Four-step vision for the Air Force | Daily News

Four-step vision for the Air Force

Air Force Commander Air Marshal Sudharshana Pathirana. Picture by Sulochana Gamage.
Air Force Commander Air Marshal Sudharshana Pathirana. Picture by Sulochana Gamage.

Air Marshal Sudarshana Pathirana, who assumed duties as the 18th Air Force Commander, convened his first media briefing and outlined his four-step vision for the Air Force.

He said, “During my tenure as the 18th Air Force Commander, I will lead the Air Force forward with four goals in mind. The first is to enhance the air power capability of the Air Force to meet the expectations of the people to safeguard the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Sri Lanka. For that we will have to devise a plan to make the unserviceable air craft serviceable, and enable several platforms to ensure that we maintain the required capacity. As the second goal, I will enhance our maritime reconnaissance search and rescue capabilities as Sri Lanka has a sea area around 60 times that of the land area. By doing so, we plan to protect our seas and its resources for the future generations,” he said.

He said that the third aim is to enhance the capabilities of the Air Force’s unmanned aerial capabilities to meet the future challenges that may confront us in the future. “The fourth aim is to make sure that the Air Force is capable of meeting any challenge that may arise with natural disasters and to ensure the protection of the people in rescue operations or medical needs,” he said.

He said that it was an honour for him to be appointed as Commander of the Sri Lanka Air Force, which can boast of over 69 years history. “We have a 69-year rich history, and I take this opportunity to remember our Air war heroes who sacrificed much for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of our motherland,” the Commander said.

He said that the Air Force fleet has three types of aircraft. “These are the fighters, transport aircraft and helicopters. But percentage wise if you take the attack or fighter capacity, we are way below the required level. The reason is not that we have an enemy that poses any threat at present, but we need to maintain our capability to that of the past to always be prepared to face any eventuality. We have already invested in this regard and we have well trained pilots. In terms of transport helicopters and transport aircraft, we are mid-way. That means we need to service these ageing aircraft. We have a plan but it is somewhat costly. We need to ve a series of plans to address these needs gradually,” the Commander said.

He said that the Air Force requires much, which has to be asked from the Government, but with the ongoing situation, all these needs cannot be demanded, but the urgent requirements should be addressed systematically.