DILI, Timor-Leste (Nov. 28, 2011) Gas Turbine System Mechanical 1st Class Alirio Arguetapinto, assigned to the guided-missile destroyer USS Stethem (DDG 63), performs maintenance on a motor during a joint training exercise with sailors of the Timor-Leste Defense Force (F-FDTL) aboard an F-FDTL patrol boat. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Matthew R. Cole)

DILI, Timor-Leste (Nov. 28, 2011) - Sailors from the guided-missile destroyer USS Stethem (DDG 63) provided two days of training in maintenance and repair procedures for the Timor-Leste Defense Force, during their ongoing port visit in Dili.

Stethem engineers and combat systems technicians conducted an assessment of three Timor-Leste navy vessels to determine upgrades and maintenance needed, while providing hands on engineering and combat systems training. They also provided technical assistance with maintenance on generators, water pumps, radars, gaskets and a ship's magnetic compass.

"Opportunities like this not only help the U.S. military theater security cooperation, but more importantly it helps us develop important relationships," said Electronics Technician 1st Class Jacob Dickelman. "We served as another set of eyes and another brain working on the technical and mechanical issues together."

The training offered a chance for Stethem Sailors to work closely with their Timor-Leste Defense Force (F-FDTL) counterparts, contributing to strengthened cooperation between the two nations.

"U.S. Naval ships visiting ports are tangible symbols of our commitment in the region and our continued interest in ensuring a climate for regional stability and economic prosperity," said Cmdr. Michael "Brent" DeVore commanding officer of Stethem. "Being able to provide training and assistance to the Timor-Leste Defense Force serves as a testament of our desire to strengthen this relationship well in to the future."

The joint training between U.S. Sailors and the F-FDTL aimed to reinforce the relationship and respond to shared challenges, improving interoperability through the interchange of professional ideas.

"This experience is very important to us," said Capt. Nicolau Sousa of the F-FTDL navy. "It has increased our experience of the U.S. Navy and our knowledge base. As our navy expands and begins to build large ships, our time working with the Stethem's crew will aid us in providing a brighter future for our navy, as well as giving us a chance to practice our English."

The training provided by Stethem will help increase the readiness of the F-FDTL and help in shaping professional and personal relationships between the two militaries.