Soldiers head home from Solomon Islands rotation
4 August 2011
After a successful four-month deployment on Operation ANODE in Solomon Islands, more than 80 Australian soldiers are preparing to return home this week.
Primarily from 13 Brigade in Western Australia, the soldiers have been deployed as the 24th rotation of the Australian Defence Force’s (ADF) contribution to the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI).
A Transfer of Authority ceremony was held yesterday where Rotation 24 was officially replaced by Rotation 25, which comprises around 115 soldiers from NSW based 5th Brigade.
During the ceremony, the outgoing Commander of Combined Task Force 635 Lieutenant Colonel (LTCOL) Paul Landford handed over command to LTCOL Campbell Smith.
LTCOL Landford said during their deployment the soldiers had successfully engaged with the local people, gaining their trust and confidence.
“The Regional Assistance Mission is evolving and the highlight of my 12-month tenure has been to oversee the incremental shift from security to local capacity development,” LTCOL Landford said.
RAMSI’s mission is to assist the Solomon Islands Government in maintaining security, law and justice, economic governance and improving the machinery of government.
Trooper Sam Woods, from the 10th Light Horse Regiment in Karrakatta, WA, deployed to Solomon Islands as part of an infantry platoon in March.
“I joined the Army Reserve as soon as I finished school and to have the opportunity to deploy has been great,” Trooper Woods said.
“I will always remember my time in Solomon Islands; the people are really friendly and they always wave at us and smile.
“I know we are definitely having a positive impact by just being here.”
A homecoming parade will be held for Rotation 24 on 6 August at Irwin Barracks, Karrakatta.
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