Timor-Leste Defence Force
Project: F-FDTL (Timor-Leste Defence Force)
The Timor-Leste Defence Force (commonly referred to as the F-FDTL), is the active military body charged with defence operations in East Timor. Established in 2001, the Timor-Leste Defence Force is comprised of a headquarters, a land component, naval component, and an air component.
Whilst the F-FDTL’s primary role is to protect East Timor from external threats, the East Timorese Government has extended the role of the Timor-Leste Defence Force over time. Additional responsibilities of the F-FDTL include crisis management, civil disorder mitigation, humanitarian crises response and facilitating co-operation between different parts of the government internally.
CSE Crosscom has been engaged with the F-FDTL since late 2018. The initial project – a Joint venture (JV) between the Australian and Timor-Leste Defence Forces – saw CSE Crosscom Darwin install a 12 site Motorola IP Site Connect radio communications network, including Trinity IP linking.
In September 2021, after visitation delays resulting from COVID-19 travel restrictions, a Preventative Maintenance Inspection (PMI) on the 12 tower sites was initiated.
The inspection identified several maintenance issues, which were anticipated given the harsh operating conditions and remote locations of the sites within East Timor. These took priority as CSE Crosscom technicians travelled the network expanse to re-establish the network to full peak operation.
The team began their work in Dili, the Capital of Timor-Leste, down the west coast border, before following the south border and cutting back through to Dili over mountain ranges in the north.
CSE Crosscom installed extra equipment to strengthen the customers’ redundancy backup, completing the work in the first two weeks with the support of the F-FDTL communications team.
The second major job completed by CSE Crosscom was the rollout of stage 1 of a new digital radio communications system. This was achieved using sites of the F-FDTL’s analogue repeater system and several new locations of Timor Telecom sites.
Thorough logistics planning played a large role in ensuring everything arrived on time at the remote site in a foreign country. All equipment was pre-configured and run up in Darwin, reducing both the site installation time and avoiding any complications or delay whilst located at the often-remote sites.
The Communications towers – whilst well built – still required significant work to accommodate the new digital radio system.
In just 5 weeks, CSE Crosscom had successfully completed the major works that they were contracted for, a credit to the Crosscom technical team engaged to complete the works.
Overall, the process was well coordinated, with the client commenting that the team’s commitment to completing the installation was extraordinary.
CSE Crosscom technicians are scheduled to return to Timor-Leste in early 2022 to complete another stage on the PNTL system and a major expansion on the F-FTDL, which will provide greater telecommunication coverage.