Sri Lanka Air Force Combat Training School Diyatalawa (SLAF CTS), one of the oldest training school in the Sri Lanka Air Force, was honoured by the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, the President of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, His Excellency Maithripala Sirisena today (02 April 2018) with the award of the President’s Colour in a spectacular parade held at SLAF CTS Diyatalawa.
The colour is basically an emblazoned flag and its origin can be traced back to the days when monarchies were the order of the day. The King in those ancient days, would have his colour carried to battle
The President's Colour is the highest accolade a military establishment could receive in its life-span. It is presented in recognition of invaluable services to and sacrifices in the defence of the country. Known as the “Cradle of the Air Force” SLAF CTS Diyatalawa was established in the year 1952 as a Royal Ceylon Air Force Station. In 1972, when Sri Lanka became a republic, this station became Sri Lanka Air Force Station Diyatalawa. This school conducts Basic Combat Training Courses and Advanced Courses for Air Force officers and other ranks and Weapon Instructors, Drill Instructors Courses including Physical Instructors Basic Courses.
The SLAF was first awarded with the President’s Colour in 1976. On the occasion of SLAF Golden Jubilee, SLAF Base Katunayake and No 1 Flying Training Wing Anuradhapura were honoured with the President’s colour as the pioneer Base and Flying Formation of the Air Force.
In the year 2009 SLAF No 02 Transport Squadron, No 04 VIP Transport Helicopter Squadron, No 09 Fighter Helicopter Squadron, No 10 Fighter Jet Squadron and the Sri Lanka Air Force Regiment joined this elite group of formations whose contribution to the nation was recognized with the award of the President’s Colour. Today, SLAF CTS Diyathalawa was honoured for its role in empowering the officers and other ranks and arming them with knowledge and wherewithal to serve the SLAF and the nation.
The Chief Guest, the President of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka His Excellency Maithripala Sirisena was received by the Commander of the Sri Lanka Air Force Air Marshal Kapila Jayampathy. The parade was commanded by Air Commodore Athula Kaluarachchi and President’s Colour was taken over by the Commanding Officer of CTS Diyathalawa, Air Commodore Peterson Fernando. Hon. State Defence Minister Ruwan Wijayawardane, Chief of Defence of Staff, Admiral Ravindra Wijegunaratne, Commander of the Sri Lanka Army, Lieutenant General Mahesh Senanayake, Commander of the Sri Lanka Navy, Vice Admiral Sirimevan Ranasinghe, Members of the Air Force Board of Management, Senior Officers and other ranks of the tri forces were also present at the occasion.