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East Timor ::  Operation Citadel
Op Citadel

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PLEASE NOTE: The text and links contained on this page refer to a past operation. It is provided for archive purposes only. For current operations please click here

Operation Citadel was Australia's contribution to the United Nations Mission of Support in East Timor (UNMISET) Peacekeeping Force, the original mandate for which expired on 20 May 2004. In line with UN plans, the ADF contribution has been drawing down, and most ADF personnel assigned to Operation Citadel have returned to Australia. Australian Defence Force personnel who served in Timor-Leste (formerly East Timor) as part of Operation Citadel conducted a broad range of functions and tasks. They were spread throughout Timor-Leste, serving with six Australian force elements.

These were:

  • The Australian National Command Element in Dili;
  • The Australian Combined Battalion Group located in the west of Timor-Leste and based at Moleana;
  • The Australian Defence Force personnel who are part of the UNMISET Peacekeeping Force Headquarters in Dili;
  • United Nations Military Observers throughout Timor-Leste, and
  • A 5th Aviation Regiment Detachment of three S70 Blackhawk helicopters based at Moleana.

    The United Nations Security Council on 14 May 2004 adopted a resolution to extend the UNMISET mandate for six months, with a view to subsequently extending it further for a final period of six months, until 20 May 2005. The Australian Government agreed to offer further support and committed about 100 ADF personnel to the revised UN Peace Keeping Force, maintaining about 25% of the total military presence.

    The new ADF contribution is known as Operation Spire and personnel will undertake headquarters, logistics and engineering and military liaison tasks. An Army colonel will also fill the deputy force commander position within the UN Peace Keeping Force Headquarters.

    ADF personnel serving as part of the Defence Cooperation Program remain based in Metinaro and Los Palos, and provide training and logistics support to the Timor-Leste Defence Force.

Information current at June 8, 2004