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Australia committed to East Timor defence force training.



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Minister for Defence Media Mail List -----------------------------------------------------------------------

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THE HON. JOEL FITZGIBBON MP Minister for Defence

Tuesday, 24 June 2008 062/2008

AUSTRALIA COMMITTED TO EAST TIMOR DEFENCE FORCE TRAINING

Two East Timorese officers are due to graduate from the Royal Military College at Duntroon today as part of an ongoing program by Australia to provide high quality training to the East Timor Defence Force.

Alferes (2nd LT) Francisco Da Silva and Alferes (2nd LT) Helio Da Costa have both completed a range of Australian training to bring them to this point. Both have completed English language programs in East Timor and Australia and 2nd LT Da Silva completed the Defence sponsored English Language Course at Charles Darwin University.

Both officers are set to complete more detailed specialist training in Australia in Engineering and Logistics respectively, before returning to East Timor to pass on their skills and lead the men and women of the East Timorese Defence Force.

The Graduation of East Timorese officers highlights statements made by the Minister for Defence, the Hon. Joel Fitzgibbon MP in Parliament on 23 June where he reiterated Australia’s enduring commitment to develop the East Timorese Defence Force.

“Helping to build a solid, well trained and apolitical Defence Force for East Timor is one way that my Department can create the conditions necessary for stability to take hold and for democracy and prosperity to flourish,” Mr Fitzgibbon said.

The Graduation Parade and Commissioning ceremony will occur at the Duntroon Parade Ground at 0930 on 24 June 2008.

Media contacts: Christian Taubenschlag (Joel Fitzgibbon): 02 6277 7800 or 0438 595 567 Defence Media Liaison: 02 6265 3343 or 0408 498 664

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