My respects to:
- Major General Falur Rate Laek, Vice Chief of Defense Force;
- Ambassador Peter Roberts of Australia;
- Ambassador Kinefuchi Masami of Japan;
- Ambassador Philip Hewitt of New Zealand;
- Honored guests;
- And participants of Hari’i Hamutuk 2021
On behalf of the United States of America, I am proud to be with you today to close the 8th annual Hari’i Hamutuk exercise. “Hari’i Hamutuk,” or “Build Together,” is an example of how the United States is working together with Timor-Leste, Australia, Japan, and New Zealand to strengthen our enduring partnerships in the Indo-Pacific Region.
Over the past four weeks, you have trained and executed several construction projects and activities that demonstrate our shared commitment to partnership. In Tilomar, U.S. Seabees and F-FDTL engineers exchanged welding techniques and skills to build several food preparation sites and work tables to enable safe and efficient food handling. In Hera, a joint team of American, Australian, and Timorese engineers trained and tested their skills on the Lightweight Water Purification System. This advanced equipment can purify up to 280 liters of salt water per hour and 470 liters of fresh water per hour. It represents a new capability the F-FDTL and partner nation teams can use to meet the needs of Timor-Leste’s population. And here at the Metinaro Training Base, the team also assisted in refurbishing the rappelling tower to further enhance training capabilities. This joint project is an essential element for the Training Center, which will be used for various courses, including training of the F-FDTL’s new recruits.
The great work of our militaries demonstrates how our joint capabilities will benefit Timor-Leste and the region for years to come. Also, perhaps even more important than the physical work, our militaries learned from each other, provided support, and built lasting friendships with one another. Friendship and cooperation are the keys to our lasting success. The eighth Hari’i Hamutuk exercise was made possible thanks to the Government of Timor-Leste, which enabled this multinational event to proceed safely despite the challenges posed by the pandemic.
In closing, I want to congratulate all the participants in Hari’i Hamutuk for your exercise. Your hard work and dedication are what made this exercise a success. Thank you for allowing me to share this achievement with you today. I greatly look forward to seeing everyone back together for Hari’i Hamutuk 2022.
Thank you very much, and have a good weekend!