The Pacific Airlift Rally 2017 (PAR 17) commenced today, 11th September 2017, at the Hotel Jetwing Blue in Negombo. The Pacific Airlift Rally which is organized by the Pacific Air Force (PACAF) is a biennial symposium/air exercise involving Pacific region nation Air Forces. The event is organized by the PACAF, which is the air component of the United States Pacific Command, with a selected Air Force in the pacific region as a co-hosting nation. The Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) is the co-host of the Pacific Airlift Rally 2017 together with the PACAF. This is the second occasion where the SLAF is co-hosting this congregation of Air Forces.
The aim of the Pacific Airlift Rally is to enhance military airlift interoperability and to build partnerships between nations in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region, with a focus on humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR) operations. Pacific Airlift Rally events include an international seminar, a Command Post Exercise (CPX), which is a table top exercise focusing on humanitarian assistance and disaster relief coordination between the multiple countries and a Flying Training Exercise (FTX) to carry out disaster relief, para drop, para troop, cargo drop and various other tactical flying relating to the command post exercise scenario utilizing C-130 Hercules Aircraft.
Today, CPX began with the opening address, which was delivered by the Overall Exercise Commander Air Vice Marshal Prasanna Payoe. Overall Exercise Commander welcomed all participants on behalf of the SLAF and highlighted the objectives of the PAR 17. The Coalition Commander Group Captain Lasitha Sumanaweera introduced the Exercise Coordinators and after short self-introductions by the participants, the country representatives carried out presentations on humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR) operations in their respective countries.
This type of combined multinational exercise is conducted world over to enhance interaction among regional Air Forces and providing them the opportunity to gain international exposure. This is considered as an ideal opportunity for the SLAF to improve its capabilities and boost the competency of other operators as well as to further mutual cooperation between participating countries in handling such eventualities.
The Exercise will be conducted in two parallel sub components. The Command Post Exercise will be conducted at Jetwing Blue, Negombo, while the Flying Training Exercise will be conducted at SLAF Base Katunayaka and SLAF Station Ampara. Air Force personnel from USA, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Japan, Laos, Malaysia, Mongolia, Nepal, Philippines, Thailand, Australia, Vietnam are participating at the PAR 17. The event is scheduled to be conducted from 11th September 2017 to 15th September 2017
In addition, there will be a Medical Subject Matter Expert Exchange (SMEE), which focuses on post-disaster medical relief. Furthermore, the Civil Engineering SMEE on utilizing capabilities of the regional forces to address civil engineering matters will also be held at the same time. Both these SMEEs are scheduled to commence on the 12th of September 2017 at Jetwing Blue, Negombo.click here to more details