09 March 2009

Australian Minister for Defence opens Timor Military Training Base

9 March 2009 - The Minister for Defence, The Hon. Joel Fitzgibbon MP, was joined by East Timor’s Prime Minister, Mr Xanana Gusmao, to officially open the Specialist Training Wing at the East Timor Defence Force Metinaro Training Base in East Timor today.

“I am pleased to announce the opening of the $6 million Specialist Training Wing for the East Timor Defence Force at their training base in Metinaro,” said Mr Fitzgibbon.

“This was a key project under the auspices of our bilateral Defence Cooperation Program.”

The Defence Cooperation Program with East Timor was established in 2001 and focuses on helping the East Timorese establish a professional, sustainable and affordable Defence Force.

Key activities under the Program include training through embedded ADF advisers, education programs and large infrastructure projects, such as the Specialist Training Wing.

“The Specialist Training Wing will provide high quality specialist training for the East Timor Defence Force in areas such as communications, logistics, engineering and medical skills delivered by Australian Defence Cooperation Program personnel,” Mr Fitzgibbon said.

“This Training Wing symbolises the enduring commitment to developing East Timor’s Defence Force, and is testament to the hard work and drive displayed by both Australian Defence Cooperation Program staff and the East Timor Defence Force.”

The opening ceremony was also attended by the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, the Hon. Alan Griffin, and Chief of the Defence Force, Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston, and the Chief of the East Timorese Defence Force, Brigadier General Taur Matan Ruak.

Original source: http://www.australia.to/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=6693:minister-for-defence-opens-specialist-training-wing-in-east-timor&catid=70:war

Image added by ETLJB: East Timor Defence Force Chief, Brigadier General Taur Matan Ruak

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