U.S. Indo-Pacific commander strengthens cooperation in visit to Timor-Leste

Adm. John C. Aquilino, Commander of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, visited Timor-Leste Feb. 1-3, to strengthen security cooperation and enduring partnership between the two countries.

In meetings with President José Ramos-Horta, Prime Minister Taur Matan Ruak, and Foreign Minister Adaljiza Magno, Adm. Aquilino underscored the U.S. commitment to partnering with Timor-Leste to advance shared interests and values in building a more peaceful, stable and prosperous Indo-Pacific region. 

“The United States maintains a longstanding security cooperation with Timor-Leste,” said Adm. Aquilino.  “Together, we conduct joint military exercises, advance professional development and training, and strengthen humanitarian assistance, disaster relief, and health security, based on our shared democratic values and common interests.”

At the National Hospital in Dili, Adm. Aquilino delivered remarks at the handover ceremony of a mobile intensive care unit (ICU). The delivery of the mobile ICU comes as part of a US$2.3 million contribution from U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, in cooperation with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), to strengthen long-term health security in Timor-Leste.  

The new ICU includes nine beds – delivering a 150 percent increase in capacity at the National Hospital in Dili – and improves health care treatment options for the Timorese people.

During the visit, Adm. Aquilino joined Chief of Defense Lt. Gen. Falur Rate Laek and Minister of Defense Filomeno Paixao to commemorate Timor-Leste’s Defense Force’s (F-FDTL) Transformation Day Ceremony.  

Adm. Aquilino also attended the signing of the State Partnership Program alongside Minister Paixao and Maj. Gen. Chris Callahan, Adjutant General and Commanding General of the Rhode Island National Guard.  The program strengthens professional development, training and exchanges between the F-FDTL and the Rhode Island National Guard.

Photo credit: MC1 Rivera. Adm. John C. Aquilino (left) with President José Ramos-Horta.

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