6:38pm on Tuesday 13th July 2021
Air Vice Marshal Leonard Rodrigo RSP, USP, MA(SSS), NDU-USA, MSDS(Ban), MDS, ctf-ndu-USA,ndc(Ban), GI Fire E(UK), psc bid adieu to the Sri Lanka Air Force today (13 July 2021) after completing 37 years of dedicated service to the nation. At the time of his retirement, he held the appointment of the Deputy Chief of Staff of the Sri Lanka Air Force.

Air Vice Marshal Rodrigo made an official farewell call on the Commander of the Air Force, Air Marshal Sudarshana Pathirana at his office. The Commander commended Air Vice Marshal Rodrigo for the dedicated and distinguished long years of service rendered to the Nation and to the Sri Lanka Air Force in particular and wished him all success for all future endeavors. The Commander and Air Vice Marshal Rodrigo also exchanged mementos to mark the occasion. After which, the outgoing Deputy Chief of Staff was accorded a Ceremonial Guard of Honour by the SLAF Colour Wing and then departed Air Force Headquarters for the very last time.

Air Vice Marshal Rodrigo is a past student and an outstanding sportsman of St Anthony’s College, Kandy and joined the Sri Lanka Air Force in the year 1984.  After joining the Air Force, he continued his sports representing the SLAF in A division rugby and cricket, for which he obtained Air Force colours on many occasions. Later, he became the Chairman of Air Force Rugby and held the post of Manager of the Sri Lanka National Rugby Team for four years from 2012. He served as the Director Ground Operations from May 2019 to November 2020 before being appointed as the Deputy Chief of Staff of the Sri Lanka Air Force on the 1st of December 2020.

During the last few years, he held many key appointments in the SLAF such as, Base Commander of SLAF Base Vavuniya, Command Sports Officer at Air Force Headquarters, Command Welfare Projects Officer and Deputy Director Ground Operations. During his 37 years of active service in the Sri Lanka Air Force he has held command appointments and was mostly involved in counter terrorist operations especially in the North and East of the country and was in charge of the entire Fire Service Operations of the Air Force and the Colombo City for six years from 2002.

Specialized in Counter Terrorism, he has commanded many Regiment Field Squadrons and Wings and has actively taken part in military deployments conducted by Sri Lankan Armed Forces which includes commanding the troops on special deployment in Palaly and Jaffna, commanding Air Force troops who provide security at the Bandaranaike International Airport and commanding the Special Operations Group at Peraru, Morawewa employed in the Eastern Theater of operations during the final stages of the humanitarian operation where he was responsible for a Tactical Area of Responsibility (TAOR) of over 500 square kilometers and commanded over 3000 combat and non-combat cadres of Sri Lanka Air Force. Soon after the completion of the humanitarian operations, he initiated many activities that promised hope for the displaced to voluntarily return home.

Air Vice Marshal Rodrigo holds a Master’s Degree in Strategic Security Studies from the National Defence University in USA, a Master’s Degree in Strategy and Development Studies from the University of Professionals in Bangladesh, a Master’s Degree in Defence Studies from the University of Kelaniya, Sri Lanka and is a graduated from the Defence Services Command and Staff College of Sri Lanka.

He is also a Qualified Fire Engineer and a Graduate of the Institute of Fire Engineers, UK who has specialized in Aero Fire Studies, Fire Operations, Fire Science, Fire Prevention and Structural Fire Engineering etc. He also holds a Diploma from the National War College USA and also holds diplomas in Counter Terrorism, Human Rights, Conflict Resolution, International Relations and Diplomatic Studies. He has also attended many military and professional courses both in Sri Lanka and abroad. Some of them are: National Defence Course in Bangladesh, Civil-Military Responses to Terrorism at the Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, California, USA, International Fellows Research Program at NESA of the National Defence University, USA, International Structural Fire Fighting Course at the Fire and Rescue Academy, Malaysia, Battalion Commanders' Course at the School of Infantry and Tactics, Quetta, Pakistan, Rescue Operations Course in Indonesia, and completed the Junior Commanders' Course at the Air Force Administrative College, Coimbatore, India.

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