from VOA News: Top Stories by David Byrd
Some German pilots that are part of NATO operations in Afghanistan are in Israel for training on special reconnaissance drones. The Jewish state's expertise is helping to train the Germans to protect ground troops and convoys in Afghanistan.
Germany has the third-largest NATO contingent in Afghanistan - 4,300 personnel. The Germans ordered a small fleet of the Heron drones from Israel Aerospace Industries to help prevent civilian casualties and friendly-fire incidents in the rugged Afghan terrain.
Israel is one of the pioneers of combat drones, having used the remote-controlled aircraft in Lebanon and the Palestinian territories. The United States, Canada, France, Australia and Spain also use drones in Afghanistan.
But Israeli experts training German pilots at an airbase that Britain's RAF used to fight the Germans in World War II is an historical irony not lost on Tomer Koriat, the deputy director of the training project. Koriat says his team has a great deal of respect for their German students. "How do I feel about this issue, us supporting the Germans? From the beginning of the project till today all of us have learned that today we are talking about another Germany than what we used to know," said Koriat.