The Army today deployed 243 troops to war- torn Mali.
The Sri Lanka Army said its newest contingent of 243 professionally-trained Army personnel are from the Combat Convoy Company (CCC).
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 in Mali who have completed their peacekeeping roles will return home soon under two phases.
The newly dispatched troops will serve in the United Nations (UN) Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA).
Chief of Defence Staff, Commander of the Army and Head of the National Operations Centre for Prevention of Covid-19 Outbreak (NOCPCO) General Shavendra Silva oversaw the departure of the troops this morning.
General Shavendra Silva, together with a few senior Military officers was at the Katunayake Airport to meet the Sri Lankan CCC, comprising of 212 Officers and Other Ranks, representing 12 Regiments of the Army, and see them off to the landlocked West African country.
The Commander had held discussions with Commanding Officer in the Mali-bound CCC, Phase III Lieutenant Colonel Dinesh Bulathsinhala, 2nd in Command of the CCC Phase III Major L Udagedara, and members of the CCC.
General Shavendra Silva shared a few words with them and extended his best wishes to the CCC at the airport after a brief military formality, before the boarding process commenced.
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).
Major General Senarath Bandara, Chief of Staff, Major General Priyanka Fernando, Director General General Staff, Major General Sanjaya Wanasinghe, Adjutant General, Brigadier Lasantha Rodrigo, 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, Director Overseas Operation, Brigadier Dinesh Udugama, Centre Commandant, Gajaba Regiment and few Senior Officers also were there at the airport during their departure. (Colombo Gazette)