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Global Operations

Solomon Islands

Operation Anode

Morris, a student from Gifu Primary School, is proud as punch as he shows how he can write his name on the board.

Operation ANODE is the name of the Australian Defence Force (ADF) contribution to the Australian-led Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI). RAMSI's assistance is known as Operation HELPEM FREN (Pidgin for 'Helping Friend').

RAMSI's mission is to assist the Government of Solomon Islands in the maintenance of security, law and justice, economic governance and improving the machinery of government.

The Combined Task Force 635 (CTF635) deployed in support of Operation ANODE is commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Brenton Gasteen of the Australian Army.

The military component of RAMSI is comprised of personnel from four troop contributing nations - Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and Tonga.

The main task for the military component is to be prepared to respond to incidents beyond the capabilities of the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF) and RAMSI's multi-national Participating Police Force (PPF).

Specialist military staff in RAMSI's headquarters are also deployed to coordinate the multi-national military effort with the PPF.

The ADF contribution to RAMSI

Since the forming of RAMSI in 2003, the number of Australian troops in support has varied depending on the security situation at the time. After the rioting that followed the April 2006 general elections, RAMSI military personnel have continued their contribution to maintaining security in Solomon Islands.

The CTF currently consists of around 160 personnel, of which about 115 Reserve and full-time troops are from the Australian Defence Force. The current ADF contribution is drawn from the predominantly Victoria's 4th Brigade with personnel also deploying from multiple units across Army's 2nd Division.

Force elements of CTF 635 comprise a Multi-national Headquarters and an Infantry Company with:

  • One platoon from the ADF;
  • One platoon rotating between the New Zealand Defence Force and ADF every eight months, currently the ADF; and
  • One platoon rotating between Papua New Guinea and Tonga every four months, currently the Papua New Guinea Defence Force (PNGDF).

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