Robert Kosky, Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation
The Course - "I think most of us were aware by reputation that security in Israel was good. This course provided the historical context for a culture that integrates security into a way of life. It demonstrated the depth and breadth of training that almost every Israeli citizen is indoctrinated in, if not required to learn through their military service. This course provided in depth exposure to the integration of the Israeli model from military training to corporate security, to airport security, to religious site security. It also provided the complexity of cultural and religious diversity which influence security planning and threats.
Amotz Brandes was extremely knowledgeable regarding the rich history of Israel from a military, religious, and political standpoint, and gave incredible context to the Israel Model for security. Most impressively, he did so objectively and consistently without apparent bias. Each and every site was explained in context to security and the importance to Israel and the security challenges faced, both historically and presently.
Takeaways- Obviously, security in the U.S is not focused on national security threats. However, the security questioning portion of the course is one aspect of the Israel Model that the United States could expand and utilize in their current structure. In the U.S. we call this “threat assessment”, but do not use it in security training modules, and certainly do not use it in perimeter security. This is a key element of Israel Security from which other aspects flow, which makes the model very successful. As we discussed, in Israel, security technology is used to back up security based on assessment first. In the U.S., security is first driven by technology, with people used to respond/react to technology (alarms/sensors). This is the primary difference between the models used in Israel and the U.S., and from which the even corporations in the U.S.could begin to integrate on the micro level given the appropriate training and support.
Meals - My favorite part of this course was the time we spent together sharing meals. First, I enjoyed learning about the food from different cultures, from a Druze lunch, to an Islamic meal, to lots of falafel and hummus and olives. But more importantly, this was the only time we really had to sit and talk to one another and share our thoughts about our common experiences, both from our backgrounds, as well as what we were experiencing and learning in Israel. This time was a time of learning as well!"
Justin Nagy, Regional Manager - Allied Universal
“…there is a totally unique culture that surrounds their security deployment. From the Shin Bit’s involvement in the regulation and development of security deployment levels, training requirements and SOPs, to the culture of the individual citizens, and security officers to take full responsibility and ownership of their duties and assignment (a “not on my watch” state of mind) to the natural progression of military to security service while the officers work on their education is unique to Israel and what they as a country, and a people have experienced throughout the years. I returned with incredibly valuable material and thoughts on how we can enhance our service delivery across all markets and industries that we service.”
Strik, Senior Security Consultant de Rechtspraak, Nederlands
“My participation at the Chameleon seminar last October brought me a lot of new knowledge and experiences about security from the Israeli point of view. The combination of theoretical background information from an historical perspective in combination with our on-site visits in Gaza, Jerusalem, the Golan Heights and so on, was very worthwhile. There are certainly some aspects in the Israeli security model which can and may be implemented in our security-system in the near future. It was also very helpful to meet colleagues from all over the world working in different kinds of security during the seminar were given by high qualified speakers with a lot of experience in governmental or non-governmental security.”branches and to discuss with them about worldwide emerging threats and how to deal with those threats."
Mark Randol, U.S. Congressional Research Service
"This outstanding program is a must not only for security, intelligence, and counterterrorism professionals, but any Middle East area specialist. The program featured candid and informative briefings from senior Israeli officials with ample opportunity for questions and answers. It covered not only security at important government sites, monuments, and critical infrastructure, but the Chameleon team provided in-depth information about the region, Israeli society and politics, and national security challenges. Site visits to Ashkalon, Haifa, Galilee, the Golan Heights, and the Lebanese Border provided a very interesting perspective. This one of the most rewarding weeks I have spent in my professional life."
Van Hauwe, Etienne Securitas
"I recently attended the Behind the Scenes Seminar of Israel's CI and Security Operations. This seminar focused on securing the critical infrastructure in Israel and the daily threat which is going out from certain organizations against Israel. Our small group experienced a very thorough briefing by the heads of security (Security Managers) at every vital installation before being toured at each facility we visited. We saw without any exception how security was employed at different locations. This seminar facilitated networking with other security professionals and the sharing of best practices. I highly recommend this seminar. Do not miss it!"
Nicholas Proto, Commanding Officer FR Police Federal Reserve Bank of New York
"The Behind the Scenes of Israel's Counter-Terrorism and Security Operations was one of the most informative seminar I have attended since my earlier career days. Amotz and Avi were not only highly experienced professionals but where very accommodating to individual needs. To see how Israel deals with the security issues they face on a daily basis from the eyes of these professionals was well worth the cost. Thanks for this experience."
