Defence congratulates RAMSI on 10 years of operations
27 July 2013
The Chief of the Defence Force, General David Hurley, has congratulated the Solomon Islands Government and the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI) for their decade-long efforts in helping to build the capacity of the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF) and enabling development of the Solomon Islands Government.
General Hurley said the people of Solomon Islands had embraced RAMSI and the military personnel, police and civilians from Australia, New Zealand, Tonga, and Papua New Guinea.
“RAMSI has established a new model to work through complex security situations with our regional partners and across government. The 10th anniversary of RAMSI operations shows the Pacific Island region that Australia and its neighbours are committed to long-term stability in the region.”
General Hurley said the anniversary also provided an opportunity to recognise that security in Solomon Islands has improved allowing the military mission to draw to an end.
“The Royal Solomon Islands Police Force is now fully responsible for law and order and RAMSI has focused its efforts on the Participating Police Force, providing mentoring support to the RSIPF and Australia’s ongoing aid arrangements ready for RAMSI's military component to their home units over the next month.”
Approximately 180 Australian, New Zealand and Tongan military personnel and civilians hosted representatives of the Pacific Island Forum at the Combined Task Force 635 (CTF 635) Headquarters at the Guadalcanal Beach Resort where the RSIPF demonstrated their public order management capabilities.
Approximately 7210 ADF members have deployed to the Solomon Islands in support of the mission, including 2112 ADF Reservists.
Commander CTF 635, Lieutenant Colonel Brenton Gasteen, said the 10th anniversary had given the people of Solomon Islands the opportunity to reflect on RAMSI’s achievements and the encouragement to look forward to a safe future.
“From a military perspective, our soldiers have certainly appreciated the opportunity to help out a nation in need,” Lieutenant Colonel Gasteen said.
“Compared with the security situation when the military first arrived in 2003, the Solomon Islands has come a long way which augers well for the years ahead.”
General Hurley and Lieutenant Colonel Gasteen were joined by Foreign Affairs Minister Bob Carr, Parliamentary Secretary for Defence Senator David Feeney and the 2003 Commander of CTF 635, Brigadier John Frewen.
Imagery is available at: http://images.defence.gov.au/S20130861
Vision has been fed to Parliament House.
Defence Media Operations (02) 6127 1999