The Sri Lanka Air Force 70th Anniversary celebrations began at the Katunayake Air Force Base yesterday, March 2 morning under the patronage of the 18th Air Force Commander Air Marshal Sudharshana Pathirana.
From its humble beginnings on March 2, 1951, over a period of seventy years, the Sri Lanka Air Force has been serving the country and protecting its third dimension while maintaining territorial integrity and unity.
During the Air Force Commander’s address to the troops, he made it a point to pay tribute to all the brave Air Force personnel who sacrificed their lives in active duty, and those who are today disabled having given their all to protect our motherland.
Coinciding with the 70th Air Force Anniversary celebrations, numerous events have been organized including religious observances, war hero welfare programs and the very popular cycling event ‘Guwan Hamuda Papedi Savariya’ which is the grandest cycling event to be held in the country.
Further, the Commander’s Cup seven-a-side rugby tournament has also been organized for the first time.
The Commander also thanked all those who are engaged in the development of the Kanugahawewa Village in Kebithigollewa, which was entrusted upon the Air Force by the President.
“I solemnly pledge to further develop the housing projects that were initiated over the past few years, semi-housing projects, scholarship programmes for children of war heroes, welfare projects for retired Air Force personnel and all other welfare projects covering all Air Force camps. I proudly announce that construction of a modern Air Force Hospital has been initiated complete with all modern facilities for the benefit of all Air Force personnel and their family members,” he said.
“Further, the renovation of the long overdue married quarters for Air Force Officers and a housing project for Air Force personnel have also been initiated with the aim of improving the infrastructure facilities for all personnel,” Air Marshal Pathirana also said.
He added that the Sri Lanka Air Force has a honourable history and called on all Air Force personnel to render their fullest commitment in taking it to the next level as a glorious and productive force to serve the country even better in the future.