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Army February 28, 2013
Last infantrymen home
Final 50 infantry soldiers depart Timor-Leste as mission draw down continues
THE final platoon of 50 Anzac Coy infan-
try soldiers attached to the ADF mission in
Timor-Leste has returned home.
The soldiers provided security at five for-
ward operating bases in and around Dili during
their four-month deployment.
With the end of mission for the International
Stabilisation Force and closure of four of the
five bases, the number of infantry soldiers has
Anzac Coy, originally about 200 Australian
personnel as well as a New Zealand Army pla-
toon, had been providing security and contribut-
ing to the remediation of equipment and bases in
Now, with one remaining base accommodat-
ing the final logistics element in country, the
infantry soldiers have completed their work and
returned to their home base in Adelaide.
Commander of the Australian mission
in Timor-Leste, Lt-Col Mick Sasse, said the
Timor-Leste police and defence forces had come
a long way since the turbulent times of 2006.
"The people of Timor-Leste have really
embraced the ADF presence and we have pro-
vided them with a secure footing for their future.
"Now they are ready to stand on their own;
it's their time."
From the days of Interfet (International
Force East Timor), Australia has contributed
troops in Timor-Leste for the past 13 years, rep-
resenting more than 10 per cent of the Army's
A small core of personnel will remain in
Timor-Leste to finalise base remediation and
handovers, with all forces attached to Joint Task
Force 631 expected to be out of Timor-Leste by
the middle of the year.
All aboard: The last Anzac Coy soldiers board a Hercules to depart Timor-Leste for Adelaide. Inset, Joint Task Force 633 personnel have
their baggage checked by quarantine service staff before leaving.
Photos by AB Lee-Anne Mack
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