Three months after the successful nationwide Turning Point 3 exercise, the Home Front Command now turns its focus to the international arena

Date: 09/09/2009, 6:07 PM    

An international seminar on crisis management began on Sunday (Sept. 5) in the convention center at Kibbutz Shefayim. The seminar, which continues throughout the week, was attended by senior representatives from various countries involved directly or indirectly in search and rescue missions, including France, Romania, Croatia, USA, Nigeria, Austria, Kenya, Jordan, India and others.

The seminar was divided into five day-long sections. On the first day, participants learned about Israel’s Home Front Command and defense. On the second day, Israelis shared their recently learned lessons on treating civilian populations and also toured the rocket-stricken town of Sderot with their foreign colleagues. During the following days, the participants, among other things, toured Jerusalem where they learned about Jewish history and also visited the Yad Vashem Holocaust museum. The seminar will also deal with the topics of handling unconventional terrorism as well as conventional threats, and implementing lessons from the past.

“What’s special about this seminar is its tradition and hence its strength,” explains Lt. Col. Itai Peleg, director of the seminar and head of the Planning and Organization Branch of the Home Front Command. He notes with satisfaction that the seminar has become a regular event already held six times in the past.

Lt. Col. Peleg adds that while most of the knowledge shared in the seminar is theoretical, there are also simulations and illustrations that can be used for practical means. After the seminar, during which the theoretical lessons are studied by senior ranking officers, the information is passed through them to soldiers of all ranks to implement simulations and drills.

The Home Front Command wishes that the seminar will increase international cooperation with the participating countries. In addition to that, the seminar raises the hope that working relationships will be easily institutionalized in case of a national disaster occurring in Israel.