A Homecoming Parade was held today at RAAF Base Williams in Laverton, Victoria, for the soldiers of the Australian Defence Force (ADF), 22nd deployment to Solomon Islands.
The Parade was reviewed by the Parliamentary Secretary for Defence, Senator David Feeney, representing the Minister for Defence, in the presence of the soldiers’ family, friends and other VIPs.
The majority of the members on Parade were from the 8th/7th Battalion the Royal Victoria Regiment. As Victoria’s regional infantry battalion, it has depots throughout the state, with its Headquarters in Ballarat.
This has been the third deployment to Solomon Islands with Victoria’s 4th Brigade contributing as the mounting formation. The 4th Brigade is part of the ADF 2nd Division, its Army Reserve Division.
The contingent of approximately 100, predominantly Army Reserve soldiers, made an effective contribution to the ongoing security and stability of Solomon Islands during their four-month deployment, particularly during the recent elections. The stable security environment provided for Solomon Islands elections is in-part testament to the professionalism, training and commitment of the Operation Anode contingent.
The deployment was part of the Australian Government’s ongoing support to the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI). The RAMSI mission is to assist the Government of Solomon Islands in the restoration of law and order, economic governance and improving the machinery of government in order to ensure the people of Solomon Islands have a brighter future.
Having completed a highly successful deployment, the soldiers will now return to their families and friends in time for Christmas celebrations, after six months on full time service.
The commitment of Reservists to periods of full-time service, would not be possible without the support of employers and family. The capacity the Army Reserve brings to the ADF is a partnership between the soldier, the ADF, family and employers.
The principal Guest of the Parade was Commander of the 2nd Division, Major General C.D Williams.
Other VIPs who attended included the Mayor of the City of Ballarat, Councillor Judy Verlin; Commander of the 4th Brigade, Brigadier R.J. Marsh; and Commander of RAAF Base Williams and Commander Air Force Training Group, Air Commodore K.N Watson,.
Ministerial Support and Public Affairs,
Department of Defence,