22nd October 2022 10:01:15 Hours
The exceptionally-skilled 1 Corps of the Sri Lanka Army that unified reserve strike divisions, special operations forces and elements of other Arms marked its first anniversary this morning (21) at a formal ceremony, held at its Kilinochchi Headquarters premises, headed by Lieutenant General Vikum Liyanage, Commander of the Army who graced as the Chief Guest at the invitation of the 1 Corps Commander.
The day’s proceedings began after Major General AKGKU Gnanaratne ndc psc extended a warm welcome to the day's Chief Guest upon arrival after troops of the 2 Commando Regiment of the 1 Corps, presenting a Guard Turnout greeted him at the entrance to the 1 Corps HQ premises.
Subsequently, the 1 Corps Commander invited the Army Chief to the parade ground to receive the salute in the Guard of Honour, presented by 1 Corps troops. At the end of the parade, the Army Chief sat with Officers of the 1 Corps for a few group photographs. Then, the Army Chief was invited to add eternal memories to the day by planting a Sandalwood (Sandun) sapling in the camp premises on account of the anniversary.
The day's gathering after a while moved to the 'Nelum Piyasa' auditorium of the 9 Sri Lanka Signal Corps where Major General AKGKU Gnanaratne ndc psc delivered the welcome note and set the stage ready for award of scholarships to 53 deserving students in Kilinochchi area. Accordingly, each scholarship recipient receives Rs 2000 every month for a period of one year as a stimulant for committed continuation of their higher studies as organized by the 1 Corps HQ in consultation with the Zonal Education office and respective Principals.
The day's Chief Guest, Lieutenant General Vikum Liyanage, together with the 1 Corps Commander and Senior Officers as one more highlight of the day’s proceedings awarded those scholarships to Kilinochchi students after inviting each of them on stage.
Next, the Commander of the Army awarded certificates to students who performed well in the 1 Corps-managed 'Glory of Kilinochchi' Arts Competition which coincided with the anniversary arrangements. The 1 Corps, aiming to further improve the artistic skills of the young students in Kilinochchi, attracted 225 entries from 66 schools for this competition which awarded cash incentives and certificates to the best achievers and all contributors.
As one more segment of the day's itinerary, the Commander, 1 Corps invited the Army Chief to award trophies and certificates to 1 Corps troops who shone in the series of anniversary sports and entertaining features that got underway earlier in parallel with the 1 Corps Anniversary before the day dawned.
Adding further significance to the anniversary milestones, the gathering then witnessed the release of the 1 Corps Song, composed highlighting the heroic all time preparedness of 1 Corps troops for any eventuality. The maiden CD of the song was presented to the day's Chief Guest by the 1 Corps Commander.
Later on, Lieutenant General Vikum Liyanage addressed the gathering and lent his best wishes to the 1 Corps and commended their roles and tasks, performed in the past one year after its birth. He also highlighted the importance of their all-time preparedness to meet with any challenge in the country, be it an emergency, security, a natural disaster or otherwise. Those responsibilities that go along with the 1 Corps motto, 'Swift, Vigour, Bravery' are performed in the best interests of the country and its people, he added.
The 1 Corps HQ around the same time fulfilled a long-felt need of the HQ compound by inviting the Army Chief to open the new Corporals’ Club, a facility the troops can make use of. By unveiling a plaque, the Army Chief cut a ribbon to inaugurate the location. He also signed the 1 Corps Visitors’ Book.
At the end of the anniversary day programmes, the 1 Corps Commander in an appreciative gesture presented a memento to Lieutenant General Vikum Liyanage and thanked him for his gracious presence for the anniversary commemoration, despite heavy workload. The gesture was reciprocated.
The one-year old 1 Corps, consists of the troops of the 53 Division, 58 Division, Commando Brigade, Special Forces Brigade and a few other Arms entities, serves as an active military reserve formation, available to address unforeseen situations or exploit sudden opportunities and maintain their military skills and readiness while operating on an on-call basis from the main military force. This was the first time in the military history that this combined type of highest tactical fighting formation, 1 Corps with Reserve Strike Forces (RSF) and Special Operations Forces (SOF) as a force multiplier came into being under one command in the face of contemporary security dynamics, natural disasters, man-made catastrophes, epidemics, terrorist threats or any other national emergencies.