Patrol Base Buman

Patrol Base Buman


Small base north of Tarin Kowt used by Australian and ANA forces.

Government sources

Operational Mentoring and Liaison Team Patrol during OP Shak Haliwel, Image Galleries 2009, Operation Slipper, Department of Defence, 23 April 2009

The Kakarak region, north of the main Australian base at Tarin Kowt, is one of the last insurgent outposts in the Tarin Kowt bowl. Operation Shak Hawel, which occurred in the first weeks of April, 2009 saw the Operation Mentoring and Liaison Team (OMLT), the Afghan National Army (ANA) and Combat Team Tusk conduct aggressive patrolling and cordon and searches to reduce the insurgent freedom of movement in this region. OMLT Team 3 and their ANA partners who are based at Patrol Base Buman, moved from their base west into the Area of Operations, moving through the lush green zone which has bloomed with the coming of summer. The patrols extended the security presence in the region and with the support of ANA Engineers, trained by their Australian brethren conducted searches on compounds of interest, where they used their new skills to check for explosives and weapons caches.


Australian soldiers take more than 100 Taliban, Ian McPhedran, Daily Telegraph, 25 April 2009

Australian soldiers have killed more than 100 Taliban fighters and disrupted vast enemy networks in two of the biggest and most successful operations of the six-year Afghanistan campaign. The second, called Operation Shak Hawel or Mysterious Area, was fought by troops from the Mentoring and Reconstruction Task Force between April 3 and 15 around Patrol Base Buman in the Chora Valley north of Tarin Kowt. More than 200 Diggers or almost half of the battle group led by Darwin based Lieutenant Colonel Shane Gabriel took part with an Afghan National Army battalion. During the biggest battle on April 12 dozens of Taliban fighters perished as they attempted to defeat the diggers from Combat Team Tusk in the fertile green belt.

Death in danger zone for ninth Australian, Tom Hyland, The Age, 18 March 2009

You can see Kakarak from the parapet of Forward Operating Base Buman, a small, ramshackle outpost manned by a handful of Australian and about 40 Afghan troops. Lying only 3½ kilometres from the base, the town is barely discernible among the almond trees that were just coming into bloom a fortnight ago, and indistinguishable from a closer cluster of mud-walled farm compounds. The Buman base sits on a hill overlooking a green belt of land along the Dorafshan River, about 12 kilometres north-east of the main Australian base at Tarin Kowt. The eastern side of the Dorafshan River is relatively secure. But Kakarak, on the western side, is a Taliban stronghold, where Afghan Government influence is virtually non-existent.


In the shadow of the valley, Tom Hyland, The Age, 8 March 2009

Lieutenant Jake Kleinman, commander of the small Australian team based at  Forward Patrol Base Buman.

Lieutenant Jake Kleinman, commander of the small Australian team based at Forward Patrol Base Buman.
Source: The Age. Photo: Simon O’Dwyer

Forward Patrol Base Buman, Afghanistan: this is where the Nintendo generation meets the Koran and Kalashnikov culture. Imagine a set from a Mad Max movie: a cluster of containers, sheds and tents in a compound of mud and rock on a wind-swept hill ringed by barbed wire and barriers made of rubble-filled wire baskets Place this in a landscape where desert abruptly ends and a green valley begins, where medieval mud-walled houses nestle among almond trees. Frame the scene with jagged mountains that plunge and soar and seem to go on forever. Put half a dozen young Australians here, children of an affluent, educated, peaceful and free-wheeling secular society. Alongside them, put 40 or so Afghans, men who never had a childhood, all Muslims and mostly illiterate, in a backward province of a country that has known 40 years of war and oppression and centuries of desperate poverty, where high-tech is not a laptop but an AK-47. If there was a front line in the Afghan war, Buman would be on it. The Australians here are part of a desperate attempt to save a faltering international effort. It’s a race to win time. If they succeed, it will be the ticket out of Afghanistan for all foreign forces, including 1100 Australians.

See also

 Project coordinator: Richard Tanter
Additional research: Arabella imhoff
Updated: 21 June 2009