As well as the deployment of the ANZAC Battle Group under Operation Astute and Australian Federal Police (AFP) deployments under Operation Serene, the ADF provides support to the United Nations mission through a separate operation, currently dubbed Operation Tower.
Operation Tower, Department of Defence website, August 2009
“Commander Australian Contingent (COMASC), Commander Katja Bizilj RAN, is also the Deputy Chief of the Joint Mission Analysis Centre (JMAC) within UNMIT and works at UN Headquarters, Obrigado Barracks Dili. JMAC is responsible for providing timely and accurate analysis of emerging threats to UNMIT’s mandate. The remaining three members, LTCOL David Wilton, LTCOL Ron Baumgart and MAJ Neville Clarke, are employed as Military Liaison Officers (MLOs) in Dili and the districts.
“MLOs are a crucial component of the overall security effort in Timor Leste. Their main responsibilities include monitoring the security environment and providing security and military advice to the SRSG. MLOs also play a crucial role in security reform and recently contributed to the professional development of the F-FDTL by designing and delivering Liaison Officer (LO) training to F-FDTL officers and SNCOs deploying to border districts. Training was delivered under a UN banner but by an ADF MLO (LT COL David Wilton). At the completion of the first course, the MLO’s received appreciation from the Prime Minister of Timor-Leste and the senior leadership of the F-FDTL who requested they continue such training in support of future rotations of young officers and SNCOs deploying to western regions in Timor-Leste. This initiative has greatly enhanced the ADF’s profile with the F-FDTL as well as positively re-enforcing Australia’s contribution to UNMIT.”
Images from Op Tower, Department of Defence website, 29 July 2009
“The United Nation Mission in East Timor (UNMIT) Military Liaison Group (MLG) continues to provide an important contribution to the security and stability in Timor-Leste. It has representation from 13 nationalities, including four ADF members deployed with OPERATION TOWER. Commander Australian Contingent (CMASC), Commander Katja Bizilj RAN, is also the Deputy Chief of the Joint Mission Analysis Centre (JMAC) within UNMIT and works at UN Headquarters, Obrigado Barracks Dili. The remaining three members, LT COL David Wilton, LT COL Ron Baumgart and MAJ Neville Clarke, are employed as Military Liaison Officers (MLOs) in Dili and the districts.”
Operation Tower, Department of Defence website (2008)
“With the establishment of the UN Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT) on 25 August 2006, Australia continued its contribution of military personnel to the new mission. The ADF currently contributes three ADF personnel who are deployed as military liaison officers in districts outside Dili and one officer with the HQ UNMIT in Dili.
“The operational name for this ADF support is Operation TOWER. Previous ADF contributions to UN missions in Timor-Leste include:
- Operation Faber
- Operation Warden
- Operation Tanager
- Operation Citadel
- Operation Spire
- Operation Chiron
UN Military Liaison Officer, Australian Defence Force (ADF) website, 2 April 2007
“The ADF currently has four blue-bereted ADF personnel, three are deployed as military liaison officers in districts outside Dili and one is employed with HQ UNMIT in Dili. The operational name for this ADF support is Operation Tower.”
Latest Images from Operation Tower, Operation Tower website, Australian Defence Force, 22 March 2007
“There are officers from 13 nationalities working in the United Nations Military Liaison Group (MLG). Australia’s Lieutenant Colonel Janice Hyde is the Deputy Chief of the MLG working at UN Headquarters, Obrigado Barracks Dili. MLG is responsible for providing a peace-keeping presence at the Timor border districts and acting as Military Liaison Officers with the International Security Forces and the Timor-Leste Defence Force (F-FDTL).”
Updated 24 August 2009