Australia and U.S. end Timor-Leste aid mission

16:10, August 24, 2010      

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A group of Australian defense personnel on Tuesday have departed Dali, Timor-Leste after a two week visit providing much-needed humanitarian aid in the annual Pacific Partnership 2010 mission, which led by the United States.

Under the program, a team of the United States and Australian doctors and other specialists have toured the region for three months aboard the hospital ship USNS Mercy, performing humanitarian, medical and engineering tasks.

Pacific Partnership has been conducted annually by the U.S. Pacific Fleet since the devastating Boxing Day Tsunami in Indonesia in 2004.

This was the fifth year of Australia's involvement in Pacific Partnership, with Australian Defense Force (ADF) personnel assisting in aid activities in Vietnam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and Timor-Leste.

Pacific Partnership 2010 started in June with some 70 Australian Defense Force (ADF) personnel in three groups working from USNS Mercy. Landing ships HMAS Labuan and HMAS Tarakan assisted with ship to shore movements in some countries.

In the final stopover in Timor-Leste, 25 ADF personnel plus Labuan and Tarakan worked with the U.S military and East Timorese Defense Force personnel, on a variety of aid activities.

"Humanitarian assistance efforts included engineering, medical, dental, veterinary and community service projects in various regions within East Timor," ADF contingent commander Lieutenant Colonel David Collins said in a statement, adding that engineers have painted, re-tiled and re-roofed a school in Dili.

Medical and dental personnel conducted 174 surgeries in the 11 operating theaters aboard USNS Mercy and treated some 19,000 patients at various medical and dental clinics.

Source: Xinhua


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