The primary role of RAMSI’s military contingent, known as Combined Task Force 635, is to provide support and assistance to RAMSI’s Participating Police Force as it works to strengthen the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force.
RAMSI's military contingent is currently led by Lieutenant Colonel Brenton Gasteen, with soldiers from four nations – Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and Tonga - all serving in Solomon Islands.
In the initial period following RAMSI’s arrival in 2003, the key role of RAMSI’s military was to provide protection for the Participating Police Force and other parts of the Mission, necessary due to the serious law and order situation and the large number of illegally-held weapons present in the Solomon Islands community at the time.
The key focus
The key focus of RAMSI’s military now is to deter destabilising elements within the country, and support RAMSI’s Participating Police Force efforts to strengthen the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force capacity to maintain law and order and provide a stable security environment.
The military component is able to respond to incidents beyond the capabilities of the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force and RAMSI's multi-national Participating Police Force.
With no sign of a return to militancy in Solomon Islands, law and order restored and a much improved local police force, RAMSI has begun discussions with the Solomon Islands Government and with Pacific Islands contributing nations on the future withdrawal of the Combined Task Force. This withdrawal would not occur before mid-2013.