U.S. Ambassador Karen Stanton Remarks on the Closing Ceremony of CARAT 2017

Chief of Staff Falur, Captain Baughman, Superintendent PNTL Maritime Commander, we are glad to see you here, Colleagues from the Attache corps, Sailors, Marines and Fuzileiros, Bom Dia.

I am pleased be here to mark the successful completion of CARAT 2017.

(Speaking in Tetum) In its fifth year in Timor-Leste, the exercise continues to strengthen the relationship between the F-FDTL and the United States military.  CARAT demonstrates America’s commitment to peace and stability of the region and the value that the United States places on partnerships, cooperation, and developing capability.

Exercises such as CARAT are among the most visible symbols of U.S.–Timor-Leste security cooperation.  But, I want to take a minute this morning to highlight another aspect of this partnership: our education and professionalization exchanges.

(Speaking in Tetum and English) Let me recognize the efforts of 1st Lieutenant Guterres Sousa, who graduated from the U.S. Navy’s Surface Warfare Officer Course, and 2nd Lieutenant Amaral Fernandez, a graduate of the U.S. Marines’ Combat Engineer Basic Officer Course. They join a robust and growing group of F-FDTL alumni that have completed professional military education and training in the United States.

We are proud to support the next generation of the F-FDTL’s leaders and contribute to the successful development and professionalization of the Timor-Leste’s defense force. The strong bonds developed during a joint foot patrol, at the marksmanship range, or while learning together during professional military studies all strengthen the U.S.–Timor-Leste security cooperation relationship. I thank each and everyone one of you for serving your countries.

And lastly,  to the U.S. Sailors and Marines, thank you for coming to Timor-Leste and supporting the U.S. Mission far from home. I wish all of you safe travels back to your duty stations.  Thank you. Obrigadu Barak!