Sri Lanka Army

Defenders of the Nation

02nd September 2021 05:40:10 Hours

‘Exercise - Cormorant Strike XI - 2021’ 11th Edition Kicked off from Minneriya

The eleventh joint Tri-service Mega Field Training Exercise (FTX) ‘Exercise - Cormorant Strike XI - 2021’, one more notable annual project, organized by the Army with the participation of foreign military representatives set out this morning (3) at Minneriya Operational Headquarters at Infantry Training Center, Minneriya after a briefing delivered by the Exercise Director, Major General Harendra Ranasinghe, Commander, Reserve Strike Corps, together with the Deputy Ex-Director Major General Anil Samarasiri, General Officer Commanding, 65 Division and other stakeholders.

The preparatory induction ceremony of the ‘Exercise’ started this morning (3) where a representative gathering of participants had assembled for discussions before the Exercise proper at ground level.The 'Exercise Cormorant Strike' is the premier Field Training Exercise (FTX) of the Sri Lankan Armed Forces.

This year’s 11th edition of the Exercise with involvement of multinational stakeholders is exclusively designed for the Special Operations Forces (SOF) in a joint setting in order to build synergy with Other Arms and Sister Services. Representatives from foreign countries, such as India, Nepal, Maldives, Pakistan and Bangladesh are also expected to participate in this effort as players and observers. The Exercise encompasses joint preparation and planning to conduct joint special operations for command, staff management, headquarter and unit operations to work together as one team along with sister services with a view to achieving success within the operational framework within a given time-frame.

This year's Field Training Exercise (FTX) setting has been developed under the guidance of General Shavendra Silva, Chief of Defence Staff, Commander of the Army and Head of the National Operation Centre for Prevention of COVID-19 Outbreak (NOCPCO) after a few rounds of extensive consultations and discussions.

Meticulous operational plans are to be closely executed under the close supervision of the Exercise Director, Major General Harendra Ranasinghe, Commander, Reserve Strike Corps and a special committee, composed of battle-hardened veterans. The Exercise will be spearheaded in general areas of Mannar, Wilpattu, Arippu, Thunukkai, Vavunikulam, Nedunkerni, Chundikulam, Nayaru, Thiriyaya, Nilaveli, Thoppur, Ilankanthai, Vakarai, Thonithattumadu, Narakamulla, Kanchikudichchiaru, Chenkalady, Dambulla, Moragahakanda, Meemure, Colombo, Dikowita and will continue until 25th September 2021 before the closing ceremony gets underway on 26 September 2021.

This year’s FTX is conducted adhering to all health protocols and guidelines under the “Bio Bubble Concept” attracting new partners, like the Armoured Brigade, Mechanized Infantry Brigade, Airmobile Brigade, 583 Infantry Brigade and Regimental Special Forces of Sri Lankan Air Force (RSF) as players for specific missions for the first time in the history of this FTX.

The whole of the FTX is designed in a fictitious scenario that resembles the emergence of non-state actors who challenge the territorial integrity of a country governed by a democratically elected government. As per the conceptual implementation, the historical growth of mistrust between different ethnicities leads to the emergence of non-state actors, and finally turns into different forms of insurgency and the hypothetical setting at last develops to be an open offensive phase where insurgents partially govern their own controlled areas while resorting to terrorist acts with the use of asymmetric warfare techniques to undermine the government authority. This situation demands the use of military forces to neutralize these terrorists in order to preserve the territorial integrity intact.

Over the years, this FTX has evolved as one of the consistent training exercises which exchanges invaluable military knowledge and experiences in a multinational context for the future generations which is considered as an endeavour to practise the application of Special Operations Forces in dynamic battlefield environments. The outcome of the Exercise is to produce a competent Special Operations Forces soldier, who can perform and make decisions in a strategic context and to develop a conceptual framework for the employment of SOF. Moreover, it envisages keeping the SOF units in its highest level of combat readiness to face prevailing and perceive threats and security challenges.

A total of 2846 participants, including foreign troops as observers or contributors take part in the Field Training Exercise (FTX) ‘Exercise - Cormorant Strike XI- 2021’. The inauguration of the ‘Exercise - Cormorant Strike XI - 2021’ at the Infantry Training Centre, Minneriya was held virtually through Zoom technology, for which the Director General General Staff, Director Training, Director Operations, Special Forces Brigade troops, Commando Brigade troops, Navy and Air Force troops too contributed.