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Operation Meebos, 1982: Planning and Preparations

Operation MeebosThe towns of Ongiva and Xangongo have been in South African hands since Operation Protea in August 1981.

The dry season of July/August 1982 once again brought the usual security force push into Angola, this time in the form of Operation Meebos.

The aim of Operation Meebos was to prevent and disrupt FAPLA’s 11th and 19th Brigades from re-occupying the towns of Xangongo and Ongiva respectively. The secondary aim was to pinpoint and destroy the SWAPO Central and Eastern headquarters and caches, respectively situated near Evale and Ionde, and to disrupt logistical routes.

As an added instruction the force had to keep the morale of the local population high and also gain local intelligence sources while trying to turn the local population against SWAPO and FAPLA.

Operation Meebos was planned in five stages:

    1. Reconnaissance and establishment of a helicopter administration area.

    2. Airborne operations by a paratroop company in the area north of the cut line

    3. Assault

    4. Mopping up

    5. Withdrawal of own forces in a general line south of Mupa.

Combat Group 61 was tasked for deception and shock operations in the lower-central part of Angola from Tuesday 13 July 1982 until further notice (operations was to continue to the end of July, but would most probably last until mid-August). Mobile operations were anticipated, but if required, the combat group would be expected to act independently or collaborate with other forces during offensive actions and all-out attacks against SWAPO or FAPLA forces. The combat group had to be ready to go into action on short notice upon receiving direct orders and be ready to go on the offensive at any stage.

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