In July 2005, for the first time in Israel's history, IDF troops were able to train with NATO. The two-and-a-half weeks of training took place at the Yavoriv Training Center in Ukraine. Israel and twenty-one other nations joined together for anti-terrorist exercises.
Israeli troops found themselves the center of attention during the weeks of drills. The other NATO countries looked to the IDF for advice on combating terrorism in their own countries. The IDF soldiers were put in charge of training the troops of the other countries. The Israelis themselves were placed in companies with the rest of the soldiers, and were under the command of Ukrainian and Macedonian troops.
The focus of the training was peacekeeping strategies in the 22 countries. Israel displayed many of its own methods of controlling urban conflict, and also received advice on controlling terror. Upon completion, the IDF soldiers reported that many of the other countries admitted to using more aggressive tactics when trying to control conflict in their cities. The IDF, having always been considered an aggressive force, appeared more moderate when compared to some of the NATO members' extreme measures.
The IDF received outstanding marks from Macedonia and Ukraine at the end of their training. After leaving the training center, the IDF troops were sent to the Negev to assist in a peacekeeping mission where they could put their new skills to use.
Sources: Jerusalem Post, "IDF Troops Train with NATO for First Time" (July 22, 2005)