UNIFIED TASK FORCE IN SOMALIA (UNITAF)Operation SOLACE
Australia: 21 Dec 1992 - 21 May 1993. (end date is when last member departed AO).
Background: By late 1992, the catastrophic situation in Somalia had outstripped the UN's ability to quickly restore peace and stability, mainly because the UN was hamstrung by insufficient forces and UN peacekeeping principles and methods could not cope with the need to sue force in such complex situations. On 3 December 1992, UN Security Council Resolution 794 authorised a coalition of UN members, under US command, to form UNITAF and intervene to protect the delivery of humanitarian assistance and restore peace. UNITAF was used as an interim force until UNOSOM II came into being.
Australia deployed an Infantry Battalion plus supporting elements, including a Squadron of Armoured Personnel Carriers, HQ Staff, Engineers, Communications and Electronic Warfare Detachments, and Administrative elements; and HMAS Tobruk. The RAAF were also used to move the Australian Forces to and from the Area of Operations from Australia and conducted regular resupply missions.
The Battalion group operated the 17,000 square kilometre Baidoa Humanitarian Relief Sector in southwestern Somalia. The Battalion group was very successful at fostering and protecting humanitarian relief efforts and won widespread international praise for its efforts in restoring law and order and re-establishing functional legal, social and economic systems.
Deployed: Approx 1,500. 1 RAR Group +, HQ Australian Forces Somalia (UNITAF), HMAS Tobruk, HMAS Jervis Bay, RAN Clearance Diving Team 1, RAAF elements.
Killed: (1) Lance Corporal Shannon McAliney, RAINF, 1st Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment. Accidentally shot dead on patrol on 2 April 1993.
VEA: Schedule 2
Awards: AASM with Clasp 'SOMALIA'. 1 day/1 sortie; visitors 30 days
AASM with Clasp