The RAF Force Protection (FP) Force support to the Defence Engagement programme in Sri Lanka. The RAF FP Force deployed a team to deliver a bespoke Force Protection Executives Course to Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) Regiment.
Defence Engagement is at the heart of strengthening the relationships we have with our international partners. The RAF Regiment can draw many parallels with the Sri Lankan Air Force (SLAF) Regiment. Our common heritages coupled with our common goal of providing world leading Air FP, has provided the foundation of a very fruitful exchange of knowledge, Tactics Techniques and Procedures (TTPs) and methodologies. This key component will help both our forces to better understand how to provide Air FP, to counter current and emerging threats.
“Establishing a bilateral partnership with the Sri Lankan’s has been both rewarding and productive. The similarities in doctrine between both the RAF and SLAF are stark; it has been hugely beneficial sharing our knowledge and training and the experiences we have had in Sri Lanka will not be forgotten.”
Flight Lieutenant Orr
RAF Police representative in the team
Squadron Leader Dunne said:
“It’s a real honour to be able to exchange our practises with the SLAF. It is fascinating to see how many operational similarities we share and the opportunity to enhance our bond between our forces has been one of the best experiences in my career to date.”
Squadron Leader Dunne from the Force Protection Centre briefing the SLAF audience on the Complex Air Ground Environment and how the RAF provide Force Protection for its assets at home and deployed. The team from the RAF have spent the last week exchanging doctrine and discussing operational lessons.
In between training, the team were able to pay their respects to the fallen at the Trincomalee Commonwealth War Graves Commission cemetery.
The team also visited a local commonwealth war graves commission cemetery with the Defence Attaché, Col David Ashman. The gentleman who maintains the site has done so for 11 years and took the role over from his father who spent 27 years looking after the graves. The DA presented the gentleman (Mr Vasantharaja) with a small token of appreciation on behalf of the team for his service. The cemetery was kept in immaculate condition.
Wing Commander N. Kumarasinghe of the SLAF Regiment took time throughout the program to ensure the team were well looked after. The team are standing in front of cultural artwork in the Officers’ Mess at the SLAF Academy China Bay, a former Royal Air Force Mess.
The ability for the team to immerse in the fascinating culture of Sri Lanka has been a once in a lifetime opportunity for them.