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Current ADF Commitment to Operation Astute

Department of Defence Media Mail List


CPA 099/06 Friday, 26 May 2006

Current ADF Commitment to Operation Astute

The deployment of Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel to bring security, peace and confidence to Timor Leste continues.

Almost 1800 Australian Defence Force personnel are now either on the ground, in transit or directly supporting the Australian Defence Force response to the situation in the country.

Brigadier Michael Slater, the Commander of the Army's 3rd Brigade based in Townsville, has been placed in command of all Australian forces in Timor Leste and has arrived in Dili this morning.

Australian Government officials headed by the Vice Chief of the Defence Force, Lieutenant General Ken Gillespie, remains at Dili Airport, having yesterday consulted with the Timor Leste Government on the terms and conditions of an Australian deployment.

Yesterday RAAF C-130 Hercules aircraft evacuated 80 Australian and other approved nationals wishing to leave the country.

Ground forces in Timor Leste now number around 450 and include a Commando Company from the Sydney-based 4th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment and a Rifle Company Group from the Sydney-based 3rd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment. They have secured Comoro Airport at Dili as a point of entry for follow-on ADF forces.

Four Black Hawks helicopters from the Army's Townsville-based 5th Aviation Regiment have also arrived in Dili and are providing air support to the ground forces in location.

Follow-on forces from the Sydney-based 3rd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, are enroute to Timor Leste by air and sea.

The Guided Missile Frigate HMAS Adelaide remains on station in Dili Harbour and is prepared to support ground operations.

The Amphibious Landing Ship HMAS Kanimbla is positioned off the south coast of Timor Leste to provide medical, communication, accommodation and various support facilities as required.

The Heavy Landing Ship HMAS Tobruk is enroute to Dili and expected to arrive early on 29 May.

The Amphibious Landing Ship HMAS Manoora is enroute to Dili and is expected to arrive on the afternoon of 27 May.

The Auxiliary Oiler HMAS Success is in the Timor Seas providing support to the deployed RAN fleet units.

The Landing Craft Heavy ships HMAS Balikapan and HMAS Tarakan are also supporting the deployment.

The deployment of Australian Defence Force personnel is expected to continue over the coming days.


ENDS

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