Combat Team Alpha builds own base in Mozambique’s Macomia


South Africa’s replacement deployment – Combat Team Alpha (CTA) – for its first SAMIM (SADC Mission in Mozambique) positioning is in place now with an own base, termed “a home away from home” by team commander Lieutenant Colonel Suraia Cambinda.

Since moving into Cabo Delgado in Northern Mozambique and specifically Macomia in late June, all CTA personnel were all hands on deck to make the 500 x 500 m area habitable and hygienic. It took 12 weeks with personnel of all musterings putting specialities aside to build the base.

“Accommodation, ablution, bath/shower facilities through to kitchen and mess, all the basic requirements for troops in camp so they can effectively execute their tasks: this is what CTA will call home from home for the next couple of months,” Cambinda said, adding the camp would be known as Mihluri Base.

“The time and effort expended in ensuring the base is well prepared will be rewarded as our footprints will forever be cemented in Macomia. Other troops will in future use the South African built facilities,” she told an SANDF (SA National Defence Force) Joint Operations Division social media communicator.

Ahead of actual base building the CTA had another major task – setting up a water purification plant to supply over 30 000 litres of potable water daily for cooking, washing, human consumption as well as in erecting the base itself.

This saw and still sees a three strong team collecting water from a nearby running source some distance from the base. Once back at Mihluri another team of three starts work to make the water potable using a sedimentation process.

Next up for the CTA is the principal undertaking – to be visible and conduct patrols in villages in the designated area of responsibility in search of insurgents. Ahead of this tasking a stable parade checked, confirmed and ensured CTA – and its equipment – is ready to conduct operations.

The ultimate aim of the deployment, part of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) initiative, is to rid Macomia and surrounds of insurgents return peace and stability to the area.