'l Guard to appoint liaison to Home Front Command

Effort to increase civil defense cooperation comes after IDF sends liaison to US National Guard in the United States.

June 20, 2011 02:12
2 minute read.
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Missile Drill 311. (photo credit: ben hartman)

In an effort to increase civil defense cooperation, the US National Guard has decided to send a senior officer to serve as a liaison to the IDF’s Home Front Command.

The name of the officer has yet to be announced, but the liaison is expected to take up the post as early as August. It comes after the Home Front Command decided last April to send Lt.-Col. Chezy Deutsch to serve as the IDF’s liaison to the National Guard.

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The National Guard liaison officer will be based at Home Front Command headquarters in Ramle.

On Sunday, the Home Front Command and the Defense Ministry began the nationwide civil defense exercise “Turning Point 5.” Senior military delegations from the United States have come to Israel for the drill and are led by Maj.-Gen. David Harris, commander of the National Guard Bureau, and Maj.-Gen. Jonathan Treacy, commander of the Joint Task Force and Civil Support, which is responsible for managing the consequences of a chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear attack in the United States.

Deutsch, who is in Israel for the duration of the drill, is based in National Guard headquarters.

“Israel is small but we live under a real threat and we have experience that the Americans do not have and as a result they are interested in hearing what we know and how we do things,” Deutsch said Sunday.

Recent examples of cooperation have dealt with communications technology and various equipment that can be used after a non-conventional attack.

Last month, a delegation from the Home Front Command flew to the US to participate in America’s version of Turning Point, called “National Level Exercise 2011,” organized by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the National Guard and simulating a massive earthquake.

Deutsch said the US and Israel are constantly increasing their level of cooperation and are working on drafting emergency orders that will expedite the deployment of National Guard units to Israel in case of an emergency. During the Carmel Forest fire last year, Guard units were en route but turned around after Israel said they were no longer needed.

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