Anode deters criminal element
Supports police in election countdown
The infantry section, members of 42RQR and 31RQR, conduct
a patrol outside Rove Prison.
Photo by Michael Brooke
SUPPORT for police security operations against armed criminals who
threaten to undermine the peace and stability established by the
Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands (RAMSI) continues
to drive the operational focus and tempo of Australian troops on
Commander Combined Task Force (CTF) 635 Maj Jon Heap said the Australian-led
coalition task force would maintain an operational focus in support
of the Participating Police Force (PPF) in the countdown to national
elections in 2006.
The military presence here has been an important factor in
the success of the RAMSI mission, because it makes a significant
contribution to preventing the re-emergence of a militant threat,
reassures the local population that the current secure environment
is an enduring one and provides an additional level of security
that is necessary to ensure ongoing RAMSI capacity development programs
within government and police departments can continue uninterrupted
by security concerns, Maj Heap said.
CTF 635s role in support of PPF operations was highlighted
in October when prisoners staged a protest at Rove Prison, which
houses a large number of people who have been arrested since RAMSI
arrived in mid-2003.
Maj Heap said providing military security support to the PPF through
the provision of external security in the Rove Prison precinct was
a key task for the CTF during the disturbance.
To deter attacks from anyone seeking to exploit the incident at
Rove prison, a nine-man section of soldiers from 11 Bde stepped
up the frequency of their foot and vehicle patrols.
Another Australian infantry section also conducted vehicle patrols
near the prison, with a platoon of Tongan soldiers conducting overt
patrols of Honiara. This CTF 635 reaction to the prison disturbance
was employed as the planned military third tier response to incidents
at Rove prison.
Maj Heap said the task force had also undertaken cordon and search
operations and long-range patrols in the provinces to support PPF
operations in the pursuit of several high-profile militants and
murder suspects and to deter the re-emergence of any future threat.
He said the reservists deployed on Op Anode had demonstrated a high
degree of professionalism and proficiency in providing support to
PPF security operations.
The success of CTF 635 to date could be largely attributed
to the coalition environment that has soldiers from Fiji, Papua
New Guinea, Australia, Tonga and New Zealand working side by side
as partners in this regional peace and security operation,