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SRI LANKA AIR FORCE
GUARDIANS OF THE SKIES
footer_roundelSLAF History : Strengthening Infrastructure
Troops Embarking a BAE-748On 2nd April 1987, Anuradhapura too was raised to Base status; its first Base Commander was Gp Capt Oliver M. Ranasinghe. A Gunners Advanced Training School was set up in SLAF, Morawewa in the same year.

On 3rd September 87 a Women's Wing was formed and located in Colombo. The first CO was Air Cdre D.S.G. Vithana. The Women's Wing was set up to maintain and update all records pertaining to Lady Officers and Airwomen, prepare promotional schedules, annual assessments, issue identity cards, etc.
    
Additions to the fleet in 1987 came in the form of four more Yunshuju - 12s and two of the SLAFs first Y8 heavy transport aircraft, the Chinese version of the Russian Antonov AN12. The addition of the Y8 to the fleet also introduced the capabilities of air lifting more than 150 personnel in a single flight, whilst the Y12 could land and take off, even on grass fields.

The Y12s and the Y8s both joined the No. 2 Transport Squadron. On 1st January 1987, No. 4 Helicopter Squadron was renamed No. 4 Helicopter Wing and its first CO was Gp Capt Oliver Ranasinghe.Additions to the fleet in 1987 came in the form of four more Yunshuju - 12s and two of the SLAFs first Y8 heavy transport aircraft, the Chinese version of the Russian Antonov AN12.

The addition of the Y8 to the fleet also introduced the capabilities of air lifting more than 150 personnel in a single flight, whilst the Y12 could land and take off, even on grass fields. The Y12s and the Y8s both joined the No. 2 Transport Squadron. On 1st January 1987, No. 4 Helicopter Squadron was renamed No. 4 Helicopter Wing and its first CO was Gp Capt Oliver Ranasinghe.
     
In 1988, the twin prongs of the SLAF s Operations, viz. Flying and Ground, were brought under one directorate. Hitherto Gp Capt Brendon Sosa headed Ground Operations/Training and Gp Capt Oliver Ranasinghe headed Flying Operations. Both functions were brought under the Directorate of Gp Capt Oliver Ranasinghe. Another key change occurred on 11th August 1988, when the No. 1 Flight Training Wing was relocated to SLAF, Anuradhapura.

The Wing came to that historic location with 14 aircraft and was commanded by Flt Lt S.N.H. Goonetilleke. On 2nd April 1989 Wg Cdr A.N.C.W. Jayasekera initiated the formation of the Electronic & Telecommunication Wing at SLAF Base, Ratmalana. On 19th December 1989, SLAF Unit, Ampara was established with three officers and forty-eight airmen.
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