Royal Australian Navy Minehunter, HMAS Diamantina, is visiting Timor-Leste for four days, to engage with the Timor-Leste Defence Force (F‑FDTL) Naval Component in a new phase of Australia’s close Defence relationship with the country.
As part of Australia’s Defence 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:
“As regional partners, it is important that we share expertise. The sea time gave the F-FDTL Naval Component 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 Naval Component, our port visit to Dili has given us an opportunity to explore Timor-Leste and experience the local culture.”
Australia’s Defence Cooperation Program with Timor-Leste was established in 2001, and is part of a broad program of defence cooperation and engagement in the 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.
Press Release, October 03, 2014; Image: Australian Department of Defence