From: Defence Media Centre
Date: Sun 12/05/2013 8:52 PM

Operation Solace 20th anniversary

Members of the 1st Battalion The Royal Australian Regiment Group (1RAR GP) reunited in Townsville over the weekend to mark the 20th anniversary of their deployment to Somalia on Operation Solace.

Around 1000 Australian Defence Force (ADF) members were deployed to Baidoa in January 1993, Australia’s largest overseas deployment since Vietnam.

The Chief of the Defence Force, General David Hurley was the Commanding Officer who led the ADF contribution to the United Nations sanctioned Unified Task Force.

“I was a Lieutenant Colonel when we deployed as part of the multinational force.

“The people of Somalia were suffering through famine and civil war.

“Our mission was to secure the Baidoa Humanitarian Relief Sector to ensure food and other humanitarian assistance could be delivered safely to the community,” General Hurley said.

The Australians were recognised for their ‘firm, fair and friendly’ approach to security that won the respect of the United Nations, allied forces and non-government organisations working in the region.

“I am extremely proud that our efforts made a difference to the people of Somalia.

“We helped create significant improvement in the security situation which allowed them to begin rebuilding a functioning community,” General Hurley said.

General Hurley said members of 1RAR GP also paid tribute to Lance Corporal Shannon McAliney who was accidentally shot and died while on patrol during Operation Solace.

The reunion was held at Coral Lines in Townsville to coincide with the 45th anniversary of the Battle of Fire Support Base Coral in Vietnam.

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