Command changes for Australian-led military contingent in Solomon Islands

16:54, August 30, 2010      

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The command of the Australian-led military security contingent in the Solomon islands has changed, Australian Department of Defense announced on Monday.

Lieutenant Colonel David Thompson has handed over to Lieutenant Colonel Paul Landford after 13 months leadership of the 240-member group in Solomon Islands.

A the West Australian Reservist from the 13th Brigade Headquarters in Perth, Thompson was responsible for three separate contingent rotations involving four troop contributing nations.

He also oversaw the Regional Assistance Missions to the Solomons Islands (RAMSI) security support to the 2010 Solomons national general elections, working with international police and Royal Solomon Islands Police Force.

During his time in the Solomons he experienced tsunamis, earthquakes and floods and civil unrest.

"I have experienced working with the four troop contributing nations, including New Zealand, Papua New Guinea (PNG) and Tonga and formed strong bonds with each of them," Thompson said in a statement.

"To be able to command such a multi-national force has been an exciting challenge. It is amazing to be able to sit down and have a brew with a section from Tonga or PNG and find that soldiers from all around the world are amazingly similar."

Lieutenant Colonel Thompson has returned to Australia at the weekend.

Source: Xinhua


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