Troops deploying to the Solomon Islands in support of the Australian-led Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands (RAMSI) were farewelled by family and friends at a parade in Melbourne this afternoon.
The 30th rotation of peacekeeping troops involves 106 members, including part-time soldiers predominantly from the Australian Army’s 4th Brigade, based in Victoria, and a platoon from the Tongan Defence Force.
Parliamentary Secretary for Defence, Senator David Feeney, officially farewelled the group and recognised the many personnel who have served in the Solomon Islands throughout the past 10 years.
“Approximately 7,500 Australian Defence Force members have served in the Solomon Islands since the mission began in 2003. I know that you will look back on your part in this mission with great pride and satisfaction,” said Senator Feeney.
“You will uphold the compassionate, engaging and hardworking reputation of the service men and women who have gone before you. Each one of you is an ambassador for your country and an example of the cooperative spirit of the nations of the South West Pacific,” he said.
Commander 4th Brigade Brigadier Michael Annett, CSC praised the families and employers and said the parade marked the end of a demanding and comprehensive training program.
“It is important to also pay tribute to the families and employers who are here today, their support is vital and I want to formally acknowledge that,” he said.
The Australian Defence Force contribution to the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI), known as Operation ANODE, began in 2003. RAMSI’s mission is to assist the Solomon Islands Government in maintaining security, law and justice, economic governance and improving the machinery of government.
The military component of RAMSI comprises personnel from Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Papua New Guinea and Tonga. The main task for the military component is to provide security for RAMSI’s multinational Participating Police Force.
For further information on OP ANODE visit:
Senator Feeney’s Office: Jeffrey von Drehnen 0477 348 476
Dougie McGuire, Regional Manager Public Affairs: 0418 399 780
Defence Media Operations (02) 6127 1999