East Timor Independence

06 Sep 1999

The Air Force responded to a United Nations request and began evacuating non-essential UN personnel and foreign nationals from Dili, after pro-Indonesian militias (supported by elements of the Indonesian Armed Forces) went on a violent rampage in protest at a resounding vote by East Timorese for independence from Indonesia. By the time the operation finished, about 2500 personnel had been lifted from East Timor’s two major airfields at Dili and Baucau by Air Force C-130s and one New Zealand aircraft. Shortly after, on 20 September 1999, five Air Force C-130 transports landed at Dili’s Comoro airfield, carrying Australian and New Zealand SAS troop and headquarters elements of the Australian 3rd Brigade. These were the lead elements of the International Force East Timor (INTERFET) that the United Nations requested be sent to restore peace and stability.

Related aircraft

  • Hercules