National Guard leaders visited military leaders in Israel last week to forge a new relationship, proposing to exchange ideas, training and their expertise on response to natural disasters and terrorist attacks. “We see the American people, and particularly the National Guard, as our family,” said Maj. Gen. Yitzshak (Jerry) Gershon who leads the branch of the Israeli Defense Force Home Front Command, Israel's equivalent to the National Guard. US Lt. Gen. Steven H. Blum, chief of the National Guard Bureau, led a 25-member delegation to Israel and plans to pursue future exchanges with the Israelis. “I think this is a natural marriage,” Blum said. “We are two nations in a world that is a very, very dangerous place. We are two democracies with a common purpose and common values."