Home' Defence Magazine : Issue 1 2009 Contents 24
PeRATIon Anode in the
solomon Islands illustrates
that Army Reservists are
well-trained and provide real
capability to the Australian
defence force (Adf).
In recent times the Army Reserve has taken on
the responsibility of providing Head Quarters staff
and peacekeepers for the Regional Assistance
Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI), which has
helped the ADF during the busy operational tempo.
The deployment of Reservists and other ADF
personnel, at the invitation of the Government in
Honiara, has helped to improve law and order in
the Solomon Islands which is vital for economic
growth and sustainability.
Since the commencement of RAMSI in July
2003, Reservists and other ADF personnel have been
greeted warmly by the local population and are happy
to assist in returning their lives to normality.
More than 140 Army Reservists from the 5TH
and 8TH Brigades from the Royal New South Wales
Regiment recently returned home from a successful
four month deployment to the Solomon Islands.
The Parliamentary Secretary for Defence
Support, the Hon. Dr Mike Kelly AM MP, welcomed
the Reserve soldiers at a parade at Holsworthy
Barracks on 11 December.
Dr Kelly said he was pleased with the
contribution the Reserve was making to RAMSI,
where Australia and her Pacific partners are
helping the local government to develop peace and
“The security situation in the Solomon Islands
remains stable and this is largely due to RAMSI’s
presence,” he said.
“While there is still work to be done, we are
confident that the Solomon Islands is making progress
towards managing their own internal security.”
Dr Kelly said Australians should be proud of
their soldiers’ efforts to serve in this capacity away
from their family and friends.
In recognition of the Reservists contribution
to the overseas peacekeeping operation they were
presented with the Australian Service Medal by
the Commander of the 5th Brigade, Brigadier Paul
Brereton, at a parade at Holsworthy Barracks.
Brigadier Brereton thanked the part-time soldiers
from Canberra, Wollongong, Bathurst, Orange and
Sydney’s Western suburbs for their professionalism and
quality of work during the deployment.
The Commanding Officer of the contingent
for Operation Anode (Rotation 16), Lieutenant
Colonel Glenn Weir, said this operation illustrated
that Reservists are well-trained and can provide
real capability to the Army during the busy
“The soldiers carried out 24-hour street
patrols and other designated tasks in support of
the participating Police Forces within the Solomon
Islands,” he said.
“During the deployment the Reservists mounted
an intense 30-day operation in inhospitable jungle
which resulted in the capture of a local man who
was charged with the attempted murder of a
RAMSI policeman in 2008.”
At the grass roots level the Reservists also
won the trust and confidence of the local people
by their involvement in civil military cooperation
projects which brought much joy and happiness.
The Reservists often handed out school books
and other educational items to needy children while
the medics helped provide care to sick children at
the National Referral Hospital in Honiara.
The medics spent up to two days a week
assisting at the hospital while working alongside
ASPEN medical contractors.
The medical care the Reservists and
contractors provided ranged from the amputation
of limbs to delivering babies.
The experience gained in the hospital was
very beneficial for the medics who also operated
clinics in remote villages through the Solomons,
where they provided basic medical care and
education for the locals.
Lieutenant Colonel Glenn Weir said the
medical care the Australian soldiers provided to
the locals helped to strengthen quality long-term
relationships with our neighbours in the Pacific.
By Captain Michael Brooke
noordermeer, an Army
Reservist from cronulla,
is thanked by commander
of the Holsworthy-based
5th Brigade Brigadier Paul
Brereton, after receiving
her service Medal for a
four-month deployment as
a peacekeeper to solomon
Photo: Captain Michael Brooke
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