UNITED NATIONS TRUCE SUPERVISION ORGANISATION (UNTSO)

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Operation PALADIN

Australian Deployment Dates: 1956 to ongoing.

Strength: Total estimated to be 700. 12 personnel at any given time. Continual 12 month tours.

Area of Operations (AO): Syria (including the Golan Heights) Amman - Jordan, Beirut – Lebanon, Cairo & Ismalia – Arab Republic of Egypt (ARE), Gaza, Damascus, Tiberius – Israel, Naquoura, Nahariya, Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.

Purpose: In April 1948 a Truce Commission was established to supervise the various armistices and truces after the first Arab-Israeli War. In mid-June 1948 military observers were added to the Commission and UNTSO was formed, becoming an independent observer mission in mid-August 1949. UNTSO has continued to supervise subsequent ceasefires after the 1956, 1967, 1973 and 1982 Arab-Israeli Wars. UNTSO's area of operations covers Lebanon, Syria, Israel, Jordan and Egypt. Australia's involvement in the mission commenced in 1956.

Comments: Commanded by Australian Major General Tim Ford from 1998 to 2000. Australians serving with the Observer Group Lebanon have been kidnapped and maltreated by irregular militias. UNTSO remains as the UN’s (and Australia’s), longest ever peacekeeping mission.

Died: 1 - On 12 January 1988, Captain Peter McCarthy, Royal Australian Corps of Transport, became the twenty-second UNTSO soldier to die on deployment when his jeep was blown up by a landmine during a patrol in southern Lebanon.

Veteran Entitlement Act (VEA): Schedule 3; 1 June 1956 onward.

Service Type: Non-warlike.

Gazette: S102 of 27 Mar 01 and S418 of 4 Nov 02

Awards & Qualifying Periods:
ASM 1945 - 1975 ASM 1975 to Present UNTSO Medal
ASM 45-75 ASM 75 + UNTSO Medal