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Aussie soldiers return from Timor Leste.



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Media contacts Mark Williams (Senator Hill) 08 8237 7920 0409 246 544

Defence Media Liaison 02 6265 3343 0408 498 664

www.defence.gov.au

MEDIA RELEASE SENATOR THE HON ROBERT HILL Minister for Defence Leader of the Government in the Senate

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Friday 17 December, 2004 238/2004

AUSSIE SOLDIERS RETURN FROM TIMOR LESTE

Forty six soldiers have returned home after serving a six-month tour of duty with the United Nations Mission in Timor Leste (formerly East Timor), Defence Minister Robert Hill announced today.

“Australian troops continue to make a real and positive contribution to the everyday lives of the people of Timor Leste. The soldiers returning today have earned a well deserved break after six months of outstanding and often demanding work,” Senator Hill said.

The 46 soldiers who returned today are from the 1st Combat Engineer Regiment, 1st Command Support Regiment and 1st Combat Service Support Battalion.

They were welcomed home in Darwin by Federal Member for Solomon, David Tollner.

“The outstanding performance of Australian troops on operation is testament to their courage, professionalism and dedication to duty. The training, preparation and support they receive from the entire Defence organisation has also been crucial to the success of their mission,” Senator Hill said.

The current ADF contribution in Timor Leste is known as Operation Spire and deployed personnel undertake a range of roles to support the UN, mainly performing specialist tasks in fields such as logistics and engineering, and military liaison.

The primary ADF contribution to the UN is a Support Company comprising an Engineering Troop, Transport Section and Maintenance Section.

Other Australian contributions include Military Liaison Officers, an Aeromedical Evacuation Team and Staff Officers embedded in the UN Peace Keeping Force headquarters, including the appointments of Deputy Force Commander and Chief Legal Adviser.

Further information: Public Affairs Officer for Headquarters 1st Brigade, Captain John McPherson on 08 8935 2019 or 0416 257454.