JERUSALEM, Israel – The fight against terrorism is a common bond between the United States and Israel.
A recent night's celebration of first responders showed how the close relationship between Israel and the United States goes beyond the country's leaders to those on the front lines.
Michael Oren, Photo, CBN News, Jonathan Goff
"We face not only similar enemies; we face similar threats. We are standing together. We are defending the same civilization, the same values, the same beliefs, Israeli MK Michael Oren said. "We are you, you are us. We are fighting for the same cause, and we are deeply appreciative of everything you do to make America safe because when America is safe, the world is safe."
US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman recognized their bravery.
"You are truly heroes. We owe you an eternal debt of gratitude. There's not enough I can say about you, of course that applies to the first responders in Israel, as well who keep us safe here," he said.
The Advanced Security Training Institute hosted the event. It works with US professionals by teaching them the latest security techniques from Israel."
"Here in Israel, they love to share," Yisroel Stefansky, founder of the institute, told CBN News. "The way I see it is I tell the US first responders, 'I don't want America to lose the blood that Israel went through and is still going through to figure out what they are going to do to protect themselves.
"So come learn from us so you can save lives back home. Don't reinvent the wheel,"' he continued. "They admit that it's because the training they went through in Israel they were able to save lives in their community."
US first responders come several times a year to train with their Israeli counterparts.
First Responders Visit the Cave of the Patriarchs, the Machpelah, in Hebron, Photo, CBN News, Jonathan Goff
"It's been amazing. We've been to the Gaza Strip. We've been to two to three borders. We've been to critical infrastructures to understand how your country protects these infrastructures," said Ronnie Gill, director of emergency management for Prince Georges County, Maryland.
"I think most members of the team if not all truly appreciate what we've gotten so far. To be honest with you, if I left today I would go home with a wealth of knowledge and I still have three more days to gain more," he said.
"It's been incredible, everyone has been very friendly, Lt. Brian Ruck, commander of the Fairfax County Police Department said.
"I'm getting to see all of the stories that we hear on the news and the different things about the conflicts that are going on here to see them up close and talk with the people that deal with this every day has been incredible," Ruck said. "Security professionals have been amazing."
Training team, Photo, CBN News, Jonathan Goff
The 9/11 terror attacks served as the catalyst for this cooperative effort.
Carrie Sims, COO with the Advanced Security Training Institute said relationships between participants have helped make the US more secure.
"What the goal of this organization is to help first responders understand counter-terrorism and cyber security from an Israeli perspective because they have immense experience and knowledge in these two areas," Sims said. "But also what's happened is (it's) built relationships between Israelis and Americans over the years that really helps create a more secure United States. We need them and they need us. The State of Israel is (home to) God's chosen people and as believers we need to support that."