24 January 2009 - Continued stability in East Timor has allowed for a Company-sized group of about 100 ADF soldiers to return to Australia after a four-month deployment, with over 80 returning today.
This adjustment in the ADF’s deployment in East Timor was announced by the Minister for Defence on 22 October 2008 and is appropriate given continued improvements in the security situation in East Timor.
The Minister for Defence Science and Personnel, The Hon. Warren Snowdon MP met members of the returning contingent at Darwin Airport today, thanking them for their important service.
“You can be proud of the contribution you have made in providing security support to the Government of East Timor and the United Nation’s Mission in East Timor. You have played an important role in Australia’s ongoing commitment to assist East Timor.
“The Australian Government continues to be encouraged by the growing ability of the East Timorese security agencies, with support from the United Nations, to deal with security,” Mr Snowdon said.
The soldiers, from the Darwin-based 5th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment returned today after a four-month deployment.
Lieutenant Colonel Darren Huxley, Commanding Officer of the Timor-Leste Battle Group praised their service.
“They have played an important role in East Timor’s growth as a nation over the last year; the security situation is vastly improved and local forces are now taking on more responsibility.”
The soldiers were awarded the Australian Service Medal with Timor-Leste clasp during a parade in Dili before their departure.
About 650 Australian and 140 New Zealand troops will continue to provide security support to the Government of East Timor and the United Nations in order to maintain a stable environment.
Source - http://www.australia.to/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=4085:return-of-troops-signals-continued-stability-in-east-timor&catid=72:australian-news&Itemid=29
Image added by ETLJB - Exhausted Australian troopers rest in East Timor.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God. Matthew 5-7.
ETLJB salutes the Australian troopers in East Timor.