To the F-FDTL Vice Chief of Defense Force – Brigadier General Filomeno De Jesus; honored guests; and participants of KOA MOANA 2017. I am pleased to be back here this morning to celebrate another successful conclusion of Exercise Crocodilo.
I can already tell that you all have been through a lot since I saw you at the opening ceremony last week. But thanks to your hard work and dedication, we expect to see significant improvements in the coordination of future Humanitarian Assistance/Disaster Response operations in Timor-Leste.
The friendships and professional relationships that have been created over the past two weeks will enable us to provide faster and more effective responses to emergency demands. This enhancement of our combined capabilities will benefit our militaries while promoting peace and stability in the region.
Your example is proof that the bonds between the United States and Timor-Leste are stronger than ever. Exercise CROCODILO shows that this collaboration also extends to our military personnel colleagues from Australia and other key partners in the Asia Pacific. Today marks the latest chapter in our ongoing efforts to enhance regional security.
I would like to close by again thanking Timor-Leste for being such a wonderful host to our visiting U.S. personnel. Congratulations to the F-FDTL and the U.S. Marines for a highly successful exercise. We greatly appreciate your contributions to the growth of our bilateral relationship.