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The Chief of the Defence Force visits troops in East Timor

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Issued by Ministerial Executive and Coordination Communication, Department of Defence, Canberra, ACT Phone: 02 6127 1999, Fax: 02 6265 1545

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MECC 43/11 Thursday, 3 February 2011

The Chief of the Defence Force visits troops in East Timor

The Chief of Defence Force, Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston, has visited Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel in East Timor as part of a two-day visit to commemorate the 11th anniversary of the establishment of East Timor’s Defence Force (F-FDTL).

Air Chief Marshal Houston thanked Defence Cooperation Program (DCP) and International Stabilisation Force (ISF) personnel for their work in East Timor.

“Each of you is making an important contribution to Australia’s efforts in East Timor. I thank you for your contribution. We are proud of your efforts and very much appreciate the support of your families,” Air Chief Marshal Houston said.

“The Government of East Timor values the ADF’s assistance, and we continue to work closely with the Government, the United Nations and our partners, New Zealand, to ensure our assistance meets East Timor’s security and development needs.”

Defence Attaché Dili, Colonel Andrew Duff, noted that the improving security situation in East Timor had allowed the ISF to refocus its efforts on strengthening the capacity of the F-FDTL in coordination with the DCP through nation building activities.

Commander of the ISF, Colonel Michael Reilly, emphasised the good work the ADF was doing in East Timor.

“We are making a real difference cooperating with the F-FDTL on engineering and construction projects that benefit the East Timorese community,” Colonel Reilly said.

Australia has 25 DCP personnel in East Timor, including specialists in communications, medical and infantry skills, logistics, engineering, maritime security, finance and strategic policy, providing advice and training to support the development of the F-FDTL and East Timor’s Secretariat of Defence.

Approximately 400 ADF personnel and 70 New Zealand defence force personnel are deployed as part of the ISF to support the development of East Timor’s security sector and build the capacity of the F-FDTL in support of the DCP.

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