Forward Operating Base Martello
FOB Martello is a Canadian facility located in the El Bak valley about 200km north of Kandahar. It is manned by a company of Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry and engineers. The outpost is roughly the size of a baseball diamond and is nestled in a horseshoe of low ridges. It is dotted with semi-permanent sleeping tents and has running water for showers and toilets. Martello is strategically placed in a dangerous area where the Taliban is resurgent. Working alongside the Canadians are small contigents from the Netherlands and the Afghan National Army.
FOB Martello officially opened June 13, 2006 after 7 Platoon, Charlie Company of the 1st Battalion Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry left Kandahar Airfield to provide security for the ceremony during Operation Tabar. Attending the ceremony were Afghan government and military officials from every sector and Coalition military commanders. After the ceremony Charlie Company left Martello and headed south in search of the Taliban.
FOB Martello is situated along the Kandahar-Tarin Kot road, serving as a vital supply link between Kandahar and Uruzgan provinces.
On September 4, 2006 Martello was attacked while under the control of a large Dutch force and a smaller Canadian element. The main Canadian element was away participating in Operation Medusa south of Kandahar. Reports indicated that about 80 Taliban attacked Martello with RPG's and heavy machine guns in a coordinated attack that lasted some six hours and kept most of the camps defenders pinned down. Eventually a Dutch armored vehicle destroyed the Taliban's main heavy machine gun position and Dutch gunships arrived and chased off the remaining enemy. Dutch sources stated that 10 enemy fighters were killed with no allied casualties reported.
Saturday July 18, 2008 Charlie Company of Canada's 1st Battallion PPCLI moved out of FOB Martello with orders to sweep the Zari and Panjwai regions south of Highway 1 as part of the over-arching "Operation Mountain Thrust" as the area was home to large concentrations of Taliban. The operation was intended to quell a resurgent Taliban and restore the confidence of local populations.
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