Solomon Islands Rotation 23 draws to a close
5 April 2011
Approximately 80 Australian Reservist soldiers have returned to their homes in South Australia and Tasmania after four months support to the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI) as part of the Australian Defence Force’s Operation ANODE.
Rotation 23 to Combined Task Force (CTF) 635 primarily comprised Reservists from 10th/27th Battalion Royal South Australian Regiment and 12th/40th Battalion Royal Tasmanian Regiment.
During Rotation 23, Australian diggers worked alongside soldiers from New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and Tonga to support RAMSI.
Commander CTF 635, Lieutenant Colonel Paul Landford, said the troops deployed to Honiara and eastern Guadal canal to assist the Participating Police Force working with local Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF) to maintain law and order in those areas and that the operation has been very successful.
“The RSIPF is the lead agency for security and is increasingly taking the lead in security arrangements and taking on more responsibility,” Lieutenant Colonel Landford said.
“This progress should provide the foundation for continued stability.”
Under a recent change, the current CTF rotation has no longer been required to provide a distinct security presence in the community.
This has allowed them to participate in more civil-military type patrols, which have enabled them to travel to more isolated communities and outlying islands.
Rotation 23 will be replaced by members of the 13th Brigade from Western Australia as part of Rotation 24.
A Homecoming Parade will be held for Rotation 23 today at Keswick Barracks, South Australia.
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.
Imagery over the handover parade is available at http://images.defence.gov.au/fotoweb/Grid.fwx?archiveId=5003&search=20112199