05th November 2020 15:27:04 Hours
The newly-appointed 18th Commander of the Air Force, Air Marshal Sudarshana Pathirana this morning (5) was greeted to ceremonial honours when he arrived at the Army Headquarters to pay a courtesy call on the Chief of Defence Staff, Commander of the Army and Head of the National Operations Centre for Prevention of COVID-19 Outbreak (NOCPCO), Lieutenant General Shavendra Silva.
On his arrival at the Army Headquarters, a ceremonial Guard Turnout greeted him in accordance with military traditions after the Army Headquarters Battalion Commanding Officer, Colonel IndikaPerera received him at the entrance in accordance with formalities.
A few seconds later, Major General Sena Waduge, Adjutant General of the Sri Lanka Army formally welcomed him and invited the visiting Commander of the Air Force to review the Guard of Honour parade and receive the salute of the Gemunu Watch troops, presented on his behalf.
At the foyer to the Commander’s Secretariat, Chief of Defence Staff and Commander of the Army, Lieutenant General Shavendra Silva warmly welcomed the visiting new Commander of the Air Force and introduced the Army Principal Staff Officers and others to the visiting Air Force chief.
Air Marshal Sudarshana Pathirana and Lieutenant General Shavendra Silva later on had a formal meeting at the Army Commander’s Office. They both recalled close cooperation prevailing between both Army and Air Force personnel in different spheres of duties and responsibilities and the excellent contribution made towards the eradication of LTTE terrorism in the past. Both of them also discussed matters of mutual concern to their organizations during this courtesy call. Towards the end of the meet, both of them exchanged mementoes to signify the importance of the day’s meeting.
Air Marshal Sudarshana Pathirana placed a complimentary remark in the Visitors’ Book at the Commander's office before he left the Army Headquarters.
Born on 30th December 1965, Air Marshal Sudarshana Pathirana is a proud product of Dharmaraja College Kandy. Having joined the SLAF as an Officer Cadet on 2nd July 1985, he completed his Basic Ground Training at Diyatalawa, securing the award for the Best Cadet of the 14th Officer Cadet Course. He was a member of the first batch of pilots who were selected for advanced flying training in the Pakistan Air Force and secured the award for the Best Allied Flight Cadet by the Pakistan Air Force.
In recognition of his unblemished and distinguished service, Air Marshal Sudarshana Pathirana has been awarded with the “Vishishta Seva Vibhushanaya” and the “Uttama Seva Padakkama”. For his gallant and selfless contribution during the humanitarian operations Air Marshal Sudarshana Pathirana has been awarded gallantry medals on eight occasions. Namely, the ‘Weera Wickrama Vibhushanaya’ twice, ‘Rana Wickrama Padakkama’ twice and ‘Rana Sura Padakkama’ on four occasions.
Air Marshal Sudarshana Pathirana later went on to command three Air Bases, which include a tenure as the Commandant of the Air Force Academy. He was appointed to the Air Force Board of Management in 2017 as the Director Air Operations, prior to being appointed as the Commander. He served as the Chief of Staff from 2019 onwards until he assumed as the Commander.