IAF Honors Helicopter Crew for 2006 Bravery

May 3, 2012  

IAF Commander Maj. Gen. Iddo Nechushtan awarded a citation to the air crew members of a Yasur CH-53 helicopter that extricated elite IDF fighters from Baalbek, Lebanon, in the 2006 Second Lebanon War.

Lt. Col. Emanuel Moreno was killed in this operation. His photograph may not be published to this day, for security reasons.

Among the recipients of the citation is Col. Daniel Shifenbauer, who was killed in a CH-53 crash in Romania on July 26, 2010. His widow, Yael, received the citation in his place.

Another recipient of the IAF Commander’s Citation was only identified to the press as Lt. Col. N.

In addition, citations from the Tel Nof IAF Base Commander were given to Lt. Col. (res.) A., Captain B., Advanced Sgt. Maj. A. and First Sgt. Maj. N., for displaying responsibility, professionalism and solidarity.

Two Yasur helicopters carried the Sayeret Matkal deep behind enemy lines to Baalbek, Lebanon, where they undertook a crucial operation under Lt. Col. Moreno’s command. After the commandos disembarked, the helicopters awaited them at a distance, in order to carry them home later.

The enemy discovered the presence of the Sayeret Matkal force, Lt. Col. Moreno was hit by Hizbullah fire, and the scene of the operation began to heat up. The commandos had to be extricated.

Under heavy fire and at great risk, the Yasur helicopters from the Night Predators Squadron under Col. Shifenbauer entered the scene of the action with covering fire from a combat helicopter. They came under increasingly accurate antiaircraft fire. When they landed, the helicopters were covered by a cloud of smoke and gunpowder that  caused the crew members to choke. The commandos boarded the helicopters and were successfully extricated.

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