Israel's Home Front Command visits with the Illinois National Guard in Chicago

A delegation of senior officers of Israel’s Home Front Command, led by Major General Eyal Eizenberg, visited Chicago this week as guests of the Illinois National Guard. Their series of briefings and site visits were designed to expand existing collaboration between the two partners, as well as with other participating law enforcement agencies: U.S. Department of Homeland Security, FBI, Cook County Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, and the Chicago Police Department.

Among other stops, the delegation visited the Northeastern Illinois Public Safety Training Academy, the Chicago Office of Emergency Management and Communication and Rush University Medical Center.

To conclude the visit, JUF hosted a dinner last night at its headquarters. The commanders of the participating agencies each offered expressions of mutual admiration and commitments to further deepen the meaningful ties between Israel and Illinois security agencies.

Commenting on behalf of the group of senior Israeli officers, Major General Eizenberg said, “The relationship with the Illinois National Guard is of strategic importance to Israel. The ILNG has expertise in specific areas which can benefit Israel’s security.”

Speaking for the Illinois National Guard, Brigadier General Richard Hayes said, “Israel has practical experience in emergency response to armed aggression which the National Guard can learn from. Israel is the United States’ most important strategic partner. This is a mutually beneficial relationship which will increase the effectiveness of both our units to provide better service to our citizens.”

Reflecting on the full schedule of the group’s activities, Michael Masters, Executive Director of the Cook County Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, said “The interactions between first responders in our region and our counterparts in Israel highlight not just the shared threats – both man-made and natural – that we face, they demonstrate how – by sharing best-practices, collaborating on training and developing plans together – we can enhance the safety and security of communities in both nations. For our part here at Cook County, we appreciate and welcome the role JUF plays in helping facilitate these essential partnerships.”  

In closing remarks at the dinner, JUF Executive Vice President Jay Tcath applauded the “collegial spirit and the tachliss work that characterizes this special arena – security cooperation – of the U.S.-Israel relationship. Israel and America are actively sharing best practices, strategies and intelligence in several spheres, and this partnership is thriving in Illinois in particular. Tonight’s half-work, half-celebratory dinner also served as an impromptu reunion for a number of local law enforcement officers who have traveled to Israel with JUF for intensive security seminars. The dividends from those JUF investments continue pay many dividends, for the citizens of Illinois and Israel alike.”

Participants in the two day exchange included:

  • Colonel Itshak Bar, Israel’s Home Front Command
  • Lieutenant Colonel Ariel Blitz, Israel’s Home Front Command
  • Protective Security Advisor, John Busch, U.S. Department of Homeland Security
  • 1st Lieutenant Sara Carr, Illinois National Guard
  • Major   Michael Eiter, Illinois National Guard
  • Major General  Eyal Eizenberg, Commander, Israel’s Home Front Command
  • Major Maxim Goldenberg, Israel’s Home Front Command
  • Deputy Director Ray Hamilton, Cook County Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management
  • Colonel Duane Hayden, Illinois National Guard
  • Brigadier General Richard Hayes, Deputy Adjutant General, Illinois National Guard
  • Brigadier General Daniel Krumrei, Adjutant General, Illinois National Guard
  • Colonel Christopher Lawson, Public Affairs Officer, Illinois National Guard
  • Executive Director Michael Masters, Cook County Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management
  • Major William Powers, National Guard Bureau Israel Desk Officer
  • Major Zackary Riddle, Illinois National Guard
  • Colonel Robert Roth, Judge Advocate General, Illinois National Guard
  • James Roussell, Chief of Staff, CPD
  • Executive Director Gary Schenkel, Office of Emergency Management and Communications, City of Chicago
  • Colonel Alicia Tate-Nadeau, National Guard Bureau
  • Major Lenny Williams,   Illinois National Guard
  • 1LT Sara Carr, Illinois National Guard
  • First Deputy Superintendent Al Wysinger, Chicago Police Department
  • Captain Dustin Cammack, Illinois National Guard

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