Defence Program 2018-2023

The armed forces of East Timor, the FALINTIL-FDTL (F-FDTL), composed exclusively of national citizens, are constitutionally responsible for military defense. Its main mission is to guarantee independence, territorial integrity and freedom and security of the population against any external aggression or threat, while respecting the constitutional order.

In addition to its main mission, the F-FDTL can be used in other missions to support the civil authorities, within the framework of the Integrated System of National Security, under the terms of the National Security Law, as well as in support of the State’s foreign policy, in peacekeeping and humane operations.

Like the Security Forces, the Defense Forces are non-partisan and owe obedience to the competent sovereign bodies and are barred from any political intervention.

In the development of the Defense sector, the Timorese state reaffirms its strategic defense position, based on respect for the State of Directness, pursuing diplomacy and deterrence as a means of preventing and resolving possible conflicts, while maintaining non-renunciation of use of force in terms of the Unities’ Charter necessary to ensure national independence.

This approach entails investing in the Defense Forces to be able to defend the Nation from external threats as well as qualified to contribute to regional and international cooperation efforts, including the preservation of peace and national and international stability.

In this context, the development of defense will take into account a contemporary reading of the international geostrategic context of the 21st century, permeated by new types of risks and threats – now diffused, multidimensional and of a markedly internal character, made tenuous border between defense and security. This requires an informed reading of the security environment of the twenty-first century, re-evaluating the role and functions of the Timorese state defense institution and its positioning in the external relations in this area, with regard to cooperative security and its participation in humanitarian and peace collective actions within the framework of the United Nations organization and other international forums.

In order to consolidate the building of military and defense strategic planning, whose documents are fundamental for the development of the F-FDTL’s capabilities for the performance of its missions, and for guiding the cycle of force and military planning. With the approval of the Strategic concept of national defense and security. The defense will cement the structuring structure of strategic planning, consolidating the Military Planning and Defense Ministry Directive, the MIlitar Strategic Concept, on the road to the modernization and professionalization of F-FDTL.

In this view, the military planning serves the strategic planning based on an assessment of national defense needs according to identified risks and threats.The Government will also take a more effective strategy on maritime geostrategic security, taking into account recent events in various parts of the world, with the growing increase in terrorism, but also in human trafficking and other types of organized crime. On the other hand, considering the geographical position of Timor – Leste, its sprawling Exclusive Economic Zone and the richness of natural resources in the sea, including the energy resources of the Timor Sea, the development of naval status for East Timor is urgent. protect and preserve its resources and its people.

In this sense, the defense will consolidate the legislation for the construction of the Timor-Leste Maritime Authority System (SAMTL) and the National Maritime Authority, and operationally implement its operation as a public prosecutor in the maritime areas under sovereignty and national jurisdiction and the function of superior structure of direction, administration and coordination of the organs and services that operate within the ambit of SAMTL.The Government, in the area of ​​defense, will continue to fulfill the following objectives:

  1. To defend national sovereignty, the consolidation of peace and stability and promote reconciliation and national unity;
  2. Promote service military, as a patriotic duty, and instill in industry professionals the exemplary sense of citizenship and integrity;
  3. Involve the F-FDTL in the economic, social and human development of the country;
  4. Develop bilateral and multilateral cooperation actions for the promotion and preservation of national, regional and global peace and stability in strengthening cooperative security;
  5. Ensure the participation of F-FDTLs in multinational forces and international organizations, including peacekeeping operations and humanitarian operations of the United Nations;
  6. Train and improve the capacity of the F-FDTL to support civilians, especially in the case of natural disasters and other emergencies under the Integrated National Security System;
  7. To train the Naval Component for the defense, Surveillance, control and inspection of maritime and port activities within the framework of the Maritime Authority System of Timor-Leste;
  8. Promote the construction of the Air Support Component to participate in an integrated manner in the country’s military defense, as well as patrol the national air space and participate in humanitarian missions in support of the civilian population;
  9. Promote the building of all the capabilities of the F-FDTL identified in the Strategic Concept of Defense and National Security;
  10. Consolidate the structuring structure of Strategic Planning for Defense and Military;
  11. Promote the study and reflection on the obligation of service military;
  12. Promote the participation of women in the defense sector, including the creation of career advancement opportunities, promoting gender equality.


In order to achieve these objectives, the following actions will be taken:

  • Ensure that the defense sector, including professional and well-equipped F-FDTLs, with the versatility to carry out a series of missions and with a vocation to participate in the efforts, stability and national development (PED 2020);
  • Revise and update the “2020 Strategic Force Study” and redefine the F-FDTL development and consolidation plans, in what is still necessary until the construction of the strategic planning documents for the Defense and Military Planning;
  • Implement the strategic concept of national defense and security, including reviewing and approving the respective legal framework;
  • Develop the military planning and defense ministerial directive, the military strategic concept, the F-FDTL missions, the system and device of forces and propose the military programming law in order to consolidate the cycle of strategic defense planning;
  • Improve infrastructures and build new facilities for all components, including major territorial and naval bases;
  • Plan the establishment of a joint academy for defense forces and security forces and services;
  • Build military districts in different situations, whenever necessary;
  • Develop studies and investment plans for the construction of a Military Hospital.
  • Equip F-FDTL with modern, high-quality equipment, equipment and armament, in compliance with current national and international legislation;
  • Implement a policy of integrated development of human resources in the defense sector;
  • Improve information systems and technologies and develop the system of command, control, communications, computers and information;
  • Increase the capacity of the operational components, earth and naval;
  • Provide the naval component with adequate means to carry out its missions;
  • Establish and co-ordinate the national maritime authority with a view to ensuring sovereignty in maritime areas under national sovereignty and jurisdiction and in defense of maritime resources;
  • Invest in the formation of civilian and military resources to ensure the proper functioning of the national maritime authority;
  • Strengthen the development of a special forces unit;
  • Start building the air support component to participate in an integrated manner in the country’s military defense, as well as patrol the national airspace and participate in humanitarian missions in support of the civilian population;
  • Strengthen bilateral and multilateral cooperation in the area of ​​defense, promote strategic partnerships with partner countries and contribute to national and international development;
  • Create training opportunities and logistic support to increase the participation of F-FDTL elements in peacekeeping operations and humanitarian operations of the United Nations;
  • Strengthen the capacity of the defense sector in terms of engineering and health units to provide support to the population;
  • Implement the National Alert System and improve the capacity to respond to natural disasters and emergencies;
  • Promote, together with the Security Forces and Services, as well as Civil Protection, joint exercises under the Integrated National Security System;
  • Continue to develop measures and implement actions that will lead to a fair and dignified reform process for veterans still in active employment.

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