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Victory Celebrations 2011

Published on: 2011-05-27 20:29:35
Victory Celebrations 2011
The National Victory celebrations marking the 2nd anniversary of liberating the motherland from over three decades of ruthless terrorism was held today (27th May 2011) at the Galle Face in the presence of the His Excellency the president, Mahinda Rajapaksha.

The National Victory Parade consisted of four elements; Headquarters Element, Eastern Theater, Northern Theater, and Wanni Theater representing the areas in which the forces conducted the successful Humanitarian Operations.

All SLAF Bases, Stations, Units and Formations were represented in each of these elements.

Major General Nandana Udawatta was the overall commander of the parade whilst Air Commodore Sagara Kotakadeniya was the senior most Air Force officer on parade.

Three Bell 412s and three Bell 212s, flying in ‘Vic’ formation conducted a fly past carrying the National and Air Force flags respectively. Below them the parade moved on with the Colour Squadron carrying the President’s Colours.

Group captain Athula Kaluarachchi, the present Commanding Officer of SLAF Palaly, led the Ground Defence element which was followed by the element of the Women’s wing led by Squadron Leader Waruni Mendis.

The flags of the Bases, Stations, Units and Formations that were involved in the humanitarian operation marched ahead of the Eastern theatre. Group Captain Kapila Wanigasuriya (The Base Commander of SLAF Hingurakkgoda and Commanding Officer of No 6 MI 17 Helicopter squadron at the time of Humanitarian operations) led the Eastern Squadron. This was followed by the Regimental Special Forces led by the Commanding officer of the Regimental Special Forces, Wing Commander Deepthi Ravihansa. Regiment Special Forces, contributed much during the humanitarian operations performing an outstanding role in the Eastern area. 

Representing the Northern theatre, the flags of the Bases, Stations, Units and Formations that were involved with the humanitarian operation marched ahead. The Northern element of the parade was commanded by Group Captain Udeni Rajapaksha who commanded the No 2 Heavy Transport Squadron during the humanitarian campaign and was followed by Wing Commander Krishantha Manamperi who represented the Northern Ground Operations Commander.

Leading the SLAF Wanni contingent was Group Captain Shehan Fernando who served as the Commanding Officer of No. 10 Kfir Fighter Squadron during the period of the humanitarian operations. The flags of the bases and formations that were involved in the humanitarian operation in the Wanni region were taken in parade next followed by Wing Commander Sulochana Marapperuma who represented the Wanni Ground Operations Commander. Then marched the flight of valiant pilots commanded by Wing Commander Sampath Wickramaratna who was in the forefront of the battle as the Commanding Officer of No. 5 Jet Squadron. Along with the Wanni Squadron, the Flying Tank of the SLAF the MI 24 attack helicopters of No. 09 Squadron paid tribute overhead.

After the Wanni contingent, the mechanized column of the SLAF moved forward displaying the capabilities and the equipment used by the Sri Lanka Air Force during the battle. Wing Commander Mohan Balasuriya, the overall commander of the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) contingent led the display of UAVs of the UAV Squadron , he was followed by Wing Commander Shehan Wijenayaka, Commanding Officer of the Searcher UAV Squadron, who led the display of the Searcher UAV  and Squadron Leader Ajantha Senarath OC Ops of the Blue Horizon Squadron who led the display of the Blue Horizon UAV.

The National Air Defence Network contingent under the command of the Overall Operations Commander Air Defence, Group Captain Saman Pallewela moved on next and followed by Wing Commander Senaka Fernandopulle saluting from the Indra Mark II defence Radar.

The next online in the parade was the Chinese built YLC 18 radar and USFM air defence radar. The 40mm L 70, 23mm Zsu 23 and 20mm TCM gun marked the presence of the Anti Aircraft guns in the victory parade celebrations 2011.

The armament display consisted with 1000kg, 500kg, 250 kg and 125kg bombs as well as the 30mm Pushcai canon used in MI 24, PL 5 E heat seeking air to air missiles used by F 7 aircraft, IGLA SA 16 surface to air missiles, 80mm rockets used by MI 24 helicopters and 12.7 mm guns used in Pucará ground attack air craft. Armored personal carriers brought up the rear of the display of the SLAF mechanize column and the fly fast concluded with a solitary MiG 27 which did a zoom climb once past the saluting dais.

The event was well attended by the Prime Minister, Ministers, the Secretary to the President, the Defence Secretary, distinguished foreign guests, the Chief Of Defence Staff, the Commanders of Sri Lanka Army, Navy and Sri Lanka Air Force, the Inspector General of Police and a cross section of the armed forces of Sri Lanka.


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