Home' Army News : December 6th 2012 Contents Army December 6, 2012
The mission ends
Cpl Mark Doran
EAST Timor began a new chapter
in its history when the Australian-
led International Stabilisation Force
(ISF) ceased security operations on
After more than six years of help-
ing the East Timor security forces keep
the peace, the ISF role in East Timor
has changed to the redeployment of its
people and equipment to Australia and
Under the current agreement ISF
troops started to leave East Timor this
month and current bases were being
remediated for handover by mid-2013.
Members of the ISF marked the
end of their mission with a parade
at the Fatu Hada HQ of the East
Timor Defence Force. Dignitaries
included CDF Gen David Hurley and
East Timor Prime Minister Xanana
Gen Hurley said East Timor's secu-
rity forces had risen to several chal-
lenges during 2012.
"We have witnessed the success-
ful conduct of national elections, the
formation of a new government and
we celebrated the 10th anniversary of
restoration of independence," he said.
"Each of these demonstrates
The security environment in East
Timor has remained stable for the past
three and a half years and local secu-
rity forces have demonstrated their
ability to respond to domestic security
The UN will also withdraw its mis-
sion in East Timor by December 31
this year, though Australia's engage-
ment with the country will continue
through the Defence Cooperation
Program and Australian Federal Police
support to local police forces.
The ISF has already consolidat-
ed the number of bases from which
International Stabilisation Force ceases operations in East Timor
it operates in East Timor, including
handing over to the local government
a bare base at Gleno on February 27,
and Forward Operating Base Chauvel
on March 1.
Mr Gusmao said the farewell cer-
emony was a landmark moment for the
"On behalf of the government
and the people of Timor-Leste, I give
thanks to Australia and New Zealand
and the brave soldiers that served with
ISF for helping us achieve stability,"
"As a result we now look to the
future with optimism and hope.
"The departure of the ISF also rep-
resents a new stage for our nation in
which we must take responsibility for
our own security and for the future of
Since 2006, the ADF has deployed
9513 soldiers, 913 sailors, 833 airmen
and 97 civilians to East Timor.
Before the drawdown the ISF
included 361 soldiers, 10 sailors, 18
airmen and two civilians, and up to
70 personnel from the New Zealand
Defence Force (NZDF).
The force consists of a Joint Task
Force HQ made up of Australian and
New Zealand Navy, Army and Air
Force personnel, infantry personnel
from 1 Bde and 5 Bde, and members
of the New Zealand Army.
Support elements are from the
wider ADF and NZDF, including engi-
neers, communications and logistics
The ISF also includes the Timor-
Leste Aviation Group, with personnel
and Black Hawks drawn primarily from
5 Avn Regt, which had been deployed
on Operation Astute since 2006.
See the centrepiece for a more detailed look
back at Australian operations in East Timor
Job well done: International
Stabilisation Force personnel
parade at Fatu Hada HQ in
Dili to mark the end of their
operations in East Timor.
Inset, CDF Gen David Hurley
inspects the Honour Guard
Photos by AB Lee-Anne Mack
MORE than 70 personnel from the
Timor-Leste Aviation Group have
returned to Australia now their mission
in East Timor is complete.
TLAG has provided security and air
transport support to the Australian-led
JTF 631 since 2006.
ISF commander Lt-Col Mick Sasse
said the contribution from air and
ground crews that comprised TLAG
rotations was fundamental to the success
of the task force's mission.
"Our Black Hawk aircraft have
provided night aeromedical evacuation
capability, not only for our own force,
but we have often done aeromedical
evacuations of locals in distress," he
TLAG has completed 18 rotations in
East Timor as part of Operation Astute
It has comprised of personnel and
airframes from 5 Avn Regt, 6 Avn Regt,
AATC, SOER and 9FSB.
East Timor aviators
head for home
Heading home: Pte Rod Matthews refuels a Black Hawk's auxiliary fuel tank
in preparation for the Timor-Leste Aviation Group's return to Australia.
Photo by AB Lee-Anne Mack
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