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Army October 13, 2011
By Flt-Lt John McCourt
THE International Stabilisation
Force’s (ISF) Anzac Coy has been
warmly received in East Timor’s
remote towns and villages dur-
ing recent regional engagement
During a patrol through the
Viqueque region in the far south
east, a platoon of Anzac soldiers
played soccer with children, shook
hands with parents and sat down
with community leaders to talk
about local issues and security.
The patrols of regional areas help
demonstrate to the local populations
the support of Australia and New
Zealand for developing long-lasting
peace in East Timor.
After completing its Viqueque
patrol, the platoon returned to the
Anzac Coy base in Dili.
Platoon commander Lt Ross
Bidlake said most locals liked see-
ing the ISF out and about and were
spontaneous in their welcomes.
“One local elder came up to me
and gave me a hug for just being
there,” Lt Bidlake said. “That’s pret-
ty special for a soldier out on patrol.”
OC Anzac Coy Maj Robert
Miller said the patrols were more
about walking down the street
engaging with people than overt
“You walk, you talk, you sit down
for a coffee and you engage,” Maj
“That’s what it’s all about. They
like the ISF and feel we’re contribut-
ing to the wellbeing of their country.”
The Anzac Coy in East Timor is
the only Anzac force currently oper-
ating anywhere in the world. It is the
infantry component of the ISF and
comprises regular New Zealand sol-
diers and Australian Army reservists.
Most of the Australians current-
ly operating with Anzac Coy come
from the Sydney-based 8 Bde.
Remote patrols bring smiles
Eat up: OC Anzac Coy Maj Robert Miller enjoys fresh coconut with local
children in Viqueque.
water for the
in a remote
part of East
Photos by Cpl
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