24th August 2017 21:19:57 Hours
Field Training Exercise (FTX), ‘Cormorant Strike VIII - 2017’, one of the most prominent yearly projects of the Army with new features added to it this time, is set to kick off beginning September 3, 2017 with the participation of 2675 tri-service troops, including, 62 foreign military participants and observers, said Major General Amal Karunasekara, Chief of Staff of the Army during a Media briefing, held this afternoon (24) at the Army Headquarters premises.
The special Press Conference, chaired by Major General Amal Karunasekara, Chief of Staff, was attended by Major General Aruna Jayasekera, Exercise Director, Major General Vijitha Ravipriya, Director General Training, Brigadier Roshan Seneviratne, Director Media, Brigadier Uditha Bandara, Commander, Commando Brigade, Brigadier Sujeewa Senarathyapa, Commander, Special Force Brigade, Commodore U.I Serasinghe, Joint Force Naval Component Commander and Wing Commander M.A.D.M.C Manathunga on behalf of the Joint Force Air Component Commander as members of the head table.
Major General Karunasekara further stated that the ‘Exercise Cormorant Strike’, introduced to the Army in the year 2010, is an attempt to share experiences the Army had gained in the humanitarian operations that took place before the year 2009. “This is also a move to strengthen mutual understanding that prevails among sister services and also to promote the momentum of collective efforts in any given emergency scenario.”
Major General Aruna Jayasekara, Exercise Director interpreted the joint Exercise as a move to develop decision-making capabilities of junior Officers who have had not experienced such mock scenarios. “It is also an Exercise to train Officers to understand operability of non-state actors, air and sea operations, threats of cyber attacks and all warfare needs taken on a paddle. Combination of Commandos, Special Forces and also the Mechanized Infantry troops of the Army, together with Navy and Air Force troops present an ideal setting for the Exercise under 14 training modules. It also helps share our experiences with those military personnel from foreign armed forces and the vice versa”, the Exercise Director elaborated.
He also spelt out how the Exercise Cormorant Strike has been designed and is to be launched from different locations during the specified periods. The Exercise will terminate at Trincomalee on September 24, 2017 after a brief certificate-awarding ceremony. He also highlighted that Exercise participants would experience mock simulations on enemy strongholds, supported by seaborne and airborne operations of the Navy and the Air Force.
Commodore U.I Serasinghe, Director, Land Naval Operations thanking the Army for accommodating them said that all contingents of naval Special Forces with a fleet of gun boats, Dvora-class fast patrol boats, LCM vessel and speed boats are to contribute to the Exercise. “The newly-raised Navy Marine Corps for the first time will join the Exercise,” he quipped.
Wing Commander M.A.D.M.C Manathunga, on behalf of Joint Force Air Component Commander adding his thoughts to the briefing said that the Air Force would through this Exercise is capable of experimenting new tactics and strategies while exhibiting their air mobility skills.
The Exercise has now gained its due attention and popularity, mostly among foreign military establishments as evidenced in the ever-rising numbers of foreign participants attending the sessions, every year. This year’s Exercise on a directive from the Commander of the Army, Lieutenant General Mahesh Senanayake has incorporated training in the prevention of cyber attacks as a special component, considering fast developing threats through IT.
A detailed communiqué issued during the Media briefing is as follows;
"The joint annual Field Training Exercise (FTX), 'Exercise - Cormorant Strike VIII - 2017' organized by the Army for the 8th consecutive year with a record participation of 2675 Army, Navy and Air Force troops, including 62 foreign military participants and observers, will take place covering the Eastern Province. It is to be launched from the mock Operational Headquarters at Minneriya from 3 September to 24 September 2017.
Using special operational tactics, 2108 infantrymen, including largely the Commandos, Special Forces and Mechanized Infantry Regiment troops of the Army, 370 sailors and 197 airmen, together with those foreign military men and observers from Bangladesh, India, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Indonesia, Malaysia, China, Russia, USA, Brazil, Sudan, Iraq, Israel, Oman, Turkey, Iran and Kenya would formally join the mega Exercise. Major General Anura Jayasekara works as the Exercise Director while Brigadier Nishantha Herath, Brigadier Sujeewa Senarath Yapa, Brigadier Uditha Bandara, Colonel Chandra Jayaweera, Colonel Sujeewa Hettiarachchi and Colonel Chandana Wickremasinghe are the Deputy Directors in the Exercise.
This year’s Exercise 'Cormorant Strike' has been designed on a new conceptual notion of the Commander of the Army, Lieutenant General Mahesh Senanayake under the close supervision of the Exercise Director and a special committee.
The Field Training Exercise ends on September 24 at Trincomalee after a mammoth joint display on the previous day, prior to the closing ceremony.
The Exercise transmits and shares the sea of experiences the Sri Lanka Army has had gathered in the world's biggest and most successful humanitarian operation before May 2009. The Exercise covers Batticaloa, Vakarai, Trincomalee North and Thoppigala areas of the Security Force Headquarters – Wanni, Security Force Headquarters East (SFHQ-E) and the Security Force Headquarters, Mullaittivu. It is to be coupled with simultaneous mock seaborne and airborne operations of the Navy and Air Force, and is slated to further enhance special operation capabilities of the Army Mechanized Infantry columns, backed by naval troops to maintain combat readiness at all levels.
As the final phase, a simulated joint onslaughts against enemy strongholds, supported by seaborne and airborne operations towards the culmination of the Exercise, has also been planned.
Implemented in close cooperation with the Sri Lanka Navy and the Air Force, all mock operations and training sessions, have been designed for immediate deployment of troops in a war milieu of Special Operations at any given moment. The training for prevention of cyber attack is a new feature that has been incorporated in the Exercise, this year.
The Exercise also largely focuses on basic and comprehensive planning components, prior preparations, formulations, coordination, command, control, tactics, techniques and procedures and execution of Special Operations, etc within given frameworks.
Commander of the Army maintains that the 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 challenge against the country or her people as defenders of the nation.
Commodore U. I. Serasinghe, Joint Force Naval Component Commander and Group Captain V.B. Edirisinghe, Joint Force Air Component Commander - Exercise 'Cormorant Strike' join as the coordinators for Navy and Air Force troops participating in the Exercise.
Based on hypothetical scenario and focused on achieving training objectives, this year's Exercise will train the participants on Patrolling, Infiltration/Ex-filtration, Reconnaissance and Surveillance, Combat Tracking, Link-up, Caches, Demolitions, Raids, Ambushes, Cut-off and Blocks, Rescue Missions, Urban Fighting and Disaster Relief Missions.
A large number of foreign lands have shown an interest towards this mock military operation, scheduled to be culminated at Trincomalee on 24 September 2017.”