A team of approximately 85 Australian Defence Force personnel has returned home last week after a highly successful four-month deployment to Operation ANODE in Solomon Islands.The troops, comprised of Reserve soldiers predominantly drawn from 9th Brigade units in South Australia and Tasmania, began their deployment on 30 March 2012.
Commanding Officer of Combined Task Force (CTF) 635, Lieutenant Colonel Campbell Smith said the main role of the Task Force is to provide support to the multinational Participating Police Force (PPF), to ensure security within Solomon Islands.
Lieutenant Colonel Smith has completed his tour and will be replaced by Lieutenant Colonel Brenton Gasteen from South Australia.
"During Rotation 27, the Australian diggers worked alongside soldiers from New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and Tonga who also support RAMSI through CTF 635," LTCOL Smith said.
"As the security situation in Solomon Islands has become increasingly stable, Rotation 27 was able to undertake specific military training which will be of great value to them when they are back in Australia.
"This additional training included week-long periods in the field at remote locations where small groups worked independently from the Task Force.
"They were also able to complete blocks of conventional jungle training and gained new skills that will benefit their future service."
Operation ANODE is the ADF's contribution to the Australian-led Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI), which has assisted the Government of Solomon Islands in the maintenance of stability, law and justice, economic governance and improving the machinery of government since 2003.
The primary role of ADF troops on Operation ANODE is to provide military support to the PPF in situations of Public Order Management.
A Transfer of Authority Ceremony was held on 02 August 2012 where Rotation 27 was officially replaced by Rotation 28. The incoming Rotation 28 is predominantly drawn from Western Australia's 13 Brigade.