20 March 2010

AusGov: CDF thanks the troops for their commitment to East Timor

Australian Government Department of Defense Media Release - CDF thanks the troops for their commitment to East Timor

The Chief of the Defence Force, Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston, has thanked soldiers and their families for their commitment to restoring stability in East Timor.

Concluding a two-day visit to Dili, Air Chief Marshal Houston highlighted the evolving role of Australia’s military presence in ensuring a lasting peace.

“There has been ongoing improvement in the security situation that has enabled the ADF to expand its defence cooperation efforts in East Timor,” Air Chief Marshal Houston said in Dili.

“Australia’s capacity-building programs cover a range of activities that include professional military advice and government training.

“The day I arrived in East Timor, an International Stabilisation Force (ISF) team returned from a remote village in the Ainaro district where they worked with the East Timorese Defence Force and Health Department to deliver a medical capacity-building program.

“This team of Australian and East Timorese medical staff treated 269 patients with a range of conditions. They also delivered important healthcare, nutrition and hygiene education to the village residents that will have a lasting positive effect in the area.”

The visit provided Air Chief Marshal Houston with the opportunity to meet with defence force personnel stationed at ISF Forward Operating Bases. He said he was impressed with the job that all deployed personnel are doing in East Timor.

“There are many sailors, soldiers, airmen and airwomen serving overseas who continue to make sacrifices in the service of our nation,” Air Chief Marshal Houston said to Australian Defence Force members in Dili.

“I thank you all for your commitment to the job you are doing in East Timor and I ask you to pass this message on to your families at home.”

Approximately 400 Australian personnel and 140 New Zealand personnel are deployed to East Timor as part of the ISF that is working in support of the Government of East Timor and the United Nations to maintain peace and stability.

Air Chief Marshal Houston now continues his regional tour with visits to Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands where he will meet with senior political and defence leaders, as well as Australian Defence Force personnel.

Media note: Imagery is available at: http://www.defence.gov.au/op/eastTimor/gallery/2010/20100319a/index.htm

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

Issued by Ministerial Support and Public Affairs, Department of Defence,
Canberra, ACT
Phone: 02 6127 1999
Fax: 02 6265 6946
Media releases are available by email if you register online

http://www.defence.gov.au/media/DepartmentalTpl.cfm?CurrentId=10062
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