Operation Spitfire

Date from 16 September 1999
Date to 18 February 2000
Place East Timor
Category Operation
Conflict East Timor, 1999-2013
Alternative Names
  • Spitfire
  • Warden

INTERFET was the Australian Government initiative to re-install law and order to East Timor, after the failure of UNAMET. The Australian force led the insertion of Multinational forces into East Timor. This mission secured East Timor and placed a defensive position on the Western Border with Indonesia. The West Timor Enclave of Oecussi was also secured by 3 RAR. The Western Border area was bolstered by Australian and New Zealand infantry, prior to handing over to Australian and New Zealand forces under the auspices of the United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET). Australian Lieutenant General Peter Cosgrove AC, MC, commanded INTERFET.
INTERFET was the largest deployment of Australian Troops since the Second World War. INTERFET handed over its operations to UNTAET in February 2000.