28 October 2011
Media are invited to attend the farewell on Monday 31 October of the next rotation of NZ Defence Force personnel to depart for a six month deployment to Timor-Leste.
The contingent, made up of personnel from 1st Battalion Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment (1RNZIR) and supporting units, will support the Australian-led International Stabilisation Force (ISF) in Timor-Leste.
The improved security situation in Timor-Leste has allowed the International Stabilisation Force to evolve from a security and stabilisation role to supporting the capacity building of the Falintil-Forças de Defesa de Timor-Leste (F-FDTL, the Timor-Leste Defence Force).
67 personnel will be farewelled at Ohakea on Monday by Commander Joint Forces New Zealand, Major General Dave Gawn, and family and friends.
When: 0900am, Monday 31 October 2011. The departure time may change - you must register your attendance to be informed of any changes.
Where: Air Movements Terminal, Royal New Zealand Air Force Base Ohakea. Photo ID will be required.
Media wishing to attend the departure need to register with Kirsty Taylor-Doig, 021 806 926 by 5pm Friday 28 October.
NZ Defence Force has supported various operations in Timor-Leste since 1999.
The United Nations Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste (UNIMIT) was established in 2006 and is tasked with supporting the Timor-Leste government and security institutions including the F-FDTL and Policia Nacional de Timor-Leste (PNTL, the National Police of Timor-Leste).
As part of a planned drawdown, enabled by the improving security situation in Timor-Leste, the NZ Defence Force’s contribution was reduced from 140 to 75 personnel in May 2010. The Australian Defence Force also reduced its personnel numbers during 2010 to around 400.
Recently, in March 2011, the UN welcomed the transfer of responsibilities for all police operations back to the Policia Nacional de Timor-Leste.
The NZ Defence Force contribution to Timor-Leste also includes:
One Military Observer with the United Nations Mission in Timor-Leste.
Five advisors with the Falintil-Forças de Defesa de Timor-Leste (F-FDTL, the Timor-Leste Defence Force).
Four personnel in the National Support Element based in Darwin.
For further information contact Kirsty Taylor-Doig, Defence Communications Group, 021 806 926.