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Kiwi Engineers Prepare to Return Home from Timor

Kiwi Engineers Prepare to Return Home from Timor-Leste

Sixteen New Zealand Army engineers will return home from Timor-Leste tomorrow evening following a successful three-month tour of duty.

The team, made up of field engineers, carpenters, plumbers and electricians, will fly into Ohakea Air Force Base on a Hercules aircraft at 10.20pm (October 4).

Engineer team commander Lieutenant Elisha May said her team had been busy upgrading facilities at the New Zealand base before the Timorese wet season set in.

They had upgraded showers, toilets, washing facilities and accommodation in Dili to house the New Zealand company group deployed there, she said. Mess facilities and a recreation room had also been built, and new security and sanitation facilities had been put in place at outlying posts.

“It has been a very smooth deployment and a highlight of my career to date,” Lt May said.

“Our work will greatly reduce health risks and will hopefully assist in maintaining high morale within the lines.”

Commander Joint Forces New Zealand Rear Admiral Jack Steer said the engineers had made a positive and significant difference to the facilities used by New Zealand service men and women in Timor-Leste.

“Serving overseas isn’t always comfortable but the tireless work and commitment of our engineers helps to make the experience that much easier.”

One hundred and thirty six NZDF personnel would remain in Timor-Leste to provide support to the police and assist with logistical and support tasks, Rear Admiral Steer said.

ENDS

Currently 673 NZDF personnel are deployed on peacekeeping operations, UN missions and diplomatic defence exercises in 18 missions across 14 countries.

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