Australian soldiers head home from Solomon Islands deployment
2 December 2011
More than 100 Australian Defence Force personnel are heading home to Australiaafter a successful four-month deployment as part of the Australian-led Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI).
The troops, who began their rotation on 3 August 2011, are drawn mainly from the Australian Army Reserve’s 5th Brigade, based in the Australian Capital Territory and regional New South Wales.
Commanding Officer of Combined Task Force (CTF) 635, Lieutenant Colonel Campbell Smith said the CTF’s main role is to support the Participating Police Force (PPF), to help ensure security in Solomon Islands.
“In recent times the security situation in Solomon Islands has improved and the police are doing a very good job maintaining stability,” Lieutenant Colonel Smith said.
“As a result the Combined Task Force has not been engaged in active patrolling with Police. This is a good development because our mission here is to support the police, not do police operations.”
RAMSI’s mission is to assist Solomon Islands Government in maintaining security, law and justice, economic governance and improving the machinery of government.
Due to the improving security situation, Rotation 25 undertook military training activities, including a Junior Leadership Course.
“We also deployed the soldiers on training patrols in remote areas, where they conducted navigation, field training and community engagement activities,” Lieutenant Colonel Smith said.
A Transfer of Authority Ceremony was held today (Friday, 2 December 2011) where Rotation 25 was officially replaced by Rotation 26, which is drawn mainly from theQueensland based 11th Brigade.
Media Contact: Defence Media Operations - 02 6127 1999.