SkyKnight Presents: IAF-Part 14: “Sharp & Smooth”

During the 2006 Lebanon War, Operation Sharp & Smooth was an IDF Special Forces raid on a hospital in the city of Baalbek, which was being used as a Hezbollah HQ. The hospital was one of several facilities the IDF suspected may have been used to treat or hold two Israeli soldiers abducted in an ambush that sparked the conflict.

BRIEFING

 July 2006

Known in Lebanon as the July War and in Israel as the Second Lebanon War, this military conflict began on July 12, 2006 when Hezbollah militants ambushed an Israeli army border patrol in a cross border raid, kidnapping two Israeli soldiers and killing three others. During the 34-day war that followed, Israel’s air force targeted Lebanese infrastructure and Hezbollah bases, and the IDF launched a ground invasion of Southern Lebanon. Concurrently, Hezbollah launched hundreds of rockets and missiles into northern Israel, killing 43 Israeli civilians and causing 300,000-500,000 Israelis to flee from the northern part of the country. 

The two Israeli soldiers who were abducted and taken by Hezbollah to Lebanon were Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev.  Hezbollah demanded the release of Lebanese prisoners held by Israel in exchange for the release of the abducted soldiers. Israel refused and responded with airstrikes and artillery fire on targets in Lebanon.

 

The Operation

Operation Sharp & Smooth was one of a number of raids carried out by the IDF Special Forces during the 2006 Lebanon War. The operation occurred the night of August 1, and involved the elite commando units Shaldag of the Israeli Air Force, and Sayeret Matkal of the IDF. Shaldag fast roped by helicopter, while the Sayeret Matkal were inserted via C-130 paradrop.  Air cover was provided by AH-64A attack helicopters, and F-16C fighters.  Several bombing runs were carried out around the hospital and on hills east and north of Baalbek.

Upon landing, the two units split up. The Shladag unit proceeded to the Dar al-Hikma hospital, the last reported location for the two abducted Israeli soldiers, and a known HQ for Hezbollah. Sayeret Matkal secured the Baalbek Temple complex, a large and vast ruins from the time of the Roman empire, now being used as a storage area for Iranian weapons smuggled in through Syria.  The precise objectives of the raid remain classified to this day, but it is known that a number of Lebanese, including Hezbollah and armed Lebanese Communist Party members, were killed.

 

Our Mission

  • F-16C – Secure Baalbek AO in advance of Special Forces arrival
  • UH-1H – Insert Shaldag commandos into the Dar al-Hikma hospital via rooftop landing
  • C-130 – Insert Sayeret Matkal commandos into the Baalbek Temple ruins via paradrop
  • Recover all teams as briefed
    • Extraction via C-130 from unimproved dirt strip 5nm WSW of Baalbek
    • UH-1H will ferry troops to C-130 location for extraction
  • This is a deep insertion op into northern Lebanon that will show Hezbollah there is no where they can hide from the IAF
  • This op will be executed at night
  • Altimeter 30.50

 

INTEL
THREAT ASSEMENT

  • Technicals and APC equipped with 12.7 mm
  • 23mm AAA
  • Katyusha Rockets
  • Rayak Air Base Lebanon was bombed on July 13, and is inop

 

CA SPECIAL FORCES OBJECTIVES

  • Locate and extract:
    • “Sharp” and “Smooth” – The 2 Israeli soldiers abducted at the start of conflict
  • Locate and tag (fire a round into it):
    • Iranian Weapons smuggled in through Syria
    • Syrian SCUD-B missiles in shipping containers
  • Locate and terminate with extreme prejudice:
    • Senior Hezbollah commanders
  • Locate and destroy:
    • Katyusha rocket trucks
    • Syrian Farj-3 MLRS
    • The Prize: Syrian SCUD-B TEL

AIR TASKING ORDER
Heron FLT (UH-1H) 

  • 3 Aircraft Available
  • Tasking:
    1. Insert Shaldag commandos into the Dar al-Hikma hospital
    2. Assist Sayeret Matkal commandos in search for weapons around Baalbek Temple ruins.  Use Search Lights!
    3. Recover commandoes from hospital and temple Drop Zone and ferry them to C-130 for extraction
    4. RTB Kiryat.  Check fuel state for return home
  • Armament: M134 Door Guns
  • Home Base at Kiryat Shmona
  • Altimeter 30.50

 

Barak FLT (F-16C)

  • 3 Aircraft Available
  • Tasking:
    1. Attack air defenses and enemy fortified positions in and around Baalbek.  Any threat to the insertion or teams. 
    2. Provide cover for extraction op
  • Armament: Pilot’s choice.  May want one A/C with 3 x Ext Tanks
  • Aircraft will be Up and Ready on the Ramp
  • Home Base at Ramat David

 

Karnaf FLT (C-130)

  • 1 Aircraft Available
  • Tasking:
    1. Insert Sayeret Matkal commandos and LAV-25 APC into Baalbek Temple ruins Drop Zone. A precision drop is essential, to avoid loss of commandos!
    2. Land on unimproved dirt road strip marked by smoke markers on either ends, and an IR Beacon on approach end.  Landing strip rwy 27.  Total length 7500ft. Await arrival of UH-1H with commandos.
    3. Extract commando teams. Take off from unimproved dirt road strip and RTB to Ramat David
  • Home Base at Ramat David

 

Peten FLT (AH-64A) AI

  • NPC
  • Tasking: Escort Heron Flight
  • Armament: 8 x AGM-114 Hellfire; Hydra Rockets; 30mm Chain Gun
  • Home Base at Kiryat Shmona
 

PILOT DUTY ROSTER

Enter your Callsign and confirm your availability for this mission by selecting either

(Flying) or (Grounded)

  • Baldawg
    4015
  • Floundog
    4014
  • Hook
    4016
  • Mafia
    4021
  • Rico
    4013
  • Skunk
    4017
  • Skyknight
    4012
  • Vulcan
    4019
  • Airdog
    4018
  • Zero
    4020

 

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