Subject: Two East Timor officers graduate from Duntroon

Two East Timor officers graduate from Duntroon

CANBERRA, June 24 AAP - Two East Timorese officers have graduated from the Royal Military College at Duntroon as part of an ongoing program to provide high-quality training to the fledgling nation's defence forces.

Australia remained committed to developing the East Timorese defence force, Defence Minister Joel Fitzgibbon said.

"Helping to build a solid, well-trained and apolitical defence force for East Timor is one way that my department can create the conditions necessary for stability to take hold and for democracy and prosperity to flourish," he said in a statement.

In today's RMC graduation, 95 staff cadets concluded their training at the college.

They included two East Timorese, three from Papua New Guinea and one from Thailand.

The East Timorese graduates are Second Lieutenants Francisco Da Silva and Helio Da Costa, who completed a range of Australian training to bring them to this point.

Both also have taken English-language programs in East Timor and Australia, and Second Lieutenant Da Silva completed a defence-sponsored English-language course at Charles Darwin University.

The two officers are set to undergo more detailed specialist training in Australia in engineering and logistics before returning to East Timor.

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