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More Reservists deploy to Soloman Islands.



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THE HON. JOEL FITZGIBBON MP Minister for Defence

www.defence.gov.au

Friday, 1 August 2008 090/2008

MORE RESERVISTS DEPLOY TO SOLOMON ISLANDS

The Minister for Defence, the Hon. Joel Fitzgibbon MP, has announced the latest deployment of Army Reservists to the Solomon Islands, where Australia and her Pacific partners are helping the local government to bring peace and stability to the Islands through improved law and order.

Mr Fitzgibbon said more than 140 Reserve soldiers from Canberra, Wollongong, Bathurst, Orange and Sydney’s Western suburbs deployed as part of the Australian contribution to the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI).

“The highly skilled contingent for Operation ANODE (Rotation 16) has been drawn from the 5th and 8th Brigades under the banner of the Royal New South Wales Regiment,” he said.

The Defence Minister said this is an exceptional opportunity for Army Reservists to deploy on an operation, which will entitle them to the Australian Service Medal by participating in overseas operations.

“During the four-month deployment the soldiers will carry out 24-hour street patrols and other designated tasks in support of the Participating Police Forces within the Solomon Islands.”

Mr Fitzgibbon said the participation of Reservists in Operation ANODE would not be possible without the support of their families and employers.

The employers of Reservists will see first-hand the benefits that Reserve service brings to their employees and to Australia when they fly to the Solomon Islands later this year.

The Reserve and Employer Support Division’s ‘Boss Lift’ activity will show employers the vital contribution Reservists are making to the Australian Defence Force’s (ADF) operational commitments by observing their military skills first hand.

Since the commencement of RAMSI in July 2003, ADF personnel have been greeted warmly by the local population and are happy to assist in returning their lives to normality.

The deployment of ADF personnel, at the invitation of the Solomon Islands Government, aims to ensure the ongoing success of RAMSI in improving law and order in the Solomon Islands.

Media contacts: Christian Taubenschlag (Joel Fitzgibbon): 02 6277 7800 or 0438 595 567 Defence Media Liaison: 02 6265 3343 or 0408 498 664