12th February 2021 15:00:03 Hours
The preparatory Army Field Training Exercise (FTX) 'Harmattan - 3 ' for Combat Convoy Company (CCC) duties in UN Peacekeeping Missions that enables troops to develop mission orientation and competency before they undertake tasks in the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission (MINUSMA) in Mali and Goa, got off to a start this morning (12) at Mailady, Jaffna with the participation of 20 officers and 223 Other Ranks of Gajaba Regiment, Sri Lanka Armoured Corps, Sri Lanka Engineers, Sri Lanka Signal Corps, Mechanized Infantry Regiment, Corps of Engineer Service, Sri Lanka Army Service Corps, Sri Lanka Army Medical Corps, Sri Lanka Army Ordnance Corps, Sri Lanka Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, Sri Lanka Corps of Military Police and Sri Lanka Army General Service Corps.
As instructed by General Shavendra Silva, Chief of Defence Staff and Commander of the Army, the mock FTX, made up on the directions of the Director General, General Staff Branch Major General Priyanka Fernando covering 457.2 km will traverse the general areas of Mailady, Point Pedro, Nagar Kovil, Wettalakerni, Paranthan Visuvamadu, Pudukuduirippu, Mullaittivu, Nayaru, Welioya, Padaviya, Pulmodai, Thawul Wewa, Gomarankadawala, Trincomalee, Kinniya, Muttur, Seru Nuwara, Kandakadu, Pulathisigama, Polonnaruwa and Giritale under 5 Phases in 47 vehicles including 6 armoured vehicles, 6 unibuffels,19 administrative vehicles before it culminates at Minneriya Infantry Training Centre on (16) Tuesday.
Major General Champaka Ranasinghe functions as the Exercise Director ‘FTX - Harmattan - 3’ who is also the General Officer Commanding (GOC), 58 Division and Major General Deepal Pussella, GOC, 62 Division works as the Deputy Exercise Director. Friday morning's brief inaugural occasion saw Major General Champaka Ranasinghe General Officer Commanding, 58 Division as the Chief Guest who signalled the start of the passage of the CCC at Mailady.
The ‘FTX - Harmattan - 3’, comprising 12 Regiments of the Army will exercise their challenges under simulated threat conditions prevailing in Mali and Goa. A separate Headquarters (HQ-EXCON) staff will simultaneously monitor the applicability of standard drills against varying scenarios and will recommend improvements for effectiveness of the CCC. The CCC is commanded by Lieutenant Colonel B.A.D.N.K Bulathsinhala as the Convoy Commander and Major L Udagedara serves as his Second in Command.
The designed FTX as per the plan covers Northern Province, North Central Province and a section of the Eastern Province and the new UN bound CCC will undertake responsibilities as the replacement for the second CCC of the Sri Lanka Army who are scheduled to return upon completion of their one-year long tenure, this year.
Sri Lanka Army, recognized globally as a UN troop contributing country (TCC) with its third contingent of 243-strong Combat Convoy Company (CCC) after proper orientation exercises would wing to Mali, a landlocked West African country, marred by ethnic tensions.