BAUCAU, U.S. Embassy in Timor Leste -- U.S. Air Force engineers launched work today in partnership with the Timor-Leste Defense Force (F-FDTL) to support construction and repair projects as part of the joint rehabilitation of Baucau Airfield with the Government of Timor-Leste. The joint work between U.S. and Timorese engineers will result in the construction of a new storage warehouse and a repaired perimeter fence to support future F-FDTL and commercial operations.
“The work beginning today represents an important step in our commitment to deliver results on the joint rehabilitation of Baucau Airfield,” said U.S. Chargé d’Affaires Tom Daley. “The United States is proud to partner with the F-FDTL to rehabilitate this airfield in order to strengthen Timor-Leste’s capacity for maritime security, economic development, humanitarian assistance, and disaster response.”
During the project, 15 members of the 554th Red Horse Squadron will partner with F-FDTL engineers to construct a new 477 square meter storage warehouse that will safely house U.S.-provided airfield support equipment to include a firetruck, fuel trucks, forklifts, and other vehicles. The joint construction team will also repair the airfield’s perimeter fence to strengthen safety and security. Both projects are expected to be completed in April 2022, and aspects of the work will be carried out in coordination with the U.S. Navy Seabees. These projects lay the groundwork for the arrival of a U.S.-provided Cessna 206 later in the year. The 554th Red Horse Squadron is a highly mobile civil engineering team for the U.S. Air Force based at Andersen Air Force Base in Guam.
In June 2021, the United States committed over $10 million to jointly rehabilitate the Baucau Airfield with the Government of Timor-Leste. Through the creation of an Air Component, the project will assist the F-FDTL and help the Timorese government improve its maritime awareness, respond to natural disasters, and promote economic development.