26 May 2011

Defence Force personnel return home

11:55 am on 26 May 2011

A group of Defence Force personnel has returned home after six months in Timor-Leste.

The 67 personnel worked alongside the Australian-led International Stabilisation Force which initially had a security role, but now supports the building of the Timor-Leste Defence Force.

Their commander, Major Ian Lattimore, says the men spent much of their time engaging with the local population and reporting on security, economic, and health conditions.

Major Lattimore says Timor-Leste has a violent history, but is now working to build a stable independent nation with the help of Australia and New Zealand.

The group flew in to Christchurch Airport on Wednesday afternoon.