This joint mega Tri-Service Field Training Exercise (FTX), organized by the Sri Lanka Army for the 9th consecutive year will kick off on 6 September with a record participation of more than 100 foreign military participants and observers, in addition to 2500 Army personnel, 400 Sailors and 200 Airmen, a Media Conference, held on Tuesday (28) at the Sri Lanka Electrical & Mechanical Engineers (SLEME) auditorium was told by Major General Niyshshanka Ranawana, Commander, Security Forces, Kilinochchi on behalf of the Commander of the Army.
Over the years, this Field Training Exercise has evolved as one of the most consistent and comprehensive training Exercises which transfers and shares invaluable military experience and knowledge in a multinational milieu for the benefit of future military aspirants in the next generation and the foreign military participants, the Commander declared.
It will continue until 26 September 2018 covering the Eastern, Central, Western and North Central Provinces and provides a catalyst to build the capacity of Special Operations Forces (SOF) of the Army and formulate a theoretical framework for the employment of SOF, he added.
This year’s Exercise portrays counter-insurgency scenario with the influence of asymmetrical warfare which has turned out to be the common approach among most non-state actors, extremist groups and appears to be the most likely national and international security threat in the 21st century, Major General Niyshshanka Ranawana said.
The Exercise largely focuses on joint planning and coordination, pre-engagement training, staff functions, real-time role play and execution of special operations within the given framework.Exercise setting has been developed under the guidance of the Commander of the Army, Lieutenant General Mahesh Senanayaka and under the close supervision of the Exercise Director, Major General Niyshshanka Ranawana, Commander, Security Forces, Kilinochchi and a special committee.
The Exercise will start from the mock Operational Headquarters at Minneriya on Thursday (6 September) after a brief induction ceremony and Brigadier Krishantha Gnanaratne and Colonel Vipula Ihalage serve as Deputy Directors of the Exercise, ‘Cormorant Strike IX - 2018' Using SOF tactics, Infantrymen that include Commandos, Special Forces, Air Mobile and Mechanized Infantry Regiment troops of the Army, Sailors and Airmen would actively participate in this Exercise. The SOF will deploy troops under command on special operations tactics, techniques and procedures in the Operational Framework (Deep, Close and Rear) during the Exercise.
Foreign military participants and observers from Australia, Bangladesh, Brazil, China, France, Japan, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Russia, Singapore, Sudan, Turkey, UK, USA and Zambia have so far confirmed their participation. Through execution of 20 special operations missions, the participants are expected to stick to above-mentioned core tasks.
The Field Training Exercise terminates with the ‘Critical Engagement’ on September 26 at Kuchchaveli. This is planned as a joint operation against opposing force stronghold supported by Naval, Air Task Forces and Mechanized Infantry troops. The de-brief of the Exercise will take place on completion of the Critical Engagement on 27 September 2018.
The Commander of the Army maintains that Sri Lanka Army, having defeated the world’s most ruthless terrorist outfit should sustain the status quo and be always well –geared to take on any future challenges against the country or her people as defenders of the nation.
Tuesday’s Media briefing was attended by Major General Niyshshanka Ranawana, Commander, Security Forces, Kilinochchi, Exercise Director, Major General Aruna Wanniarachchi, Director General Training, Major General Rukmal Dias, Commander, Army Training Command (ARTRAC), Brigadier Sumith Atapattu, Director Media, Brigadier Krishantha Gnanarathne, Commando Brigade Commander, Colonel Upul Ihalage, Commander Special Forces Brigade, Group Captain Vishwa Samantha, Air Componend Commander and Captain Damian Fernando, Naval Componend Commander.