21st April 2021 08:46:15 Hours
Sri Lanka Army’s newest contingent of 243 professionally-trained Army personnel in the Combat Convoy Company (CCC), well-prepared to serve in the United Nations (UN) Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA), amid best wishes of the General Shavendra Silva, Chief of Defence Staff, Commander of the Army and Head of the National Operations Centre for Prevention of Covid-19 Outbreak (NOCPCO) left the country for Mali early this morning (21).
General Shavendra Silva, together with a few senior officers was at the airport to see the Sri Lankan CCC, comprised of 212 Officers and Other Ranks, representing 12 Regiments of the Army, off to the landlocked West African country.
At first, the Commander at the airport spoke to Lieutenant Colonel Dinesh Bulathsinhala, Commanding Officer in the Mali-bound CCC, Phase III, Major L Udagedara, 2nd in Command of the CCC Phase III and members of the CCC.
General Shavendra Silva shared a few thoughts with them and extended his best wishes to the CCC at the airport after a brief military formality before boarding process commenced.
Earlier on 10 April, the Mali-bound CCC presented a formal military salute to the Commander of the Army at the IPSOTSL premises at Kukuleganga.
The CCC includes Army Officers and Other Ranks of the Gajaba Regiment (GR), the majority in the contingent as well as members of the Sri Lanka Army Service Corps (SLASC), Sri Lanka Armoured Corps (SLAC), Sri Lanka Engineers (SLE), Sri Lanka Signal Corps (SLSC), Corps of Engineer Services (CES), Mechanized Infantry Regiment (MIR), Sri Lanka Army Ordnance Corps (SLAOC), Sri Lanka Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (SLEME), Sri Lanka Corps of Military (SLCMP), Sri Lanka Army Medical Corps (SLAMC) and Sri Lanka Army General Service Corps (SLAGSC).
A group of 31 Army personnel, belonging to the same CCC are expected to leave after a few days due to logistic requirements. In the meantime, 240 members of the CCC troops (Phase II) already serving Mali having completed their peacekeeping roles will return home soon under two phases.
Major General Senarath Bandara, Chief of Staff, Major General Priyanka Fernando, Director General General Staff, Major General Sanjaya Wanasinghe, Adjutant General, Major General Indrajith Kandanaarachchi, Director General Agriculture, Major General Swarna Bothota, Commandant, OCDC, Buttala, Major General Lal Chandrasiri, Overall Security Coordinator at the Army HQ, Brigadier Lasantha Rodrigo, Director Overseas Operation, Brigadier Dinesh Udugama, Centre Commandant, Gajaba Regiment and few Senior Officers also were there at the airport during their departure.