Major General Cheryl Pearce has completed a milestone deployment to Cyprus as the first Australian Commander of the UN Peacekeeping force on the island.
Appointed in late 2018, Major General Pearce has led the team of more than 800 personnel in the important Mediterranean mission.
Major General Pearce said she was honoured to have led a diverse international peacekeeping mission throughout her tenure.
“My command of the United Nations Force in Cyprus has been during a difficult period associated with the global pandemic, but the team here have adapted successfully to meet these challenges,” Major General Pearce said.
“The professionalism and commitment of these personnel has enabled me to deliver on the United Nations mandate and has also contributed to stability in Cyprus.”
Major General Pearce said she was grateful for the commitment and support of her team and the wider ADF community during her two years in Cyprus.
“I was continually impressed by their professionalism and commitment to service, not only as members of Army, but as representatives of Australia. I am immensely proud of the men and women who have served under Operation Charter,” she said.
During a ceremony to mark the transfer of command, Major General Pearce handed over to her Chief of Staff, Colonel Neil Wright, who will temporarily hold the appointment until a new commander is selected.
The United Nations Force in Cyprus mission was established by the UN Security Council in 1964 to prevent further fighting between Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities.
The Mission is made up of about 1000 personnel with the majority of those from Argentina, Slovakia and the UK.