First, I would like to offer my respects to:
- His Excellency, Brigadier General Calisto Santos Coliati
- His Excellency, President of Baucau Municipality Olivio Freitas
- Lieutenant Colonel Rinelde, Colonel Santacroce, and soldiers of the F-FDTL and U.S. Army,
Thank you very much for coming.
Today is a very special day. This ceremony marks the end of the first-ever bilateral exercise between our two great armies. “Dalan Ba Dame,” or “Path to Peace,” is a significant milestone as we strengthen our bilateral relationship.
This exercise reflects the United States’ fundamental commitment to partnership. We believe we are all better off when we work together with friends and partners to address the common challenges we face. And Timor-Leste can count on the friendship and partnership of the United States as we work to build a brighter future.
Brigadier General Coliati, I want to offer my sincere thanks for your support of this historic exercise. Your team and the F-FDTL Land Component are excellent hosts, and made our team feel very welcome here. Thank you so much. I also wish to express my thanks to the Government of Timor-Leste, the Ministry of Defense, and Baucau Municipality for allowing this exercise to continue safely despite the challenges posed by the pandemic.
Over the past two weeks, you have exchanged warfighting knowledge, skills, and capabilities that make both our armies stronger. From training on rope bridges to combat first-aid, and land navigation to tactical movements, this exchange of infantry tactics and skills are the building blocks of a modern, interoperable force. I understand you held a culminating exercise yesterday to compete in some of these events, and we have a winner! A big congratulations to 1st Section, 3rd Platoon on your victory! I am grateful and proud of the hard work and dedication each of you put into this bilateral exercise, and I am confident this year’s successful event lays the groundwork for many years of expanded engagement and mutual training between our two armies.
In closing, I again wish to offer my sincere thanks and congratulations to you, Brigadier General Coliati, the F-FDTL and U.S. Army for your successful exercise, and greatly look forward to seeing our bilateral relationship prosper.
Thank you very much, and have a good weekend!