Australian Navy Visits Timor-Leste for Maritime Training
- Timor-Leste Defense Force (F-FDTL) members try out HMAS Diamantina's firing fighting equipment during the Minehunter's visit to Timor Leste. (Photo: Ben Catterall)
- Timor-Leste Defense Force (F-FDTL) representatives inspect HMAS Diamantina's bridge navigation equipment during their time at sea onboard the Royal Australian Navy Minehunter. (Photo: Ben Catterall)
Royal Australian Navy Minehunter, HMAS Diamantina, is visiting Timor-Leste for four days, to engage with the Timor-Leste Defense Force (F FDTL) Naval Component in a new phase of Australia’s close Defense relationship with the country.
As part of Australia’s Defense Cooperation Program with Timor-Leste, 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 Naval Component personnel a firsthand 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 Naval Component, 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 neighbor, with whom we share many interests.
“Our visit highlights Australia’s continuing commitment to regional maritime security and the importance of the relationship between our two nations,” LCDR Hutchins said.
Australia’s Defense Cooperation Program with Timor-Leste was established in 2001, and is part of a broad program of defense cooperation and engagement in the region.
The program aims to build capacity within the F-FDTL and Secretariat of State for Defense to enhance Timor-Leste’s ability to independently provide for its security needs.