UNITED NATIONS MISSION IN EAST TIMOR (UNMISET)

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The eastern half of the Timor Island is now the Independent state of East Timor. It was a little known and poorly developed Portuguese territory prior to the Indonesian invasion in December 1975. Despite international pressure, Indonesia occupied the province from 1975 until October 1999 and engaged in a protected military campaign against Separatist forces in the region attempting to secure independence for the province. In January 1999, the people of East Timor rejected the option of choosing autonomy under Indonesian sovereignty.

The peace keeping force known as UNMISET was deployed in East Timor to maintain the security of the country. Under the UN mandate, Bangladesh Air Force deployed Aviation Unit with 02 x helicopter (BANAIR-l) in East Timor on 11 October 2003. BAF contingent was repatriated after completing two terms as per Letter of Assist (LOA) on 14 June 2005. The primary role of BANAIR was to provide Air transportation service for UN peace keeping operation which included Troops Insertion and Extraction, Search and Rescue, Aerial Reconnaissance, Casualty Evacuation/ Medical Evacuation, Administrative and Logistic Support and Humanitarian aid distribution.

All operational and administrative activities of BANAIR were highly satisfactory in accordance with UNMISET and unit Standard Operating Procedure (SOP). The helicopter performance was also satisfactory. As such, BANAIR, UNMISET received a `Certificate of Excellence’ from UN for outstanding performance of the Unit. 03 x officers and 02 x airmen also received `Force Commanders Commendation Certificate’ for their outstanding performance. Again, 08 x airmen received Certificate of Appreciation’ from CO-UNSF for their brilliant service. So far, 24 x officers and 47 x airmen from Bangladesh Air Force have successfully completed this mission.