12th November 2020 15:55:05 Hours
Being geared to preparing the Army for the fast changing technological advancements and new challenges, the Sri Lanka Army in another milestone turning point formally raised its newest wing, 15th Drone Regiment of the Sri Lanka Artillery (SLA) this morning (12) during a brief ceremony at the Army HQ, headed by none other than its brainchild, Lieutenant General Shavendra Silva, Chief of Defence and Commander of the Army.
After the customary welcome note, delivered by Major General Sampath Kotuwegoda, Colonel Commandant of the Sri Lanka Artillery and Commander, Security Forces-Kilinochchi, in which he traced the brief legend behind the birth of the Artillery Regiment as well as how the new Drone Regiment came into being, the day's inaugural ceremony reached its climax. Next, the Army Chief symbolizing the formal raising of the 15th Drone Regiment handed over a new Drone to the Colonel Commandant of the Sri Lanka Artillery.
The keynote address of the day's Chief Guest, Lieutenant General Shavendra Silva to the gathering afterwards highlighted the value and technical importance of a regiment of this nature in the Army, considering emerging soft operation trends in war scenario, natural and man-made disasters, floods and other catastrophes, special emergency circumstances, chemical warfare, outbreak of community-infected epidemics, like COVID-19 etc, for example. He also thanked all involved in this effort as the Army's 'Way Forward Strategy' should go hand in hand with those technical innovations which are in vogue throughtout the world.
A few minutes later, the day's Chief Guest, together with Senior Officers closely watched a set of Drones of the new Regiment, kept on display in the premises and the Colonel Commandant invited the Army Commander to launch the first Drone on a reconaissance mission in the Army HQ complex area as all invitees looked on.
Senior officers, including Major General Jagath Gunawardena, Chief of Staff, Principal Staff Officers, Directors, Senior Officers, Officers and Other Ranks were associated with the inaugural occasion.
Mr Manju Gunawardane, Director, Sri Lanka Institute of Nanotechnology and two representatives of DASIS Aerospace who were throwing their maximum support to the birth of the new wing were also present at the occasion.
The new 15th Drone Regiment in the Sri Lanka Artillery is well-equipped with high-tech cameras that enable operations within short & medium distances and quadcopters with observation cameras for surveillance purposes in military or non-military applications. The incumbent Commander of the Army, to be in consistent with the Army's 'Way Forward Strategy 2020-2025' and preparing the Army for any technical challenges or threats wanted this exclusive wing be raised in order for it to engage in reconnaissance duties, gathering of sensitive information, etc with a view to further strengthening national security needs and its concerns.
The birth of the new 15th Drone Regiment considering changing patterns in threat scenarios would provide a tactical platform for operational level surveillance, precision target acquisition, engagement, post-battle damage assessment capabilities and also to assist disaster mitigation and nation-building efforts.