PPF – command – Solomon Islands

PPF – command – Solomon Islands


The Participating Police Force (PPF) is the overseas police contingent deployed through the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI). Since its creation in 2003, the PPF has always been commanded by an officer of the Australian Federal Police (AFP), who is also sworn in as the Deputy Commissioner of the Solomon Islands Police Force (SIPF).

PPF commanders

  • 2003 Ben McDevitt
  • 2004 Sandy Peisley
  • 2005 Will Jamieson
  • 2007 Dennis McDermott
  • 2009 Wayne Buchhorn

A senior AFP officer Shane Castles served as Commissioner of the Royal Solomon Islands Police (RSIP) until 2006, when his position was terminated while he was on leave, following the Julian Moti affair.

Government statements

Australia to maintain key policing role in Solomons, Minister for Foreign Affairs Alexander Downer and Minister for Justice and Customs Senator Chris Ellison, Media release, June 2004

“One of Australia’s most senior female police officers will take over as Commander of the Participating Police Force in Solomon Islands next month. Australian Federal Police (AFP) Assistant Commissioner Sandi Peisley, who has significant experience in the international policing environment, will also be sworn in as a Deputy Commissioner with the Royal Solomon Islands Police (RSIP). AFP Assistant Commissioner and the current Deputy Commissioner of the RSIP, Ben McDevitt, will finish his term as commander at the end of July, coinciding with the one-year anniversary of the Regional Assistance Mission in Solomon Islands (RAMSI).

“The Australian government is delighted that Assistant Commissioner Peisley has accepted this important role and is confident that she has the skills and experience to continue the excellent progress made to date….She has significant experience in the international environment including United Nations Civilian Police Peacekeeping in Cyprus and Commissioner of the UN Police contingent in East Timor.”

Assistant Commissioner Ben McDevitt, Australian War Memorial (AWM) photograph

“Lieutenant Colonel (Lt Col) John Frewen, Commander of the Coalition Task Force for the Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands [in 2003] and Assistant Commissioner Ben McDevitt of the Australian Federal Police, RAMSI Participating Police Force (PPF) Commander (right) at a public information meeting in the village of Rame’ai. They are wearing flower garlands presented by local children. Assistant Commissioner McDevitt, a Canberra-based police officer had previously played a prominent role in the Bali bombing investigations.”

AFP celebrates RAMSI Anniversary, AFP Media release, 22 July 2005

“The AFP lead law enforcement operation commenced in the Solomon Islands on 24 July 2003. Two years on, AFP Federal Agent Will Jamieson will be deputised as the third (AFP) Deputy Commissioner of the Royal Solomon Islands Police and Commander of the Participating Police Force.”

PPF Commander Will Jamieson farewelled in Honiara, AFP release, 18 July 2007

“After two years at the helm of RAMSI’s Participating Police Force (PPF) and as Deputy Commissioner of the Solomon Islands Police Force (SIPF), Will Jamieson has handed over his sword at the Rove Police parade ground in Honiara…”

New Deputy Commissioner Inspects First Parade, RAMSI Media release, 16 June 2009

The new Deputy Commissioner for the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force, Wayne Buchhorn, inspected the police parade for the first time last Thursday morning at the Police Headquarters at Rove. Deputy Commissioner Buchhorn was accompanied by the RSIPF Commissioner, Peter Marshall and Deputy Commissioner Walter Kola.

Mr Buchhorn served with the Australian Federal Police (AFP) for 21 years in investigative roles ranging from fraud, intelligence, drug operations, surveillance and two years with the National Crime Authority….Deputy Commissioner Buchhorn has played an important role in the AFP’s International Network and was the AFP’s Senior Liaison Officer in Singapore. Following this he was posted to Jakarta, Indonesia as the AFP Manager where he was responsible for all AFP activities across the Indonesian archipelago. Prior to joining the AFP Deputy Commissioner Buchhorn spent six years serving with the Australian Regular Army, serving with the Special Air Service Regiment in Perth. Upon his return to Australia in 2007 he took up the role as Manager of the AFP’s international counter terrorism activities. In February 2008 Deputy Commissioner Buchhorn was seconded to the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet where he worked as part of the team on the Homeland and Border Security Review.”

Commentary and analysis

Operation Helpem Fren – a personal perspective, Ben McDevitt, Australian Army Journal, Vol.3 No.2, Winter 2006, p63

Former PPF Commander Ben McDevitt outlines his perspectives on the challenges of the operation in the Australian Army Journal.

Rebuilding a Police Service – Restoring Law and Order: An Overview of the Activities of the Participating Police Force in the Solomon Islands, Will Jamieson, Former PPF Commander, SSGM seminar, ANU, 15 November 2007

This paper will focus upon the challenges faced and strategies adopted by the Participating Police Force (PPF) in order to meet stakeholder expectations in rebuilding the Solomon Islands Police Force.”

See also:

ADF command – Solomon Islands