Royal Australian Navy Minehunter, HMAS Diamantina, is visiting Timor-Leste for four days, to engage with the Naval Component of the Timor-Leste Defence Force (F-FDTL) in a new phase of Australia’s close Defence relationship with the country.
As part of the Defence Cooperation Program, Diamantina’s crew took members of the F-FDTL to sea to share expertise in navigation, seamanship, damage control and engineering training skills.
Diamantina’s Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Commander Iain Hutchins, said the ship’s company enjoyed working with their Timorese counterparts.
“As regional partners, it is important that we share expertise. The sea time, gave the F-FDTL personnel a first hand look at how we do ship control, deal with ship emergencies such as fires, boat handling and the operation and maintenance of machinery.”
“We provided both demonstrations and an opportunity to practice mariner skills common to naval forces throughout the region.
“In addition to working closely with the F-FDTL, our port visit to Dili has given us an opportunity to explore Timor-Leste and experience the local culture.
“We hope we have the opportunity to visit again to further enhance our friendship with our near neighbour, with whom we have common interests.
“Our visit highlights Australia’s ongoing commitment to regional maritime security and the importance of the relationship between our two nations,” Lieutenant Commander Hutchins said.
The Defence Cooperation Program has been operating in Timor-Leste since early 2001, as part of broader regional cooperation activities in the Pacific region.
The program aims to build capacity within the F-FDTL and Secretariat of State for Defence to enhance Timor-Leste’s ability to independently provide for its security needs.
The Royal Australian Navy is dedicated to working closely with Australia’s partner nations in the interests of maritime security to ensure a safe, peaceful and prosperous region.
Additional imagery is available at: http://images.navy.gov.au/S20142922.