FOB Baucau

FOB Baucau


The ADF’s Battle Group Tiger in Timor-Leste operates from a Forward Operating Base at Baucau in the west of the country. A key task is protection of Cakung Airport, the country’s longest.

Government sources


Major General Slater Visit to East Timor, Department of Defence website, Operation Astute, Image Galleries 2009, 27 May 2009

“Major General Michael Slater, DSC, AM, CSC, recently visited troops currently deployed to East Timor as part of Operation ASTUTE. During his visit, Major General Slater had the chance to catch up with soldiers in both Dili and the Forward Operating Base at Baucau. The Major General took the time to chat with soldiers from Timor-Leste Battle Group V and thanked them for their efforts during their eight-month deployment in East Timor.”

The Hon. Warren Snowdon visit to East Timor, Operation Astute, Image Galleries 2009, 25 April 2009

“Soldiers on Operation Astute, part of the International Stabilisation Force in East Timor, had a visit by the Minister for Defence Science and Personnel, The Hon. Warren Snowdon, MP. Minister Snowdon was in East Timor to participate in the Anzac Day Dawn Service as well as attend the re-dedication of a Memorial in Dare, outside of Dili. The Minister spent the day visiting soldiers training in the field, as well as at the Baucau Forward Operating Base and bases within the Dili area, including Camp Phoenix.”


President praises presence, Wg-Cmdr John Martin, Army, 1202, November 2008.

Although  the Australian  Government will reduce the size of the International Stabilisation Force (ISF) in East Timor from early next year, the tempo and mission for the recently arrived East Timor Battle Group 5 – Battle Group Tiger – will remain unchanged. These were themes echoed by East Timor President Jose Ramos-Horta during a recent visit to Battle Group Tiger’s C Coy in Baucau, 120km east of Dili. “Our people are very grateful, but your presence is still necessary, we cannot be complacent because we haven’t resolved everything,” the President said. He took time out of a busy schedule to visit C Coy, which deployed to FOB Baucau in September. C Coy resides in spartan barracks on the outskirts of the city of Baucau, about five minutes drive from the centre of town overlooking the sea of the Wetar Strait to the north and East Timor’s second highest mountain range to the west. The town of Baucau is the second most populated area in East Timor and, like many communities. is still recovering from the instability of previous years. Notwithstanding this period of recovery, C Coy’s tempo will remain active as operations are tailored to provide local communities with ongoing security to help develop prosperity.

Operation Astute visit by Timor President Jose Ramos-Horta, Images Gallery 2008, Operation Astute, Department of Defence, 28 October 2008

President of East Timor, Jose Ramos-Horta took time out of his tour of the western districts of East Timor to visit the 5th Battalion’s Royal Australian Regiment Charlie Company, currently based at the International Stabilisation Force’s Forward Operating Base at Bacau, which is part of East Timor’s Battle Group 5.


Saving East Timor – the Italian assistance, David Cenciotti, Air Forces Monthly,  April 2000

The second airstrip reached flying East-bound for 30 minutes is Baucau, also lying on the northern coast. Baucau is located on a plateau. It is a weird airfield built by Indonesia; completely isolated, with no fences surrounding it, it is not easy to understand why somebody should have projected a so wide base in a desert area. It seems that it could be used as an ideal forward operating base for an invasion of Australia. Today is the headquarters of the Thailand base. When the aircraft approaches the airstrip, armed soldiers move in “key” positions to protect it. In fact, Baucau is one of the “hot spot” in E Timor. Some of the worst fights took place here. The runway is a bit longer than the Komoro airport one, but it is so often “crossed” by buffalo and cows (with consequent delays in take off procedures) that the ItAF PIO Lt Babini, nicknamed it “Baucow”.

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Updated: 24 August 2009