Yeo Meng Hin, Deputy President and Chief Operating Officer
"The Behind The Scenes Seminar conducted by Chameleon Associates was a real eye opener for me. We operate the mass rapid transit system in Singapore. Passenger safety and security is high on our agenda. The seminar showed how important for security is to be weaved into the minds, hearts and the job description of every person and role that an organization has. What struck me from the seminar was the mental focus and the enthusiasm of the individuals for the security of the premises or the lives they protect. The seminar also facilitated networking with like minded professionals and possible sharing of best practices from participants coming from Israel, Europe, America and Asia."
Richard L. Weaver, President of a US Federal Government Contractor
"I recently attended Chameleon's "The Israeli Security Model" which focused on securing critical infrastructure in Israel--which has direct implications for the threats and problems we are facing in the US. This was a great learning experience, and one which I would recommend to other senior or executive security personnel. I have just two words to say about the guys at Chameleon: (1) "Connected" and (2) "Logistics". These folks are obviously well and highly-connected and we were allowed access to places and procedures, and had discussions with senior persons that otherwise would not have been possible. From a logistics point of view, this seminar was put together like a Swiss watch, with lots of moving parts (and hence chances for things to go wrong) they pulled this off flawlessly from check-in at Newark to wheels up in Tel Aviv. And while not included in the two words I can also add (3) "First Class"—which included the accommodations, food, and internal travel arrangements. From a learning perspective--a highly valuable experience that gave me many ideas to consider—not to mention the chance to network with an eclectic and fun group of fellow senior attendees." Highly recommended".
Andrew Wray, Executive Vice-President - Marketing Infrastruct Security, Inc
"Chameleon has unlocked the mystery behind putting together a first class overseas seminar. My thanks to Amotz and his team, this course was extremely well done. There is obviously a lot of detail work that goes into this ahead of time, Chameleon did their homework and were 100% ready for us when we arrived. Everyday was highly productive and insightful and I never felt like there was more to accomplish. The pace was reasonable with the right balance between learning sessions and site visits. Often times we struggle to find the key concepts due to information overload. Not to worry each day fully recapped the important information learned. I would highly recommend this course to anyone who wants a better understanding of how to make their state, town or even facility a safer more secure place. Thanks guys."
L. Samuel Pfeifle, Editor Security Systems News
"As a journalist who covers the North American security market, I thought I'd seen just about every way to do security. But the inside view that Chameleon gave us into the way Israelis approach security showed me there was yet another level. You can't quite understand it until you see it first-hand."
John D. Abbott, CPP (RCMP Retired) Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
"Chameleon Associates provides the seminar candidates a 'once in a lifetime' opportunity to tour the country of Israel, not as a tourist, but as a visiting security specialist. Behind the scene tours of various target hardened facilities throughout Israel combined with security seminars at each location make each site visit particularly informative. As a 2008 candidate, I was amazed at the level of respect and close relationship that Chameleon enjoyed with military, police, and local governments throughout Israel that provided us with this unique opportunity. Of particular interest, was the training emphasis on the human factor and behavior profiling throughout our lecture series that provided me as a candidate a very tangible investigative concept that I could return home with for further development through Chameleon Associates. It was a religious and cultural rich experience as well seeing the many ancient and historic sites throughout this wonderful country. On a high note, the dining experiences and outstanding hotels provided us on our tour were fantastic. I highly recommend this seminar. Don't miss this opportunity."
SGM Brett Scantlin, U.S. Army
"Chameleon Associates behind the scenes security seminar in Israel more than met my expectations. As a career soldier in the US Army I appreciated the wealth of Information presented, along with the frank and honest assessments of the current security situation in Israel by the Chameleon Associates staff and their guest speakers. I am taking several very practical ideas back to the Army with me such as Profiling, Red Teaming, and Security Questioning. These concepts are not new; however the application observed in Israel was unique and practical, and I believe would enhance the security capabilities of any organization concerned with security issues."
Don McKinnon, London PD
"I have been in policing for over 30 years. I can honestly say that Chameleon offers one of the most comprehensive and thought provoking programs I ever been a participant in. The staff are extremely knowledgeable, professional and attentive. Never did a question go unanswered. The program in its entirety was very well organized. The program affords the student the opportunity to learn hands-on in a front-line environment where the country is your classroom. It was a most invaluable experience that provided me with knowledge and experiences that I will always have with me. What an amazing opportunity it is to be presented with a historical situation, its challenges, and potential solutions."
Rafael Abello, Third Generation Holding Corp. Philippines
"The Israeli Security Model Seminar conducted by Chameleon comes very highly recommended for all security practitioners. Our group experienced a very thorough briefing by the heads of security at every vital installation before being toured at each facility we visited. In Israel, one can fully appreciate the different levels of security employed at different locations. Techniques, equipment, personnel training all come together as one nation with multiple military/police agencies work seamlessly to protect itself from external and to some degree internal aggression. Kudos to Chameleon."
