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
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.
Awards & Qualifying Periods:
- Australian Service Medal (ASM) (1945 - 1975) with Clasp 'MIDDLE EAST'. Posted - 30 days; Visitor / TDY - 30 days.
Commonwealth of Australia Gazette: S 102 dated 27 March 2001
- Australian Service Medal (1975 - Present) with Clasp 'MIDDLE EAST'. Posted 90 days; Visitor / TDY - N/A.
Commonwealth of Australia Gazette: S 418 dated 4 November 2002
- UNTSO Medal. Force assigned - 6 months.
||ASM 75 +