Sri Lanka Army

Defenders of the Nation

14th September 2017 12:44:25 Hours

'Exercise Cormorant Strike’ Reaches ‘Critical Engagement’ Phase Before Distinguished Guests

The Army-pioneered mock Exercise 'Cormorant Strike VIII - 2017’ Thursday (14) morning saw its one of the most exiting accomplishments, technically identified as the ‘Critical Engagement’ of the Exercise at Kuchchaveli, Trincomalee where a simulated multi-pronged joint amphibious attack on enemy hideouts was carried out.

Together with 2108 infantrymen and mechanized infantrymen, inclusive of 370 sailors and 197 airmen participating, the Exercise, made up largely of Army Commandos and Special Forces has attracted a total of 69 foreign service personnel, representing 13 countries , either as participants or observers in the Operation proper.

Today’s highlight, ‘Critical Engagement ‘of the 8th consecutive Exercise was watched by Hon. Ruwan Wijewardena, State Minister of Defence together with Mr. Kapila Waidyaratne, Secretary to the Ministry of Defence and Admiral Ravindra C Wijegunaratne, Chief of Defence Staff at the invitation of Lieutenant General Mahesh Senanayake, Commander of the Army as special invitees at Kuchchaveli, this morning (14). The Field Training Exercise, launched a simulated enemy camp attack of ferocious magnitude, headed by Commandos and Special Forces, where they were simultaneously joined by MI 24 and MIG fighting jets and Naval fighter craft at sea, fighting against mock enemy positions.

The Exercise is aimed at enhancing the preparation, operational readiness and efficiency of Special Operational Forces.

Its objectives include sharing of military competency, exercising the elites in joint nature ‘interoperability’, experiencing of complex environments and exercise of different levels of commands under simulated scenarios, development of common understanding, efficient integration among different arms, military theoretical understanding and act as an eye opening platform for special operations exercising fundamentals of warfare in special Operation and the integration of advanced technology up to certain extent.

Major General Aruna Jayasekera, Exercise Director in his introductory remarks said that the Exercise has so far completed the launch of strategic Special Operation Forces to shape the battle space by conducting a series of Special Forces missions on selected High Value Targets in the Eastern Province to create conditions for subsequent Strike Corps operations.

Meanwhile, HE the President, Maithripala Sirisena watched the proceedings of the Exercise from his official residence through a multimedia network and interacted with the participants in the Exercise giving encouragement to them Thursday (14) morning.

This year’s Exercise 'Cormorant Strike VIII - 2017’ was made more comprehensive to suit the most modern techniques with the introduction of new features in specific operation segments. Based on a hypothetical scenario, the Exercise incorporated Web GIS software for operations, Improvised Digital Bird Tables and Smart Boards, separate joint Naval operations, joint night operations, Operations conducted by both Special Forces and Commandos in the same area and the conduct of a parachute jump with full combat gear.

A panel of Exercise Directors commanded by Major General Aruna Jayasekara, Director Exercise with the coordination of the Army Directorate of Training headed by Major General Vijitha Ravipriya, Director General Army Training planned and executed the whole of the Exercise 'Cormorant Strike VIII - 2017’ in a very professional manner.

Major General Aruna 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 serving as Deputy Directors in the Exercise.

The first phase of the Exercise 'Cormorant Strike VIII - 2017’, started off from Minneriya on September 3 after a brief inaugural ceremony.

The whole objective of the training was focused on Patrolling, Infiltration, / Ex-filtration, Reconnaissance and Surveillance, Combat Tracking, Link-up, Caches, Demolitions, Raids, Ambushes, Cut-off and Blocks, Rescue Missions, Cat Sniping and Urban Fighting, etc.

The Exercise at its final stages joins with Army troops for direct onslaughts against enemy strongholds. This Army-initiated mock Field Training Exercise (FTX), organized and implemented in close cooperation with Sri Lanka Navy and Air Force has been designed for deployment of their troops in a war milieu of Special Operations at any given moment and planned for conduct of joint operations as one team, using manoeuvrist approach, encompassing planning, execution and command which can be made operational at any given situation.

The near three-week long Exercise, will continue until 24, September, covering areas of the Eastern Province and a minor portion of the Security Force Headquarters - Wanni area consisted of parallel mock seaborne and airborne operations, special combat readiness operations and direct onslaughts against the mock enemy strongholds, conduct of joint operations using manoeuvrist approach, execution and planning of special operations, tactics, techniques and procedures, etc within given time frameworks during the period.

In addition, all those participants in the Exercise gained a wide practical knowledge on simulating rescue operations, operations of joint amphibious task forces, induction and de-induction of the troops, siege of safe houses, under water missions, mock ambushes of unconventional types, planning, preparations, formulations, coordination, commands, control, tactics, techniques and procedures (TTP), operations within given time frames, air and sea rescue operations, attacks on hideouts, intelligence gathering, etc.

A few foreign members of the Diplomatic Corps also watched the mock Exercise where the combined troops of the Special Forces showed their skills and carried out a ferocious attack on another enemy camp in close proximity. Senior Government Officials, together with the DIG, several Air Force and Navy Senior Officers were also associated with the formal ceremony.

Lieutenant General Mahesh Senanayake during a brief interaction with the visiting foreign invitees explained the distinct objective and importance behind such training of Special Forces and Commandos which are a part of any country’s pride and dignity. Witnessing the roles of Army troops and supporting troops closely expressed his happiness over their skills which have been organized in a mock war milieu environment for conduct of such joint and advanced operations.

The meticulously designed Exercise aims to enhance special operation capabilities and maintain combat readiness at all levels, and this has become extremely popular and very well accepted at foreign defence establishments.

As per the scope of the mega Exercise in the Army calendar of assignments, the Special Operation Forces during the Exercise undergo an array of rigorous, strong, and unique training schedules to take up any challenge during battles of hostile missions.

The 'Cormorant Strike' is the largest joint field Exercise in the country, which is conducted for specialized operations forces to maintain their highest physical efficiency and specialization in special operational tactics, techniques, procedures, and skills, to be employed for specialized tasks which may come in handy whenever the security of the country is threatened.