Under the able guidance of the Commander of the Navy Vice Admiral Jayantha Perera, the Navy's Directorate of Maritime Cooperation succeeded in securing an avenue for the SLN's Executive Branch officers to obtain the Certificate of Competency (COC) for “Navigation Watchkeeping in Near Coastal Voyages (NCV)” category as a result of fruitful discussions held with the Director General of Merchant Shipping. The letter of COC awarding recognition was presented to the Commander of the Navy by the Director General of Merchant Shipping Mr. Ajith Seneviratne at the Naval Headquarters on 24th February 2015. The Director Maritime Cooperation Commodore Noel Kalubowila also was present on the occasion.
The officers of the Navy's Executive Branch will now be recognized for awarding of the Certificate of Competency under two categories, namely for ships less than 500 GT and for ships less than 3000 GT, depending on their possession of minimum perquisites. However, aspiring candidates will have to undergo one year training programme at an approved training institute including the mandatory six-month seagoing experience onboard merchant ships.
The initiative will undoubtedly be an enormous benefit to the Navy's 'Executive Branch officers, and it will enable them to start a second career with attractive perks and privileges depending on the experience gained through their successful naval career. Above all, it will further strengthen the nation’s aspiration of becoming a maritime center in the region with the Navy's contribution of providing competent and qualified professionals to the merchant marine industry of the country.