Almost 100 Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel from ANZAC Company have returned home to Australia now their mission in Timor-Leste as part of the International Stabilisation Force (ISF) is complete.
Operation ASTUTE Padre Stephen Bennett says Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel can hold their heads high after sharing Christmas with children in orphanages in Timor-Leste.
East Timor began an exciting new chapter in its history when the Australian-led International Stabilisation Force (ISF) ceased security operations on 22 November.
The Australian Defence Force has formally concluded Operation ASTUTE in Timor-Leste and has redeployed all troops and equipment to Australia.
A small number of Australian Defence Force personnel returned home to Australia on 27 March 2013 marking the end of the Australian-led International Stabilisation Force.
The last commander of Joint Task Force 631, Lieutenant Colonel Mick Sasse, who flew into Australia after the final handover of Australian bases to the Government of Timor-Leste.
The latest mission in the fledgling nation started on 25 May 2006 in response to a request from the Government of Timor-Leste and had been a success in restoring public order and stability.
Operation TOWER is the ADF's contribution to the United Nations Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT), and is commanded by Commander Andrew Schroder.
The UNMIT was established by United Nations Security Council Resolution 1704 following civil unrest in East Timor in 2006. UNMIT is the UN's fifth East Timor mission since 1999 and the third since Independence in 2002. http://unmit.unmissions.org/
With representation from 13 countries, the UNMIT Military Liaison Group conducts daily monitoring of the security environment as well as providing military advice on the restoration and maintenance of security. ADF members are also employed as staff officers based at UNMIT headquarters in Dili.
These and other Military Liaison Officers play a crucial role in security reform, including contributing to the professional development of the East Timor Defence Force (F-FDTL) by designing and delivering Liaison Officer training to F-FDTL officers and Senior Noncommissioned Officers (SNCOs).
The Prime Minister of East Timor and the senior leadership of the F-FDTL have officially recognised the importance of this training, enhancing the ADF's profile with the F-FDTL as well as positively reinforcing Australia's contribution to UNMIT.