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Firebase Wilderness

On December 2, 2006 a ceremony was held at Fire Base Gardez comemorating the establishment of a the new "Firebase Wilderness" in the southeastern Paktya Province which bridges the gap between American outposts at Gardez and Salerno. In attendance were Gov. Arsala Jamal of Khost Province and sub-governors representing districts in the Khost-Gardez Pass region, key U.S. Army leaders and Soldiers, members of Afghan National Security Forces and local shura members. Col. John Nicholson, Task Force Spartan commander, headed the American delegation.

"Firebase Wilderness," opened amid discussions, speeches, a gun salute and the raising of the Afghan national flag. A shura of regional political officials, security personnel, key military leaders and local elders preceded the opening of the firebase, which established an enduring allied presence along the vital thoroughfare traversing the K-G Pass.

A series of Afghan speakers addressed about 75 participants before the flag-raising. Speeches focused on regional security and the way ahead for the region and its people. Artillerymen from the 4-25 FA celebrated the establishment of the firebase with a gun salute.

On September 29, 2007 Army Sgt. Zachary Tellier of the 82nd Airborne Division was killed in fighting at FOB Wilderness.

FOB Wilderness was located amidst a hotspot in Afghanistan. As of March 2008 the base had been hit more than thirty times by rocket and mortar fire.

The primary mission of the U.S. forces at Wilderness, protect the road, its the only road leading back to Kabul from this part of Eastern Afghanistan making the road and FOB Wilderness ideal targets for attack by the Taliban.

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