29 Oct 2003

Army leader says RAMSI mission to Solomons most successful such exercise he has been involved in

4:55 pm on 29 October 2003

The officer who headed the New Zealand military component of the Solomon Islands intervention force through its first three months, says it has been the most successful such exercise he has been involved in.

Wing Commander Shaun Clark, who finished his tour of duty this week, says he has been involved in similar missions in other parts of the world and he wouldn't have imagined the Solomons mission could go so smoothly.

He says a key factor in this was the support the mission received from Solomon Islanders.

"for a start, they invited this and that was an almost unanimous invitation, so they have been fully on board all the way through, they have been helping police with their investigations"

Wing Commander Shaun Clark.

Yesterday the Australian and New Zealand Governments announced they would downsize their military commitments to Solomon Islands over the next two months, because they operation had gone so successfully.