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20 May 2008
Lieutenant General Peter Leahy visit to Timor-Leste

This week Lieutenant General Peter Leahy made his last of many visits to Timor-Leste in his capacity of Chief of the Army. During his two day visit he traveled by Black Hawk to chat with ‘Diggers’at Gleno and Same, two forward operating bases in the rugged interior of the country.

He then lunched at the Heliport (H Pod)with the soldiers, and visited the Chief of the Timor-Leste Defence Force (F-FDTL), Brigadier Taur Matan Ruak. Finally he returned to the Headquarters of the ISF at Camp Phoenix for a tour, briefings, dinner, and an address to the HQ staff. In his address he said; "You are helping a neighbor who deserves and needs our help. Thank you for what you are doing for our country and Timor-Leste."

Operation ASTUTE is the Australian Government's response to a request from the Government of Timor-Leste to assist in restoring peace to their country.

The Australian Defence Force (ADF) has deployed to Timor-Leste with a mission to assist the Government and the United Nations to bring stability, security and confidence to the Timorese to allow them to resolve their differences democratically and peacefully.

There are approximately 1000 ADF personnel currently serving in Timor-Leste. This force will remain in Timor-Leste continuing to provide a robust response capability to support the Government of Timor-Leste and the United Nations Police force.

Police from Australia and 24 other nations throughout the world provide security in Dili. The ADF provides support to these police operations as required.

The New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) is working alongside the ADF to assist with this mission.