DILI, 09 april 2022 (TATOLI) – Minister of Defense, Filomeno da Paixão de Jesus, Minister of Transportation and Communication, José Agustinho da Silva, and U.S. Chargé d’Affaires, Tom Daley jointly celebrated the completion of the new 477 square meter storage warehouse at Baucau Airfield, as part of the first phase of the $10.6 million U.S funded joint rehabilitation project.
Air Force engineers, 10 U.S. Navy Seabees and Marines, and 29 F-FDTL engineers 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.
Since the United States and Timor-Leste established diplomatic relations 20 years ago, the U.S.-Timorese security partnership has delivered opportunities for joint military training exercises, professional development exchanges for Timorese servicemembers, and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief cooperation.
“This joint rehabilitation of Baucau Airfield is a prime example of how our partnership is delivering tangible and meaningful opportunities to support Timor-Leste and the Timorese people,” said U.S. Chargé d’Affaires Tom Daley at the ribbon-cutting ceremony, in Baucau municipality – a second largest municipality in Timor-Leste, yesterday.
“This project will enable Timor-Leste to better monitor its territory, respond to natural disasters, and promote economic development. I look forward to growing the U.S.-Timorese partnership in the years ahead as we work together to build a brighter, more prosperous, and more secure future for both of our countries.”
In the coming weeks, the United States will provide Timor-Leste with equipment and vehicles to support the Air Component’s operations, including a firetruck, a runway sweeper, two Ford-F-350s, a forklift, and two fuel trucks.
The United States will also provide a state-of-the-art Cessna 206 surveillance aircraft that is scheduled to arrive later this year.
As part of the ongoing rehabilitation, the United States and Timor-Leste will work together to deliver several additional improvements to the airfield, including repairs to the air traffic control tower, construction of a Cessna hanger and an additional warehouse to store humanitarian assistance supplies, and installation of solar-powered runway lights and a weather observation station.
In june 2021, the United States reached an understanding with the Government of Timor-Leste to launch the joint rehabilitation of the Baucau Airfield.
Since the United States and Timor-Leste established diplomatic 20 years ago, the U.S.-Timorese security partnership has delivered opportunities for joint military training exercises, professional development exchanges for Timorese servicemembers, and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief cooperation.
The U.S. Navy Seabees have built over 100 projects valued at over $50 million to strengthen health and education for the Timorese people since 2009.
Journalist: Camilio de Sousa
Editor: Rafy Belo