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Department of Defence
Media Release


19/09/2006 MECC 250/06
Defence Media Release





The final 69 soldiers of Battle Group Faithful will return home tonight, after four months working in Timor-Leste assisting the Government with bringing security, peace and confidence to its people. 


The soldiers, primarily from Sydney’s 3rd Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment (3RAR) will be welcomed home by their families and Major General Mark Kelly, Land Commander Australia at Sydney International Airport. 


Battle Group Faithful commander, Lieutenant Colonel Mick Mumford says their deployment was successful. 


“During our four months in Timor-Leste, the soldiers recovered 1380 firearms and confiscated well over 1500 bladed weapons,” LTCOL Mumford said. 


“The role in returning peace to this nation required a high level of training amongst the entire Infantry Battalion Group.  The soldiers made crucial decisions in a complex civil environment.” 


LTCOL Mumford thanked the families of his soldiers for their ongoing support.  “All the soldiers and their families should be proud of the professional level at which these members operated over the past four months. 


The rotation of the Infantry Battalion Group was completed on Saturday 16 September during a handover ceremony, when the role was passed to 6th Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment (6RAR), from Brisbane, commanded by LTCOL Scott Goddard. 


Around 300 members of 6RAR form the nucleus of the battalion group of approximately 450 to 500 soldiers.  The new rotation continues ADF support at the invitation of the Timorese Government to provide a strong and stable environment in Timor-Leste. 


Note to Editors/Chiefs of Staff: Media are invited to attend the welcome home at 9.25pm today at the Arrival Terminal of Sydney International Airport.

An interview with LTCOL Mumford will be fed to the networks at the Federal Parliament Press gallery today.

Further information on Operation Astute can be found at


Media contact:

Captain Gabrielle Parker            Public Affairs Officer    (02) 9339 3008 or 0408 481 404


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Issued by Ministerial and Executive Coordination and Communication,
Department of Defence,
Canberra, ACT
Phone: 02 6127 1999 Fax: 02 6265 6946
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