Operation Plumbob

Operation Plumbob

Operation Plumbob is the codename allocated to the evacuation of Australians and other nationals from the Solomon Islands following the June 2000 coup in Honiara.

Solomon Islands – operations Plumbob and Trek – RAN Ships, Veterans Affairs

“On 6 June 2000, HMAS Tobruk was en route from Bougainville to Vanuatu when the ship was directed to provide support for a possible Services Assisted Evacuation of Australian nationals from Honiara in the Solomon Islands. HMAS Tobruk took up a position to the South of Guadalcanal on the evening of 7 June and at 1100 on 8 June received the order to enter SI territorial waters and proceed to an anchorage at Point Cruz, Honiara. HMAS Tobruk sailed from Honiara at 1030 on 10 June having embarked 486 civilian evacuees for the passage to Cairns, where the ship arrived on 13 June.”

Australian maritime doctrine (RAN doctrine), Chapter 7 – Maritime operations, 2000

“The versatility of amphibious forces was demonstrated during every phase of Operation Plumbob. HMAS Tobruk provided crucial support to the SAE of Australian and other approved foreign nationals from Solomon Islands during the initial stages of that country’s political crisis and civil unrest. After the evacuation, Tobruk returned in a peace operations role. This included the provision of a neutral venue for cease-fire talks, logistic and administrative support to the talks and assistance to Australian diplomatic activities associated with the cease fire process. The operation also provided the first test of HMAS Manoora’s capabilities in support of a regional contingency.”

See also:

Operation Trek