Change of Command in East Timor
3 July 2011
The Commander of the International Stabilisation Force (ISF) in East Timor, Colonel Michael Reilly, has concluded his nine-month deployment, passing command of the joint Australian and New Zealand force to Colonel Luke Foster in Dili today (2 July, 2011).
Colonel Reilly said the past nine months had seen many successes and challenges.
“It is a privilege to have led the combined Australian and New Zealand Force that performed in the true spirit of the ANZAC legend forged so many years ago,” Colonel Reilly said.
“The ISF has conducted many activities throughout Dili and regionalEast Timorin support of the East Timorese people and security services, engaging with local authorities and communities and maintaining our important role in this new country.”
Colonel Reilly said the infantry group, ANZAC Company, primarily comprised of reservist soldiers fromQueensland, had demonstrated the exceptional contribution that reservist members bring to the Australian Defence Force.
In February, the ISF received an urgent call for assistance from the Government of Timor-Leste to deal with the devastation caused by floods which struck Dili.
“It was a challenging time and I was very proud of the professionalism and dedication of our troops.”
Colonel Reilly said an important role of the ISF has been its work alongsideEast Timorsecurity forces to ensure a stable environment.
The ISF has also undertaken a number of support projects with the East Timor Police Force including an important upgrade to its weapons range.
The departing commander said he leavesEast Timorwith a sense of fulfillment and with positive anticipation for the future.
“East Timoris a proud country with a visionary leadership and I am sure it will continue to grow stronger with its own special sense of destiny,”Colonel Reilly said.
“I express my thanks and gratitude to the friendly and professional relations afforded to me by the Government of Timor-Leste on behalf of the people ofEast Timor.”
Imagery is available at http://images.defence.gov.au/fotoweb/Grid.fwx?archiveId=5003=&search=11120012