Thursday, 1 July 2010

Released by Defence Media Centre

A farewell parade has been conducted today at the parade ground at RAAF Williams, Laverton for more than 100 Army Reservists who will deploy as peacekeepers to the Solomon Islands.

The Minister for Veterans’ Affairs and Minister for Defence Personnel, Alan Griffin, Commander of the 4th Brigade, Brigadier Robert Marsh, Ballarat Mayor Cr Judy Verlin farewelled the Reserve soldiers.

“Today’s farewell parade is an important occasion to recognise the contribution and efforts of our Reservists in preparing for this mission and for the families to farewell their loved ones for the coming months ahead,” said Brigadier Marsh.

“The preparation of our soldiers for this mission continues to improve, and the standard they have achieved is testament to their dedication and professionalism.”

The Army Reservists are primarily from the Victorian-based 4th Brigade and will deploy as part of the Australian contribution to the Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands (RAMSI).

The Army Reserve makes an important contribution to Operation ANODE, with well equipped, well led and highly professional soldiers.

The Solomon Islands have always been of great strategic significance to Australia and their stability is important to Australia’s national interests.

Since the commencement of RAMSI in July 2003, ADF personnel have been welcomed and highly regarded by the local population. The deployment of ADF personnel, at the invitation of the Government in Honiara, aims to ensure the ongoing success of RAMSI in improving law and order in the Solomon Islands. The main task of the deploying Reservists will be to provide security for RAMSI’s multinational Participating Police Force that works alongside the Royal Solomon Islands Police.

Media contact:

Defence Media Liaison - 02 6127 1999 or 0408 498 664