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30 January 2007
Colonel Commandant, Major General Jim Connolly visits troops in Dili

The Royal Australian Regiment's Colonel Commandant, Major General Jim Connolly, AO, CSC (Ret'd), visited Australian soldiers deployed in Timor Leste on Operation Astute.

One of his principal duties is to act as advocate for all soldiers in the regiment. This visit provides him valuable first hand contact with the troops on the ground in order to represent their interests effectively at the appropriate levels.

Operation Astute is the Australian Government's response to a request from the Government of Timor-Leste to assist in restoring peace to their country.

The Australian Defence Force (ADF) has deployed to Timor-Leste with a mission to assist the Government and the United Nations to bring stability, security and confidence to the Timorese to allow them to resolve their differences democratically and peacefully.

Following a general improvement in the security situation and the establishment of a comprehensive commercial logistic support contract, logistic elements of the ADF no longer required for these duties have returned to Australia, leaving about 800 ADF personnel in Timor-Leste. This force will remain in Timor-Leste continuing to provide a robust response capability to support the United Nations Police force.

Police from Australia and 24 other nations throughout the world provide security in Dili. The ADF provides support to these police operations as required.

The New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) is working alongside the ADF to assist with this mission.