11th June 2021 22:21:48 Hours
A comprehensive symposium cum a workshop to explore modalities for effective implementation of the 'Army Way Forward Strategy-2020-2025' for its future roles after harnessing professional expertise of all authoritative Officers in the Army began this morning (10) at the Army Headquarters after assembling a representative cross-section of Officers from all corners of the island.
The brainchild behind the 'Army Way Forward Strategy-2020-2025' 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) inaugurated the occasion, attended by Chief of Staff, Principal Staff Officers (PSOs), Security Force Commanders, Directors and Senior Officers.
Delivering his inaugural remarks to the occasion, attributing it as one of very rare gatherings in the recent history where all PSOs, Security Force Commanders, Directors and Senior Officers are sitting together, General Shavendra Silva underlined the need to be well prepared to face the security challenges in future as a well-adapted and sophisticated outfit in an era, defined by complex security challenges since the contemporary and future security environment is volatile, dynamic and characterized by many traditional and non- traditional threats. "As I perceive, there are three main critical issues in operational, administrative and sustainability aspects of the Army that needs transformation to suit our current and future operational contexts, "he said.
"We need to revisit our force structure to achieve the highest efficiency as an organization. Also, I suggest we should think of absorbing sufficient number of suitable officers and men to fulfill the existing cadres. The organization and the size of the Army should ensure its modernization, self-sufficiency, survivability, efficacy, and readiness. In the meantime, it is important to maintain the lucrativeness of this profession, aiming to absorb and retain quality human resources and thus, signifying what it meant. "
"Gentlemen, I am happy to note that, Sri Lanka Army managed to secure a cadre enhancement of 07 Brigadiers, 17 Colonels and 48 Lieutenant Colonels, totalling 72 grade 1 and above additional vacancies to Sri Lanka Army Volunteer Force. We need to understand the threats to national security are multi-faceted. The times have changed, threats have evolved and the security situation has tremendously transformed. Therefore, it is necessary to revisit our organizational structure and operational deployment to suit the current and future contexts, "General Shavendra Silva opined.
"Equally important aspect is our Concept of Operations. We need to observe how the security environment has evolved and how the threats and challenges have transformed. Therefore, urban areas and population centres are more vulnerable and the future adversaries will fight in all domains; not only physical but in media, cyber and perception domains as well. Consequently, our Concept of Operation needs to be more networked, intelligence and surveillance based and swift, aiming to pre-empt any adversary. This reviewed Concept of Operation, needs to ensure efficient troop to task ratios, rather than other administrative considerations, "the speaker noted.
"It is you, the top brass of the Army who need to find solutions to these issues. These challenges, if not addressed immediately will negatively be stressed upon our capabilities and capacities to respond effectively to the call of the nation to ensure national security. We as the leading guarantor of the national security need to keep in our minds that our nation expects much more from us. Therefore, we need to be futuristic and updated in all our missions, "he declared.
"My planning guidance on this aspect is that, we need to review our operational deployment to negate any internal security threat; and to suit the future threat perception to guarantee our national security interests are secured. Thus, our operational deployment must be suitable to address separatism, violent extremism and security of national assets & vital strategically sensitive areas. I expect you all, guided by the Chief of Staff would present me with viable, farsighted and national security- oriented options at the end of this session, "he concluded.
Chief of Staff, Major General Senarath Bandara would conduct the two-day long deliberations on the subject and present the Army Chief with a set of recommendations and guidelines for successful implementation of the 'Way Forward Strategy'.