Australian Helicopter exercise increases East Timor Defence Force capability

12-May-2010 Source: Australian Dept of Defence

International Stabilisation Force (ISF) soldiers have conducted a Tactical Rotary Wing Exercise (TACREX) to enhance the capability of the East Timor Defence Force (F-FDTL).

Elements of the ISF and the F-FDTL simulated a joint company assault by helicopter on an abandoned prison complex in Manatuto, with soldiers from Brisbane-based Alpha Company, 8/9 Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment as the lead.

Commander of the ISF Colonel Simon Stuart said integrating the multi-national force provided many learning outcomes.

“The TACREX has provided an excellent opportunity for F-FDTL and ISF to cooperate in a collective training context,” he said.

“It was an integral learning tool for every soldier, working together to plan and execute a combined arms operation against expert enemy role players,” COL Stuart said.

ISF Operations’ Observer Trainer Captain Sam Zammit said the assaulting force performed well in tough conditions.

“They’ve been awake since very early morning trekking through arduous terrain, it’s been hot and humid throughout, but from a physical perspective they’ve certainly done quite well to be able to push through and achieve their objective,” CAPT Zammit said.

The ISF continues to develop the F-FDTL’s skills in engineering, signals, medical aid, communications, weapon mastery and urban combat.

“One of the main reasons we conducted the activity today was to assist the F-FDTL in training them in their building blocks of conventional style operations,” said CAPT Zammit.

TACREX is the first of many training exercises in the lead up to Exercise Crocodolio 10, a multi national exercise based around a planned Marine Expeditionary Unit visit to East Timor in June 2010.

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