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Chief of Defence Force receives Order of Timor Leste



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DEFENCE MEDIA RELEASE

Issued by Ministerial Support and Public Affairs, Department of Defence, Canberra, ACT Phone: 02 6127 1999, Fax: 02 6265 1545

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EMBARGOED UNTIL 14:30 AEST, 2 FEBRUARY 2011 MSPA 34/11 Wednesday, 2 February 2011

CHIEF OF DEFENCE FORCE RECEIVES ORDER OF TIMOR LESTE

The Chief of Defence Force, Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston, has been formally recognised for his commitment and support to East Timor during his leadership of the Australian Defence Force (ADF) since 2005.

On Wednesday 2 February, East Timorese President Ramos-Horta awarded Air Chief Marshal Houston with the Medal of the Order of Timor Leste. The Order of Timor Leste is the highest recognition that can be bestowed in East Timor and is intended to recognise individuals who have made a significant contribution to East Timor and the Timorese people.

“I am deeply honoured to receive this award and I commend the Government of East Timor for its leadership and commitment to ensuring East Timor’s continuing stability,” Air Chief Marshal Houston said.

Air Chief Marshal Houston accepted the award during a counterpart visit to East Timor. The ceremony was attended by guests including East Timor’s Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao and the Chief of Defence Force, Major General Taur Matan Ruak.

The medal ceremony coincided with the 11th anniversary of the establishment of the East Timor’s Defence Force (F-FDTL). Air Chief Marshal Houston participated in commemoration activities in recognition of this important event in East Timor’s history.

“The F-FDTL has made significant progress since its establishment in 2001 to develop as a professional and stable defence force. The ADF values its partnership with the F-FDTL and remains committed to future cooperation with the F-FDTL,” Air Chief Marshal Houston said.

Defence currently has 25 personnel posted to East Timor as part of the Defence Cooperation Program, and around 400 ADF members deployed as part of the International Stabilisation Force (ISF) to assist the Government of East Timor develop its security sector and strengthen the F-FDTL and Secretariat of Defence. New Zealand currently contributes around 70 defence force personnel to the ISF.

Media contact: Defence Media Liaison: 02 6127 1999 or 0408 498 664