Camp RAMSI, near the capital Honiara on Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands was established in 2003 as a combined headquarters, used by both military forces and the multi-national Participating Police Force (PPF), for the Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands (RAMSI).
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Camp RAMSI, Australian War Memorial (AWM) photograph
“Aerial view of Camp RAMSI, principal military and police base for the Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands (RAMSI).… Camp RAMSI was established at the former Guadalcanal Beach Resort, 10km east of Honiara, and 2km from the RAMSI Air Point of Departure at Honiara International Airport, formerly Henderson Field. It housed members of the multi-national RAMSI Participating Police Force (PPF), Australian, Tongan and Papua New Guinean infantry, and support forces, including a field hospital.”
Officers briefing at Camp RAMSI, Australian War Memorial (AWM) photograph
“Camp RAMSI, near Honiara on Guadalcanal, was established as a combined headquarters, used by both military forces and the multi-national Participating Police Force, for the Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands (RAMSI), including Australia’s contribution, Operation Anode. Military forces were intended to provide logistical and security support for the policing operation, intended to restore law and order in the Solomon Islands following several years of political violence and crime.”
Facilities at Camp RAMSI, Australian War Memorial (AWM) photograph
“Camp RAMSI, located near Honiara, capital of the Solomon Islands, was the military and police headquarters of the Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands (RAMSI). Australia’s contribution was known as Operation Anode. At the time the photograph was taken, a newer shower block had been constructed, but the old one remained popular because of its prime location with ‘million-dollar views’ of the beach and the sea.”
Australian Federal Police Overseas Operations, Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) Audit report No.53, 2006-07 Performance Audit, p40
“Most PPF staff are located in or near Honiara. For PPF purposes the AFP leases a site known as the Guadalcanal Beach Resort (GBR), which is located 16 kilometres to the east of Honiara and about a kilometre from Henderson Airport. The site was initially leased by the ADF in 2003 as the base for the International Peace Monitoring Team. The AFP and the ADF have progressively developed the site to accommodate up to 350 deployees on a medium to long-term basis and up to 700 including surge-capacity related short deployments. The site is leased by the AFP at an annual cost of $462 000.
“…..At the time of the initial deployment, suitable accommodation infrastructure on the GBR site was minimal. As a result PPF and ADF contingents lived in tents and had access to very basic ablution facilities. Since then there has been a progressive development of the GBR facilities and site infrastructure, including the installation of a comprehensive perimeter security and monitoring system. PPF members are housed in ADF-built temporary / relocatable accommodation consisting of clusters of shared bedrooms. Most PPF staff sleep two per room and share a common living space. Ablution blocks are separate, as are laundry facilities (which is a contracted service through the prime contractor). Meals for GBR residents are provided in a central mess, which is also operated under the logistics contract.
“The AFP has plans to redevelop the GBR site to improve the standard of accommodation and upgrade facilities and utilities services. Timing of the redevelopment depends on a number of factors, including the management of accommodation and services during the upgrade and balancing the investment in the site with the uncertainty of mission duration, given the current political environment. The site upgrade is expected to cost $9 million in 2006-07, with funding approved in 2006.”
Australian Federal Police Overseas Operations, Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) Audit report No.53, 2006-07 Performance Audit, pp61-62
“Force protection measures at Solomon Islands include a sophisticated perimeter security system at the GBR site, personal protective equipment and policies and requirements on movement of PPF staff in and around Honiara. The AFP’s Operational Response Group (ORG) and the ADF rifle platoon stationed at the GBR can assist in force protection. Measures such as curfew and night-time restrictions are part of the AFP’s approach to force protection….
“Security at the GBR site has been progressively refined during the course of the mission. Current security measures include perimeter fencing, night and day APS monitoring via patrols and a sophisticated closed-circuit television (CCTV) and sensor system, restricted site access through gates manned 24 hours per day seven days per week by locally-engaged staff under the logistical support contract. Access to the GBR site is restricted to those with AFP-issued PPF/RAMSI identification. The audit team observed that, at the time of fieldwork, locally-engaged staff members at the security checkpoint at the entrance gates were diligent in sighting identification of everyone in every vehicle.”
RAMSI respects Solomon Islands law, Media release, RAMSI website, 2006
“The Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI) respects and upholds the laws and customs of Solomon Islands because the mission respects the people it came here to help. RAMSI Special Coordinator Tim George today said there was no foundation to allegations that prostitution is occurring at RAMSI’s base, GBR….The Commander of the Participating Police Force (PPF) Will Jamieson said there was no evidence of prostitution at the base.”
Commentary and analysis
Policebuilding: The International Deployment Group in the Solomon Islands, Gordon Peake and Kaysie Studdard Brown, International Peacekeeping, Vol.12, No.4, Winter 2005, pp.521
“Many of the IDG officers are known to each other from past work and have a shared understanding of basic goals. Based together in a camp outside the capital, Honiara, this helped further embed an existing esprit de corps. Paradoxically, the camaraderie risks accentuating a gap between the IDG and the locals to whom they are transferring knowledge, training and ultimately, authority. Australian officers have transported their own ready-made institutional culture, which like many organizational cultures, especially police organizations, distrusts outsiders and new officers.”