Six months in the Sollies

Australia’s involvement with the Regional Assistant Mission to the Solomon Islands otherwise known as RAMSI began in 2003 in response to a request by the then Solomon Islands Prime Minister … . His country was in danger of becoming a failed state as a result of ethnic tensions and a breakdown in law and order.

Following endorsement by the Pacific Islands Forum and the Solomon Islands Parliament, RAMSI deployed in July 2003. The Australian name for the mission was Operation Anode.

Garth Oconnell

Then a lance corporal, Garth O’Connell deployed to the Solomon Islands in 2008 as a member of Task Force 635, which was made up mainly of Australian Army Reservists, with a small cadre of Regular Army soldiers as well.

Garth provides a unique overview of his experiences as a peacekeeper and his interactions with the local people and how he and his comrades dealt with situations ranging from routine patrols, to some potentially deadly situations.

To read more of Garth’s experiences as a peacekeeper in the Solomon Islands, purchase a copy of Issue 88 here.