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Minister for Defence opens Specialist Training Wing in East Timor.



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THE HON JOEL FITZGIBBON MP Minister for Defence THE HON ALAN GRIFFIN MP Minister for Veterans’ Affairs

www.defence.gov.au

Friday, 6 March 2009 030/2009

MINISTER FOR DEFENCE OPENS SPECIALIST TRAINING WING IN EAST TIMOR

The Minister for Defence, The Hon. Joel Fitzgibbon MP, was joined by East Timor’s Prime Minister, Mr Xanana Gusmao, to officially open the Specialist Training Wing at the East Timor Defence Force Metinaro Training Base in East Timor today.

“I am pleased to announce the opening of the $6 million Specialist Training Wing for the East Timor Defence Force at their training base in Metinaro,” said Mr Fitzgibbon.

“This was a key project under the auspices of our bilateral Defence Cooperation Program.”

The Defence Cooperation Program with East Timor was established in 2001 and focuses on helping the East Timorese establish a professional, sustainable and affordable Defence Force.

Key activities under the Program include training through embedded ADF advisers, education programs and large infrastructure projects, such as the Specialist Training Wing.

“The Specialist Training Wing will provide high quality specialist training for the East Timor Defence Force in areas such as communications, logistics, engineering and medical skills delivered by Australian Defence Cooperation Program personnel,” Mr Fitzgibbon said.

“This Training Wing symbolises the enduring commitment to developing East Timor’s Defence Force, and is testament to the hard work and drive displayed by both Australian Defence Cooperation Program staff and the East Timor Defence Force.”

The opening ceremony was also attended by the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, the Hon. Alan Griffin, and Chief of the Defence Force, Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston, and the Chief of the East Timorese Defence Force, Brigadier General Taur Matan Ruak.

Media note: Imagery will be available from http://www.defence.gov.au/media/download.

Media contacts: Jack Smith (Joel Fitzgibbon): 0408 116 42355

Defence Media Liaison: 02 6265 3343 or 0408 498 664