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.
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