Timor Leste prepare to receive two new patrol boats

Timor-Leste will receive two Guardian-class patrol boats in 2024 as part of Australia’s regional Maritime Security Program.

CAPTIONTimor-Leste Defence Force Lieutenant Jacinto Do Nascimento salutes Lieutenant Clementino Colo ahead of his promotion on board PT Paluma. Story by Richard Wilkins.

The Royal Australian Navy (RAN) and Timor-Leste Defence Force (F-FDTL) naval component have partnered to prepare the NRDTL Aitana and Laline crews for the patrol boat handover later this year.

Sea Training Group has facilitated the international training program utilising PT Paluma – a decommissioned RAN hydrographic survey vessel.

The Aitana and Laline crews have each spent two months on board Paluma to consolidate their mariner skills and gain valuable experience at sea.

The highlight of the program was the promotion of Laline’s future Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Jacinto Nascimento, on board Paluma.

At the request of F-FDTL’s naval Chief, Commodoro Higino das Neves, Australia’s Senior Naval Adviser to Timor-Leste, Commander Bill Triffitt, conducted the promotion ceremony.

It marked a milestone for Lieutenant Nascimento, since his completion of the New Entry Officers’ Course at the Royal Australian Naval College in 2013.

The event symbolised the warm relationship between Australia and Timor-Leste.

“This shows how important it is to strengthen the relationship between our two nations, because we have a longstanding friendship with a strong commitment to a safe and secure Australia and Timor-Leste region,” Lieutenant Nascimento said.

“I am grateful for the support provided by the Australian Government through the Defence Cooperation Program and the opportunity to train the F-FDTL crew members prior to receiving Aitana and Laline.”

RAN training systems officers utilised their expertise as training coordinators while living on board Paluma alongside the Timorese.

Senior Training Coordinator Lieutenant Donald Parker said the crews trained hard and overcame a range of challenges that were expected when adjusting to life at sea.

“To start with the fundamentals for operating a vessel, such as standard operating procedures, and reach the point where F-FDTL and RAN can jointly promote the commanding officer designate, symbolises the close bonds and the trust built by living together at sea,” Lieutenant Parker said.

“Through the execution of the program, RAN training systems officers continue to prove adaptive to develop solutions to meet the training needs of a foreign navy”.

The first F-FDTL crew are expected to commission Aitana in 2024.

CAPTIONMembers of the Royal Australian Navy and the Timor-Leste Defence Force on board PT Paluma.


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