Subject: US Warship Arrives In East Timor To Give Humanitarian Aid

Associated Press February 22, 2001

US Warship Arrives In E Timor To Give Humanitarian Aid

DILI, East Timor (AP)--A U.S. destroyer arrived in East Timor Thursday on a three-day visit to provide humanitarian assistance to the ravaged territory.

After anchoring near the capital Dili, 70 sailors from the USS Curtis Wilbur disembarked with equipment to rebuild a destroyed school.

The repair work is part of an ongoing aid mission in the territory that started in February last year.

"Our mission is to help East Timor," said operations officer Lt. Col. Doug Marr. "Even though we are not part of the United Nations mission, we work really closely with them."

The visit is the latest in a series of port calls by U.S. Navy ships bringing humanitarian aid to the half-island territory.

The U.N. is tasked with administering East Timor in the lead-up to democratic elections later this year. The territory is expected to gain its full independence in 2002.

Hundreds of East Timorese were killed by anti-independence militia and the Indonesian military following a U.N.-sponsored referendum in August 1999.

The Curtis Wilbur, normally based in Yokosuka, Japan, is an Aegis class destroyer with a crew of 320 and is part of the U.S. Seventh Fleet.

After three days in East Timor, the warship is scheduled to sail on to Darwin, Australia.

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