Director, Singapore Mass Rapid Transit
"The Israeli Security Model Seminar conducted by Chameleon Associates was a real eye opener for me. We operate the Mass Rapid Transit system in Singapore. Passenger safety and security is high on our agenda. The seminar showed how important it is for security to be weaved into the minds, hearts and the job description of every person and role of an organization. What struck me from the seminar was the mental focus and the enthusiasm of the individuals for the security of the premises or the lives they protect. The Chameleon seminar also facilitated networking with like-minded professionals and the possibility of sharing best practices from participants coming from Israel, Europe, the Americas and Asia."
Sharon L. Caudle, Ph.D., Assistant Director Homeland Security U.S
"This seminar is truly exemplary in terms of the 'behind the scenes' access to Israeli security managers and the facilities they protect. Organized to include a wide diversity of major critical infrastructure in a rapid pace format, the seminar provided a broad and in-depth perspective of Israeli security concepts, practices, and planned evolution. The planned limited number of participants—representing many countries and security roles—facilitated a seminar learning environment with both formal briefings and site visits of physical facilities. I recommend it highly for any who want to know how Israeli security arrangements really work and what is transferable to other countries."
Randy Williamson, Deputy VP Alutiiq, LLC
"I really don't think I would change or add anything to the seminar. The seminar was excellent. It gave me an opportunity to look at all aspects of security, especially in the area of Israel's critical infrastructure. I also gained an insight into the vast myriad of security systems utilized by the IDF and security forces. One item that you emphasized that I believe is very important, is the coordination of the security forces, IDF, and police. It appears that everyone knows the procedures in case of an incident. Thanks again for the outstanding seminar."
Garland Dennett, Director - International Areas LDS Church
"I lived and worked in Israel for two years. I have been in and out of Israel yearly for the past twenty years. I thought I had seen it all. I was wrong. Chameleon took me to places and gave me insights into the Israel security scene that were new to me and will make me better at my job. The things I learned would be a bargain even at a higher price."
J.R. (Roger) Monette, Security Manager - Canada Conoco Phillips Canada
"Thank you for providing this seminar to our group. As you well know, our group was comprised of police officers, Homeland Security professionals and security professionals from the private sector. Your seminar has provided us with a unique insight into the security details taken to protect a particular facility whether it be a seaport, airport, refinery or border. Security concepts and equipment utilized were viewed as being the model for all of us to set. I was impressed at how seamless and invisible the layers of security were implemented and more importantly with little or no disruption disruption to the public / flow of traffic. What I walked away with was the unique and close relationship the private sector sector security professionals have with both the police and intelligence community. This is something we strive to achieve in North America and in my view, Israel is the leader in this type of cooperation. I highly recommend this seminar to anyone involved in the security of our nations / facilities."
Dr. Dave McIntyre Co-host of the public radio program - Homeland Security Inside and Out
"I was a bit skeptical. So was my boss who paid the bill. But the Behind the Scenes Security Seminar was worth every penny. I came away with many new ideas. I teach homeland security at the graduate level, and I revised the curriculum I teach all the way home on the plane."
Richard G. Irwin, Vice President of Homeland Security Alutiiq, LLC.
"The Behind the Scenes seminar is by far the best educational tour that I have been on in my 30 plus years of US government and private sector service. It is a must for any security professional. I will highly recommend it."
Donald Conceicao, Director of Security IDB Bank
"Anyone who has the responsibility for physical security should attend this seminar. I have served over 20 years in the New York City Police Department and currently serve as Security Director for a major New York City bank. This is without question the most insightful and informative security training available, with access to, and lectures by those at the highest levels of Israeli government and critical infrastructure facilities. The techniques and methods gleaned by attending Chameleons "Behind the Scenes" training will greatly improve your ability to protect those whose safety you are responsible for".
Bill Austin, Chairperson Capitol Region Emergency Planning Committee (CREPC) Hartford, Connecticut
"As a fire chief and emergency management director, I found the Israeli Counter-Terrorism Course to be an excellent educational experience. From the opening intel briefing to the various activities at each sector of their critical infrastructure, I found the program to be informative, well planned and pertinent in protecting the country. The mindset of the nation, their experiences with real situations and the resiliency of the citizens were impressive and perception changing. This program was a true value for the cost and I would highly recommend it to any homeland security official."
Howard Feldman, President Pioneer Emergency Response
"I highly recommend this tour. It uncovers most of the mystique behind the Israeli security culture and methodology. The participants on our program were from six different countries worldwide. They represented law enforcement, homeland security, military, religious organizations, airlines; oil companies financial organizations, and security managers. I believe 100 % of the participants came back with new ideas. It also created interesting worldwide networking opportunities. The Israelis were anxious to share their security knowledge with their group participants because the threats Israel faces are now worldwide problems. I have been on several programs looking at Israeli security/ counter terrorism areas. This program rates A+ Feel free to contact".
