17 May 2012
Media are invited to attend the return on Friday 18 May of the twelfth rotation of NZ Defence Force personnel who have completed a six month deployment to Timor-Leste.
The contingent supported the Australian-led International Stabilisation Force (ISF) to assist the Timor-Leste government and security institutions, including the Falintil-Forças de Defesa de Timor-Leste (Timor-Leste Defence Force) and Policia Nacional de Timor-Leste, to maintain a stable and secure environment.
Sixty-seven Defence Force personnel will be met at Royal New Zealand Air Force Base Ohakea by Commander Joint Forces, Major General Dave Gawn, family and friends. The contingent is made up mostly of personnel from 1st Battalion Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment (1RNZIR) and supporting units.
When: 5.30pm, Friday 18 May 2012. Timings may change - you must register your attendance to be informed of any changes.
Where: Air Movements Terminal, Royal New Zealand Air Force Base Ohakea.
Media wishing to attend the arrival need to register with Defence Communications Group on 021 487 980 by 11am Friday 18 May.
Timor-Leste is the NZ Defence Force’s second largest mission. The current contribution of up to 80 personnel includes a light infantry group, a military observer with the United Nations Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMTL) and five advisors with the F-FDTL.
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.
The NZ Defence Force remains committed to assisting the Government of Timor-Leste. Any decisions on reducing troop numbers will be made by the New Zealand Government. Provided the security environment remains calm, it is likely that the drawdown of the international security presence will occur after the parliamentary elections in 2012.