WWV, RWP, RSP and three Bars, MSc (Int Rel), MIM (SL), fndu, qhi
COMMANDER OF THE AIR FORCE
The 66th Anniversary, which falls on the 02nd March 2017, is a memorable day in the history of the Sri Lanka Air Force. I consider myself, privileged to pen this message as the Commander of the Air Force at this momentous occasion. I proudly highlight that the Royal Ceylon Air Force at its inception in year 1951, which was a ceremonial force, over six decades has transformed and developed in to a technologically advanced Air Force with highly skilled professionals and a potent air arm of the highest caliber. The unprecedented role played by the Air Force in the fight against terrorism not only warranted this transformation but also became an impetus for the Sri Lanka Air Force to solidify its responsibility as a professional force, which is steadfast to protect the people and the national interests of our country. Therefore, undoubtedly the 66th anniversary of the Sri Lanka Air Force symbolizes the distinguished and devoted service to the nation over six decades. Most importantly we, the Air Force should honour the sacrifices of those who were killed in action and wounded in line of duty during this arduous journey.
I take this opportunity to place on record my sincere gratitude to His Excellency the President and the Commander-in-chief Maithripala Sirisena for the confidence in me and for bestowing the privilege of commanding the Sri Lanka Air Force on the occasion of the 66th Anniversary. Further I am greatly thankful to the Honourable Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasignhe, the Honourable State Minister for Defence Ruwan Wijayawardena and the Secretary to the Ministry of Defence, Engineer Mr. Karunasena Hettiarachchi for their concurrence in entrusting me this privilege to be at the helm of the Sri Lanka Air Force.
I consider this appointment as the greatest of honours and I aspire to lead the Air Force in to a future where Sri Lanka as a nation aspires on economic development, building consensus, fostering stable peace and broadening our horizons as a strategic nation in the Indian Ocean Region.
It is evident that the Sri Lanka Air Force has an extended role in the national, regional and global domains. As a maritime nation and the envisaged future of a blue economy not only opens new opportunities, it advents newfound national interests and presents new challenges in the national security paradigm. Thus, the Sri Lanka Air Force is in the process of augmenting its air power capabilities and modernizing its air assets to commensurate and to cater to these national interests. Furthermore, it is essential to understand that, though the Air Force is the nation's air arm, safeguarding the nation's skies, our responsibilities to promote international relations, peace and security and strengthening military cooperation through confidence building is paramount. Therefore, I emphasize that the Sri Lanka Air Force has become an ambassador of the nation in multiple spheres and the innate professionalism, internalizing the core competencies of the organization and the skills of its men and women are the foundation of the Air Force's success.
In this day where we as one team, stand united to celebrate the 66th Anniversary of the Air Force, I earnestly call upon all personnel to internalize the individual and organizational duties and responsibilities to this great nation and its people. I am confident that, we as public servants are resolute to continue our service with honor, devotion and perseverance. Accordingly, I am pleased to highlight that the multiple celebrations with the Air Force Tattoo 2017 and the Exposition being the culmination of our grandeur celebrations, is a portrayal of the Air Force's unyielding commitment for security of our country. Furthermore, it is a demonstrationof the Air Force's air power, capabilities and faculty in numerous levels to safeguard the Sri Lanka's skies, national interests and further the commitment to promote socioeconomic development and the peaceful environment.
In conclusion of this missive, I convey my sincere gratitude to the Air Force Board of Management, the Organising Committee of the Air Force Tattoo 2017 and the Exposition for the untiring commitment to ensure the 66th Anniversary Celebrations is a vibrant and enthralling experience. Further, my appreciation is extended to all the sponsors and well-wishers for benevolently extending their support to make this anniversary celebrations a success in its entirety.
Finally, I reiterate that our responsibility perpetuates as the Sri Lanka Air Force to embody the hallowed notions of duty to safeguard the nation, integrity to do the right thing at the most difficult of situations and the tenacity to overcome the hardest of challenges, as we have for the last 66 years.