Chapter 5: Combatente Do Buffalo - Combatants of Buffalo: Shaping the Unit and Operations, 1977
After laying the foundation for 32 Battalion, Breytenbach was transferred, and a new commander took over. With the new commander came new ideas in the development of the unit. At their home base, now called Buffalo Base, the new commander and his aides continued to form the unit. There were well over 3,000 women and children gathered in the kimbo (Portuguese for “village”) who needed to be looked after. 32 Battalion’s organisation was officially approved. The time had come to get rid of the guerrilla movement ideas, and mould them into an SA Army unit, which involved the difficult task of installing strict military discipline.
The MPLA in Angola had declared that it had won the civil war, and thousands of refugees fled to Namibia, with some ending up at Buffalo Base. 32 Battalion had already become known for its operational successes in combating Peoples Liberation of Namibia (PLAN) cadres. This success lay in 32 Battalion’s clandestine deployment into Angola to fight PLAN on its bases, a tactic about which only a few were aware. This chapter explores the progress in developing Buffalo base, establishing the kimbo, and military deployments and operations.