Australia — Solomon Islands Rotation 22 Draws to Close

As they pre­pare to return to Aus­tralia, the out­go­ing rota­tion of troops to Oper­a­tion ANODE have been praised by their Com­mand­ing Offi­cer for their sup­port to the Solomon Islands’ Nation­al Gen­er­al Elec­tion in ear­ly August 2010.
The Aus­tralian Defence Forces (ADF) con­tri­bu­tion to the Region­al Assis­tance Mis­sion to Solomon Islands (RAMSI), Com­bined Task Force (CTF) 635 Com­man­der Lieu­tenant Colonel Paul Land­ford said their sup­port was a key oper­a­tional high­light dur­ing their four month rota­tion.

“Rota­tion 22 demon­strat­ed a high lev­el of sup­port to the nation­al Elec­tions in Solomon Islands con­duct­ing joint patrols with RAM­SIs Par­tic­i­pat­ing Police Force (PPF) and the Roy­al Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF) as well as pro­vid­ing a sig­nif­i­cant pres­ence,” Lieu­tenant Colonel Land­ford said.

“The strength­ened secu­ri­ty envi­ron­ment dur­ing this peri­od was a cred­it to this rota­tion of soldiers.”

CTF 635’s com­pa­ny-strength mil­i­tary con­tin­gent, pri­mar­i­ly made up of ADF Reservists from 8/7 Roy­al Vic­to­ria Reg­i­ment and 4/19 Prince of Wales Light Horse, have spent the last four months sup­port­ing the Solomon Islands mis­sion and will return to Aus­tralia this week.

Lieu­tenant Colonel Land­ford said that in addi­tion to their work dur­ing the elec­tions, reach­ing out and man­ag­ing rela­tion­ships was a cru­cial aspect to the suc­cess of the mis­sion. “A secure envi­ron­ment sup­ports the Solomon Islands gov­ern­ment in the imple­men­ta­tion of con­tin­u­al improve­ment and devel­op­ment of the local capacity.”

Rota­tion 22 also assist­ed the RSIPF and PPF to dif­fuse civ­il unrest which occurred in Honiara fol­low­ing the sen­tenc­ing of a local politi­cian on 30 November.

Rota­tion 22 will be replaced by mem­bers of 9th Brigade from South Aus­tralia and Tas­ma­nia. A Home­com­ing Parade will be held for Rota­tion 22 on Sun­day 5 Decem­ber 2010 in Laver­ton, Victoria. 

RAMSI’s mis­sion is to assist the Solomon Islands gov­ern­ment in the main­te­nance of secu­ri­ty, law and jus­tice, eco­nom­ic gov­er­nance and improv­ing the machin­ery of gov­ern­ment. Oth­er nations involved in the mil­i­tary con­tin­gent include ele­ments of the Ton­ga, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea defence forces. 

Press release
Min­is­te­r­i­al Sup­port and Pub­lic Affairs,
Depart­ment of Defence,
Can­ber­ra, Australia 

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