The ADF’s contribution to the United Nations Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT) – Operation TOWER – has ended.
The conclusion of Operation TOWER precedes the end of UNMIT operations in the country on 31 December 2012.
The ADF has contributed to UNMIT and all of the preceding UN missions dating back to 1999. More than 5000 ADF members have served with UN missions in Timor-Leste.
Commander Joint Operations Lieutenant General Ash Power said the ADF had made an important contribution to the UN-led effort in Timor-Leste.
“The Australian Defence Force committed troops to each phase of restabilising Timor-Leste,” Lieutenant General Power said.
“From peace keeping and security operations through to nation building and reinforcing the political process, the ADF has worked alongside the security forces and government of Timor-Leste as part of the UN commitment.”
Lieutenant General Power said the Operation TOWER personnel worked hard to achieve their mission.
“The Operation TOWER military liaison and staff officers played a significant role in UNMIT and Timor-Leste,” he said.
“The ADF personnel monitored Timor-Leste’s security environment and provided advice on restoring and maintaining security on a daily basis.
“Today Timor-Leste is safe and peaceful, and its security forces can maintain this environment. This is in part due to the work of our personnel deployed on Operation TOWER,” he said.
Lieutenant Colonel Graham Goodwin, the final commander of Operation TOWER said a comprehensive civil military program helped break down barriers and assist local communities.
“Part of our role involved an extensive mentoring program for the F-FDTL on peace keeping operations, human rights, laws of armed conflict and rules of engagement,” Lieutenant Colonel Goodwin said.
“This mentoring has assisted the professional development of the Timor-Leste Defence Force (F-FDTL).”
Lieutenant Colonel Goodwin said Operation TOWER personnel also facilitated medical clinics to remote areas and were involved in language and computer technology training in schools and colleges.
The ADF has annually contributed four people to the United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET) since 2006.
Defence Media Operations (02) 6127 1999