picsolomons2Member for Page Janelle Saffin today formally acknowledged members of the Lismore-based 41st Battalion for their service in the Solomon Islands.

Ms Saffin thanked the four ADF reservists, Sergeant Rex Casson, Corporal Scott Heapy, Lance Corporal Andrew Collinge and Private Adam Atkins, for their service on Operation ANODE as part of the Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Island (RAMSI). 

Ms Saffin said the soldiers had played an important role in ensuring the security of the Solomon Islands and helping building peace in the region.

“The defence work in the Solomon Islands can be quite different to other operations, involving a greater level of engagement with the local community, and often being called on to do things that wouldn’t be part of usual military duty,” she said.

Captain Warren Walsh of the 41st Battalion accompanied the soldiers and Ms Saffin acknowledged his work with the Battalion and thanked him for arranging for the soldiers to attend the function.

Ms Saffin also read a message from the Parliamentary Secretary for Defence Support, Mike Kelly.

Mr Kelly thanked the men for their dedication and taking time out from their civilian lives for their deployment and also thanked the employers, families and friends who made it possible for the men to be away for months serving in the Solomon Islands.

Mr Kelly said the soldiers should be proud of their contribution, as the security situation in the Solomon Islands remains stable and this is largely due to RAMSI’s presence.

PICTURE: From left, Lance Corporal Andrew Collinge, Sergeant Rex Casson, Janelle Saffin, Private Adam Atkins and Corporal Scott Heapy.