Home of the 'Hinds' Celebrates Fifteenth Birthday
Published on: 2010-11-25 17:49:10
The abode of the battle hardened Mi-24 and the courageous team which tamed it, the No. 9 Attack Helicopter Squadron of the Sri Lanka Air Force, celebrated its fifteenth anniversary on Wednesday, 24 November, 2010 at its home Base in Hingurakgoda.
Induction of the Mi-24 gunships led to the formation of the No.9 Attack Helicopter Squadron in 1995, a crucial era in the SLAF Air Strategy. Since its inception, the team played a vital role to end terrorism, fighting sometimes with only courage and skill in addition to the versatile machines to support them.
Acting Base Commander of SLAF Base Hingurakgoda, Wing Commander Suresh Perera graced the occasion as Chief Guest. Pilots who once flew under the proud ensign of the Squadron also attended the anniversary celebrations as special invitees.
The day’s proceedings got off the ground with a drill display by a 30 strong Flight consisting of 30 technicians and Gunners from the No. 9 Squadron. The display which was held, entertained the audience with their skilled performance.
Next on the agenda was an award ceremony to recognize outstanding service rendered to the squadron in the past year. The title of the Most Outstanding Airman went to Sergeant Rajeewa DMS while Flight Sergeant Susil K. was recognized for his presentation of the Best Invention.
Also receiving awards were the champions of the sports tournament held in lieu of the anniversary celebrations. Winners of the cricket, football and volleyball received their prizes form the Chief Guest after which the Air Force Band display commenced at the parade square.
Following the musical entertainment, the audience was treated to a rarely seen display of Mi-24 armament by the technicians of No. 9 Squadron.
The highlight of the day’s events came at the end, with a tribute at the Mi-24 Monument, containing the names of the Pilots and Air Gunners who sacrificed their lives while serving the Squadron. Paying their respects with floral tributes were the Chief Guest and three former pilots of the Squadron; Wing Commander Anuruddha Bandara, Wing Commander Channa Dissanayake and Squadron Leader Priyamal Fernando. The Warrant Officer in charge of the hangar, W/O Priyadharshana also made a floral tribute at the monument.
The anniversary celebrations closed on an emotional note with bugles and the salute by all those in attendance in remembrance of the gallant crews who made the supreme sacrifice in their precious "Hinds".