Feb. 14, 2008
We got an early start and headed off 90km north for Haifa to pay a visit to the Haifa Port Co. Wait, let's get some perspective here. No better way to do that then to go on Mt. Carmel and take a look below. If you look off in the distance you can almost make out the shoreline of Lebanon. Yeah, we're that close.
I'm in a jacket because today was cold and rainy. Below is a better view of the port.
It's there off in the distance.
The port has five terminals each with no connection to the other. One of the ports is the Chemical Terminal. You may remember that in 2006 the Hezbollah fired over 150 rockets that targeted and killed many of the citizens of Haifa in the Second Lebanon War. The rockets came in every 4 hours, so under those conditions the port operated in secret at times when attacks were the least likely to occur. The port, like all the facilities we visited thinks of security in circles or 'security rings' as they call them. These are: Outer - Intelligence, outdoor security, periphery security, indoor security, special areas, maritime port security, and command and control - Inner.
They have 150 Guards and 200 inspectors and make use of 135 cameras to view everything; starting out 150m from the fence line moving inward. They don't have the latest in cargo scanning or high-tech fencing but are planning on making that investment in the very near future. They are also considering investments in; a mobile scanning system, biometric control system and an updated central alarm center.
It is clear they have a mission to improve their security and, although there is a lot of security here, this is really the first place I have been in Israel where you can say the USA is way ahead of them. They are planning on adding RFID in the future but say that the technology is still too expensive.
Next stop in Haifa was the Rambam Health Care Campus. We visited the Mass Casualty Trauma Center following presentations by the Center Director, Medical Director and Security Director. Each had a very interesting story to tell. Most of these stories were about how to handle mass casualties, develop protocols, perform triage and deliver treatment. Note: Mass Casualties: This means taking in patients beyond your capacity to treat them. The security director stages no less than 7 security drills everyday. This team is so knowledgeable that they have developed a training program that they deliver around the world. FYI, we are no where near the stage of preparedness these guys are. If you have a hospital and want them to train you, please tell me in this blog, I will get you all the information.
The next series of pictures are of a conex they use to store the emergency preparedness items they will need during times of crisis. I believe it is wise for any large scale company, hospital or office building to have one of these on-site.
If you ever watched t.v. in the US during the many raids on Israel, then the picture of the vehicle below should be familiar to you.
Time to make our way back toward Tel Aviv. But not before we had lunch at Caesarea. Caesarea is home to an ancient Roman city. Cold and rainy but great food with a beautiful but eery view. You can see out there, beyond where the waves are breaking, the ancient city has fallen into the sea. Well you can't really see it from here guys, you're gonna have to dive down to see it.
Luckily, when there are rainy days you can still see plenty of what is left above ground. This one is of a moat.
Our last stop of the day was to the International Security Academy for a tactical training preview and hands on weapons experience. The center is used to train the Israeli Olympic Teams and military special forces. Below ground there is an indoor firing range and hostage simulation area. With ear plugs in place, we watched as a team in training simulated a hostage crisis. Of course in Israel they only use the latest in weaponry. Featured in this exercise was the Corner Shot (trademarked). This product has been featured on Future Weapons, The Discovery Channel and numerous other places including the US national news. I had a chance to meet the inventor, who says that he has adapted the system to accept other types of weapons.
Following that simulation we gathered in the rain to witness a hostage take down on a multi-story building. The next thing I knew, two men jumped over the side of a building, one hand on a rope the other on a weapon. They landed against the balcony with feet planted as they systematically took out the bad guys with live-fire blanks. Awesome!! Except for my friend Sam who volunteered to be one of the bad guys. By the look on his face after words you got the impression they didn't exactly brief him on what was going to happen. Well, that's what it's all about, the element of surprise. The bad guys should never even have time for one last thought. Luckily, Sam does....
All the weapons used during these two simulation events were then presented to us at yet another firing range. First thing first, get to know your weapon. Then load up and go crazy. I got to fire the latest in automatic machine guns. My choice was called a Tavor CTAR assault rifle. I nailed the balloon they pinned up for a head, pulled off a few extra rounds for good measure and then had to come down from the mountain. Anyone who gets all worked up by firing weapons, like I do, knows exactly what I mean (it's a rush). If you don't know consult your local gun dealer (I've got contacts) or ask Ted Nugent.
The Israeli Export Institute represents many Israeli companies that manufacture emerging technologies. Their products are often times in the early stages of development and these companies are looking for American companies to help take their products to the next level. I will provide you with a complete list of those products and the companies after I have had a chance to take it all in. I will tell you this, on the weapons side, there are some really cool things waiting for our law enforcement. And to that one special person in OKC, you know who I mean, I got you all the brochures and import contact information.
This will be my last entry until next week. I am heading out with the guys one last time tomorrow and they say we will not be back until very late in the evening. We are going way up north to the boarder with Syria and then out into the the mountains to have dinner with a Bedouin Tribe. I need to then get back, pack and wake up early for the long flight home.
On my final post I will deliver all the extras I promised in previous posts. This will include some awesome videos, pictures of Old Town Jerusalem, The Technology Showcase manufacturers and so much more.
See You When I Get Back. I has been a pleasure sharing all this with you. Shalom....Andrew