John Laux, Police Chief Bloomington, MN Police Department.
"I was impressed with the level of access to areas normally off limits for most people. The top level staff we met with were open and candid with their comments and were responsive to our questions."
Ms. Saw Phaik Hwa, President and CEO Singapore Mass Rapid Transit
Bill Coughtrie, Aviation Security Advisor FedEx
"The opportunity to visit a Country under constant threat of terrorist attack, and assess how they manage the risk in their day to day living, and protect the people, industry and buildings of historic interest was not to be missed."
Eric Parra, Captain Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department
"The Behind the Scenes seminar conducted by Chameleon Associates provides valuable information regarding the outstanding security procedures employed by the public and private sector in Israel. In addition to learning the technical security protocols, the contacts are invaluable. Chameleon Associates handles all aspects of the seminar in a friendly, energetic and positive manner."
Joseph W. Augustyn, Senior Associate Booz Allen Hamilton
"The inside look at how the Israelis conduct their counterterrorism practices was a rewarding, interesting and extremely substantive educational experience. The tour was well planned and well managed, and conducted by people who through their backgrounds and experiences were well positioned to add insight into what we saw. I recommend this seminar to all who have a professional or serious need to understand how a country with a long and proud tradition of fighting terrorism has taken on the challenge head-on and, in so doing, has set the standard for the rest or us."
Ofer Azoulay, CEO SFW LLC
"It would be great if you can keep this seminar going on a regular basis, so more people can be exposed to the vast knowledge of security professionals in the state of Israel. The mix of industries introduced in the seminar and the introduction to the daily terrorism challenges in Israel was just perfect."
C.H.D - Director, Justice and Public Safety - Fortune 500 Company
"This seminar was invaluable in understanding the proven Israeli security models used in the ongoing war against terrorism. Access to leading experts, diverse facilities, and sensitive security operations were exceptional, enhancing the learning experience immeasurably. Observing and gaining a better understanding of the close cooperation and information sharing between local private security organizations and law enforcement agencies alone was worth the price."
Max Fratoddi, President The CDX Group, Inc.
"The Chameleon Behind the Scenes Tour was invaluable for many reasons, but three stand out: It made clear the overriding priority of national security over all other interests, it provided true insight into the state of mind required to maintain a quality of life balance in an environment in constant, deadly conflict, and, the unique nature of and relationship between public and private security entities in Israel."
Michael "Moose" Moore, CEO Vigilance Group
"Our core business at Vigilance Group is to teach America's infrastructure (healthcare, schools, businesses) that Vigilance Reduces Vulnerabilities. I knew Chameleon Associates were the best at this training, but the trip to the Israel far exceeded any expectations that I had. Although, I have flown fighters all over the world, and have participated in numerous military readiness exercises, the depth and scope of this "seminar" has been the highlight of my tactical education. It was an honor to learn from the world's best!"
Mark Furman, Consultant Fox News
"If you really want to understand Homeland Security then attend Chameleons Israeli Security Model seminar in Israel. This is not a classroom based curriculum. The entire week is a hands on exposure to security and terrorist threats in a country that knows all too well about the subject and lives every moment with the threat. If you have the desire to understand the dynamics of the Middle East and the necessary elements of security in the 21st century then you must attend this seminar. The day at Ben Gurion Airport is worth its weight in gold. When you walk away from the airport you realize that every airport in America is virtually without security. Israel has become the first and last word in security for one simple reason... necessity. You could spend years reading and studying terrorism, security, and threat assessment and not accomplish an understanding that this one seminar offers and in my opinion delivers."
Dr. Thomas Curtis Department of Sociology, University of Hawaii
"Participation in the executive seminar was like spending a week in a living homeland security laboratory. Everyone in the group was astounded with the access to experts and facilities that Chameleon was able to arrange. I came home with a grasp of both the philosophy and application of Israeli counterterrorism practices beyond all expectations."
Stephen Howard, Director of Programs, Omnium Protection Group
"A week very well spent. Chameleon Associates has created a very comprehensive training for the experienced safety and security operative/practitioner. Let me state here that this is a first class trip that is extremely well organized and immerses the attendee in the Israeli Security Model as well as the land of Israel. Chameleon afforded us amazing access to critical infrastructures, emergency responders as well as the key stakeholders responsible for the security of this very complicated land. The course takes you into the different cultures and shows how they coexist within the State of Israel.
Amotz Brandes was the lead instructor and I cannot say enough about his level of expertise, leadership, service excellence and his ability to convey astronomical amounts of information to all attendees to bring back and share with their organizations. With Amotz at the helm of this training, each day was as, or more interesting than the last. It was also great working with fellow classmates from other parts of the world who face similar issues and bring differing approaches to handling them."