Timor-Leste's maritime defence capability has received a boost with the recent visit by HMAS Diamantina to Dili to help train members of the naval component of the Falantil-Forcas Defensa Timor-Leste (F-FDTL).
A Coastal Minehunter, Diamantina hosted the F-FDTL members onboard for a three day intensive training program that covered all areas of seamanship including damage control, fire fighting, engineering, safety and navigation. A highlight of the program was the two days at sea allowing Diamantina's crew to mentor their Timorese counterparts in key technical specialties from the machinery control room to the bridge. The Timorese were also given opportunities to enhance their own ship-handling skills during man overboard drills, towing and other boat operations.
Diamantina's Executive Officer Lieutenant Georgina Rae said that the crew enjoyed their training role and imparting their own professional expertise to their Timorese colleagues particularly during the sea going component.
"While some of the initial training can be conducted alongside in port, it is only at sea that a warship comes ‘alive’ and it is during this time that we were best able to demonstrate our routines and procedures," she said.
Lieutenant Rae said she was proud of Diamantina's contribution to Australia's ongoing commitment to its regional neighbours hrough the Defence Co-operation Program.
She also thanked their Timorese hosts for their hospitality and said that Diamantina was sad to leave such a friendly and culturally interesting port of call.
"While the last decade has seen some development within Dili, it is still untainted by excessive tourism. Many of the ship's company took the opportunity to go diving and exploring Dili's local markets and restaurants and we also paid our respects at the World War II memorial and museum at Dare," she said.