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Medals presented before departure
Home ground: Members of 4 Bde parade at Simpson Barracks, Watsonia, after returning from Solomon Islands as part of Rotation 30 on Op Anode.
Photos by LS Paul McCallum
Home from Anode
Sgt Dave Morley
VICTORIAN gunners were well
represented on Operation Anode’s
final rotation, with two of them
receiving CTF 635 Commander’s
Commendations during their
Seventeen members of 2/10 Lt
Bty, 5/6RVR, took part in the deploy-
ment, with three running the CIMIC
team, one working as an operator
supply and the remainder serving in
LBdr Gavin Hunt said the deploy-
ment was the first time he had ever
“I feel very proud to serve my
country on an overseas operation,”
“My great-grandfather was in the
Victorian 4th Light Horse Regiment
at Gallipoli and my grandfather was
in the Army during WWII.”
Gnr Thomas Patterson, at 19 the
youngest member of Rotation 30,
said he felt it a privilege to receive his
Australian Service Medal (ASM).
“I made a decision last year to
deploy instead of completing my Year
12 exams, and receiving my medal
makes the experience all the more
special and worth the sacrifice,” he
Gnr Patterson plans to complete
Year 12 at TAFE before studying
international relations at university.
Gnr Sean McKellar said Op
Anode was “a fantastic opportunity
for diggers who participated from
“I count myself really lucky to
have been deployed as a reservist at
21 years of age,” he said.
Gnr McKellar received a
Commander CTF 635 Commendation
for his professionalism throughout
Gnr Andrew Prentice, who also
received a commendation, said the
amount of quality training he had
received as a reservist during the
deployment had been worth every
“I am confident I can return to my
home unit with a new set of expertise
in order to contribute more as a
soldier,” he said.
THE FINAL rotation of Australian
troops has completed its mis-
sion with the Regional Assistance
Mission Solomon Islands (RAMSI)
and returned home from Operation
About 90 reservists, mostly from
Victoria’s 4 Bde, arrived home on an
Air Force C-17 on August 1, ending
the 30th rotation of Australian per-
sonnel to the Pacific nation.
Chief of Joint Operations Lt-Gen
Ash Power said their return home
from the Australian-led Combined
Task Force 635, which included per-
sonnel from New Zealand, Tonga and
Papua New Guinea, capped a suc-
cessful mission by Rotation 30.
“These soldiers have performed
extremely well during their deploy-
ment and their return home as part of
the final infantry rotation deployed
to Solomon Islands shows the big
steps forward that have been made
in improving security and stability,”
Lt-Gen Power said.
“All of these reserve personnel
have taken at least four months out of
their lives, away from their families
and away from their civilian jobs to
serve Australia and lend a hand to
our Pacific neighbours.
“They have done an outstanding
job, just as those who have contribut-
ed since 2003 as part of the Regional
Assistance Mission to Solomon
Islands have done.
“After a successful 10-year com-
mitment to RAMSI, the country is
now secure and stable enough for the
military element to leave Solomon
“I wish all those remaining as an
element of the AFP-led Participating
Police Force every success as they
continue their vital work with the
Royal Solomon Islands Police
The personnel were farewelled
RAMSI’s Rotation 30 rounds up mission
Sgt Dave Morley
IT WAS an immensely proud group
of diggers who stood on parade for
the last time at HQ CTF 635 on
Honiara’s outskirts on July 23.
With their rotation at an end,
they lined up to receive their
Australian Service Medals (ASM).
The Commander of the first CTF
635 rotation, Brig John Frewen, and
Australian High Commissioner to
Solomon Islands Matt Anderson
attended the ceremony.
SSgt Anne Court, of Melbourne
University Regt, received her ASM
from Brig Frewen, now commander
She said she was very happy to
get her first deployment after 33
years in the Army Reserve.
“It’s been an honour and a privi-
lege being here doing my bit,” she
said. “It’s topped off a long-standing
career in the reserve.”
Pte Stephanie Moncur, of 4/19
Prince of Wales’s Light Horse Regt,
said she felt privileged to have
received a medal and had the oppor-
tunity to serve on deployment.
“It will be a moment in time for
me that will never be forgotten, the
first time receiving a medal,” Pte
Pte Mark Hua, of 5/6RVR, said
he felt honoured being awarded his
“It’s my first medal and it was a
special moment being awarded it on
an overseas operation knowing that
it was for service to Australia and its
interests,” he said.
4th Bde, is
as part of
Milestone: Troops board a C-17 in Honiara for the flight home.
Photo by Cpl Amanda Campbell
from Honiara by Commander CTF 635
Lt-Col Brenton Gasteen, who congratu-
lated the troops on a job well done.
“Your mission is now complete and
you can be proud of your efforts in
Solomon Islands and the hard work
that each and every one of you dis-
played during your rotation,” he said.
“You can go home to your families
and friends with an enormous sense
of satisfaction that we are leaving
Solomon Islands in a good state.”
A Defence element has remained
in the Solomon Islands to prepare
the remaining military equipment for
return to Australia.
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