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WORLD NEWS 15
Army November 12, 2009
AUSTRALIAN and Afghan soldiers
have constructed a patrol base to estab-
lish a permanent security presence in
Afghanistan's Mirabad Valley.
MRTF 2's Maj David Trotter said
Operation Baz Panje allowed the engi-
neers to deploy forward and construct
the patrol base after discussions with
local leaders on their security needs.
"The combat teams of MRTF 2
inserted into the area via an air mobile
operation, disrupting the insurgents'
command and control, and degrad-
ing their ability to mount an effective
response," Maj Trotter said.
"This was one of the largest air
mobile operations conducted by
Australian conventional forces since
Vietnam and was highly successful in
forcing the insurgents out of the area and
creating a secure environment."
Lt Josh Porter said planning for the
new patrol base began when MRTF 2
arrived in country and stores were
ordered on a templated design.
"Once a site was identified, troops
mobilised with only minor amendments
made to the templated design based on a
reconnaissance," he said.
The site chosen for the patrol base
is close to the Green Zone, the name
used for the irrigated farming areas in
"The major hurdle was heavy vehicle
access to the site. This was mitigated
through the deployment of a team to
prepare the route," Lt Porter said. "The
large convoy, including the majority of
construction plant fleet, commenced
force protection works immediately after
arriving at the site."
The construction team included a
small number of tradesmen and plant
operators, ANA engineers and some
"The minimal site preparation
required, and the proximity of a quarry,
allowed a high rate of construction," Lt
The base, with amenities and hard-
ened accommodation, will cater for ANA
soldiers. Also included are facilities for
coalition mentoring elements as well as
joint headquarters to develop the ANA,
in accordance with Australia's objective
to train and mentor the ANA.
Lt Porter said the new patrol base
was the first of its kind in the area.
"The intent of the patrol base is to
provide the infrastructure for a sustain-
able permanent presence in the Mirabad
Valley, while causing minimal distur-
bance to the local population," he said.
Maj Trotter said the insurgents
remained on the back foot and had been
unable to mount a cohesive or effective
"The ground force security effort will
be maintained throughout winter, con-
tinuing to provide security and stabil-
ity to the Afghan people in an area that
has traditionally been a safe haven for
Taliban leaders and operatives," he said.
Many hands: Sgt
MRTF 2, mentors Afghan
National Army engineers
as they construct the
patrol base in the
Mirabad Valley (above).
Home sweet home:
An elevated view of
the patrol base during
Photos by Cpl Rachel Ingram
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