CBNNews.com - JERUSALEM, Israel - Israel Defense Forces (IDF) reservists who helped train Georgian combat troops weren't surprised by Russia's attack on Georgia.
The soldiers, who conducted a four-month training course for Georgia's military last winter, are monitoring reports of the fighting.
"We have their [their soldiers'] phone numbers, but we haven't been able to reach them. These are people we know, and we're all hoping for their success," one Israeli trainer said.
"The military bases where we trained the soldiers are practically gone. The Russians have been bombing them over the past few days," he said. "The bases where we trained the forces were not in the areas of conflict, but it's not a huge country, and the Russians are bombing bases in central Georgia and in the area of the capital, Tbilisi," he said.
The soldier, a former combat officer in an elite IDF unit, was hired by Global CST and Defense Shield, shortly after he ended his army service last year.
"It looked interesting," he said of the job offer.
"There was an atmosphere of war about to break out," he said. "We received basic background about tensions between Georgia and Russia, but most of what I learned came from talking to the [Georgian] soldiers [themselves]," he said.
"From my point of view, the battles of the past few days were to be expected," he said.
Major General Israel Ziv, head of Global GST, and Brigadier General Gal Hirsch, owner of Defense Shield, came periodically, "but we managed day-to-day operations ourselves," the trainer said, who worked with a reconnaissance unit.
"It's not the standard we know in Israel, but when we left them, they were at a good level. They took the training very seriously," he said.
"There is a wider age range than in Israel -- from 18 to 35 -- but they function very well. Over the past few days, I've been following the news and I think they grasped a little of how to use strategy like we taught them," he said.
"We were at some of the soldiers' homes for dinner. They're very emotional and warm and tried to compare the situation in Israel to their situation," he said. "They were very excited that we had come to help them," he said.
The course, which was approved by Israel's Defense Ministry, finished in April.