The NZDF is preparing to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the INTERFRET (International Force East Timor) deployment to stabilise East Timor.
What started as a mission of 10 NZDF and 10 NZ Police to support the East Timor referendum would become the NZDF’s largest deployment since the Korean War.
The violence that erupted as a result of the referendum would cause the UN to step up its efforts and extend its mission by sending INTERFRET. Australia and NZ would be the biggest contributors, sending a total of 5,500 and 1,200 personnel respectively.
The mission would finish in 2002, with the NZDF returning on various missions to work with East Timorese government and military.