Australian Deployment Dates: 9 February 1982 to 28 April 1986; 6 January 1993 - ongoing.
Strength: 1,152 personnel (1982-1986) consisting 8 UH-1H helicopters with 144 personnel on six-month tours. 5 Army and 2 RAAF officers worked at HQ MFO. Approximately 676 personnel (1993 to present) 26 -strong contingent at HQ MFO.
Area of Operations (AO): The Arab Republic of Egypt (ARE), and Israel.
Purpose: Operation Mazurka is Australia's contribution to the Multinational Force and Observers (MFO) in the Sinai. The MFO was established in 1981 to oversee the Camp David Accords of 1978 and the Egypt/Israel Peace Treaty of 1979. Under the Accords, Israel withdrew from the Egyptian territory it had occupied since the 1967 Arab-Israeli War. The MFO was created outside the framework of the UN because the Soviet Union was opposed to UN involvement. The MFO is governed by the US State Department and is headquartered in Rome.
Comments: Australia and New Zealand contributed to the MFO at the outset by providing the Force's Rotary Wing Aviation Unit (RWAU). The ADF provided a joint RAN / Army / RAAF detachment, comprising 8 UH-1H helicopters. The Contingent was withdrawn in April 1986 as the government sought to reduce Australia's peacekeeping commitments.
On 8 January 1993 the ADF returned to the Sinai again. A 26 strong contingent of HQ staff and MP's initially on 12 month tours, then reduced to 6 - 9 month tours, rejoined the MFO following a review of the government's position. Primarily the Australians assist in the peace process by monitoring the border and preparing daily operational briefings, and support to the Headquarters. In addition to these staff functions, they undertake an important force training function that includes physical training.
Veteran Entitlement Act (VEA):
Schedule 3; 18 February 1983 onward.
Service Type: Non-warlike.
Awards & Qualifying Periods:
- Australian Service Medal (ASM) with Clasp 'SINAI'. Posted - 30 days; Visitor / TDY - N/A.
Commonwealth of Australia Gazette: S 27 dated 23 January 1997
- MFO Sinai Medal. Force assigned - 90 days until 1985 when the criterion changed to 170 days.
ASM with Clasp