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US to offer a surveillance aircraft to Timor-Leste

US to offer a surveillance aircraft to Timor-Leste

The Minister of Defense (MoD), Filomeno da Paixão de Jesus

DILI, 11 april 2022 (TATOLI) – The Minister of Defense (MoD), Filomeno da Paixão de Jesus, said the United States would offer a surveillance aircraft to Timor-Leste.

“As we know that the US is ready to support F-FDTL’s Air Component. It is expected that by the end of this year, the US would support us with surveillance aircraft,” De Jesus made the comments, following a courtesy visit made by US Chargé d’Affaires, Thomas Daley, at the Nicolau Lobato International Airport, in Dili, today.

He said before receiving the aircraft, F-FDTL would send Timorese pilots to attend flight operations training in Rhode Island in the US.

“This training will be carried out under a partnership program between the United States Armed Forces and Timor-Leste’s National Defense Force (F-FDTL),” De Jesus said.

Apart from that, the US had also supported Timor-Leste with the rehabilitation of the Baucau Airfield.

In june 2021, the United States committed over $10 million to jointly rehabilitate the Baucau Airfield with the Government of Timor-Leste.

Last week (07/04), the Minister of Defense, Filomeno da Paixão de Jesus, Minister of Transportation and Communication José Agustinho da Silva, and the U.S. Chargé d’Affaires, Tom Daley, inaugurated the completion of the construction of the new 477 square meter storage warehouse at Baucau Airfield, as part of the first phase of the US$10.6 million U.S.-funded joint rehabilitation project.

The U.S. Air Force engineers, 10 U.S. Navy Seabees and Marines, and 29 F-FDTL engineers also worked side-by-side to build a 6.7-kilometer perimeter fence to secure the airfield and a warehouse to store U.S.-provided equipment for the F-FDTL’s new Air Component.

Journalist: Filomeno Martins

Editor: Rafy Belo

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