Preparatory UN Mission Orientation FTX commences in Mailady | Daily News

Preparatory UN Mission Orientation FTX commences in Mailady

The preparatory Army Field Training Exercise (FTX) ‘Harmattan – 3’ for Combat Convoy Company (CCC) duties in UN Peacekeeping Missions commenced last morning at Mailady, Jaffna.

The exercise enables troops to develop mission orientation and competency before they undertake tasks in the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission (MINUSMA) in Mali and Goa.

It began with the participation of 20 officers and 223 Other Ranks of the Gajaba Regiment, Sri Lanka Armoured Corps, Sri Lanka Engineers, Sri Lanka Signal Corps, Mechanised 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 the 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 General Staff Branch Director-General Major General Priyanka Fernando, will cover 457.2 km.

This includes the 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.

The mock FTX will be carried out under five Phases in 47 vehicles, including six armoured vehicles, six unibuffels, and 19 administrative vehicles before it reaches its end at the Minneriya Infantry Training Centre next Tuesday.

Major General Champaka Ranasinghe would function as the Exercise Director. He is also the General Officer Commanding (GOC) of the 58 Division. Meanwhile, Major General Deepal Pussella, GOC of the 62 Division, would be the Deputy Exercise Director. Friday morning’s brief inaugural occasion saw Major General Champaka Ranasinghe as the chief guest. He signalled the start of the passage of the CCC in Mailady.

The FTX ‘Harmattan – 3’, comprising 12 Regiments of the Army, would exercise their challenges under simulated threat conditions prevailing in Mali and Goa. A separate Headquarters (HQ-EXCON) staff would simultaneously monitor the applicability of standard drills against varying scenarios and would recommend improvements for effectiveness of the CCC.

The CCC is commanded by Lieutenant Colonel B.A.D.N.K. Bulathsinhala as the Convoy Commander, while 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. The new UN-bound CCC would 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 tenure this year.

The Sri Lanka Army, recognised 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.