LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – A city in south Arkansas houses branches of aerospace and defense companies, producing materials used in Israel as the country defends against Hamas attacks.

Former Gov. Asa Hutchinson said those companies show the Natural State’s importance on the global stage.

Hutchinson said companies like Lockheed Martin, Raytheon Technologies, and Aerojet Rocketdyne are crucial to the defense of Israel, making products that he was told save lives.

“Well, many people don’t realize how significant Arkansas is in the aero defense industry,” Hutchinson said.

The town of Camden houses several branches of aerospace and defense companies. Hutchinson said they’re making products used on the global stage, protecting Arkansans’ loved ones in Israel.

Rabbi Barry Block, Rabbi for the congregation B’nai Isra, said he is one such Arkansan.

“It’s very personal for us, I have family, friends, colleagues in Israel, many of my congregants have dear ones in Israel as well,” Block said.

Block said even though this war is miles away, it hits close to home.

“I have a niece who is currently sheltering at home with her three young children, her husband has been called up to reserve duty, thank God they have a safe room at their house,” Block said.

 He said he fears for their safety but is thankful for the defense they have in place.

When Hutchinson visited Israel in 2022, he shared information about the production in the Natural State and said he was given a message to bring back home.

“The prime minister looked at me and simply said, ‘You tell the people of Camden and Arkansas, that you’re saving thousands of Israeli lives by what you produce,” Hutchinson said.

Hutchinson said he is proud of the efforts of Arkansans as they are helping at home and abroad.