Commander of the Navy Chief Guest at SBS insignia awarding ceremony
Commander of the Navy, Vice Admiral Nishantha Ulugetenne presided over the awarding of insignia to 03 officers and 19 sailors of the 29th Special Boat Squadron (SBS) intake at the SBS Headquarters in Naval Dockyard, Trincomalee today (05th June 2022).
Three (03) officers and 19 sailors who voluntarily joined the 29th intake for the gruelling SBS training programme, ultimately managed to complete the training, entitling to the receipt of insignia. Subsequent to the awarding of insignia, those who remained outstanding during the training period were recognized and presented awards by Commander of the Navy. Accordingly, Sub Lieutenant AGRHN Athapaththu won the awards for the Most Excellent SBS Member, the Highest Aggregate in Overall Subjects and the Best Sportsman. Meanwhile, Ordinary Seaman RD Dilan secured the award for the Best Marksman. The awards for the Best Swimmer and SBS Member with Highest Physical Endurance were won by Ordinary Seaman IGLC Gunarathna and Ordinary Seaman KKAN Deshapriya respectively.
The insignia awarding ceremony also featured live spectacles of SBS personnel’s combat skills and special entertaining elements focused on their accumulated strength, expertise and fighting capabilities. The display was also joined by a Bell 212 Helicopter of the Sri Lanka Air Force.
The Navy Special Boat Squadron was established in 1993 with the objective of founding a special combat unit capable of fighting in brown waters and coastal shallows, to suppress LTTE terrorist activities heightened in the Northern lagoons and associated land areas in the early 1990s. From its inception until the end of the Humanitarian Operation which marked the culmination of 30-year brutal terrorism, the Special Boat Squadron played a pivotal role in naval operations supporting the frontline naval units.
Addressing the SBS personnel who successfully completed their training, Commander of the Navy emphasised the commendable contribution made by the Special Boat Squadron for the annihilation of three-decade-long LTTE terrorism, to safeguard the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the nation. Furthermore, he also recalled the supreme sacrifice made by the SBS personnel and those wounded in the battlefield for the freedom of the nation. He further stated that the Navy expected the freshly groomed SBS personnel who wore the insignia today to hone the professionalism inherent to this elite forces and work with resolve to perform the duties and responsibilities of the Navy. Meanwhile, Commander of the Navy did not forget to express his gratitude to the parents of the young blood for giving their consent to their sons to serve the nation.
Commander Eastern Naval Area, Rear Admiral Jayantha Kularathne, Director General Budget and Finance, Rear Admiral Thilak Sigera, Director General Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Rear Admiral Viraj Leelarathne, Flag Officer Commanding Naval Fleet, Rear Admiral Saman Perera, Director General Civil Engineering, Rear Admiral Ranjan Medagoda, flag-rank officers, Commanding Officer SBS, Captain Nissanka Wickramasinghe, senior officers and sailors from the Navy Headquarters, Eastern Naval Command and parents of insignia recipients were present on this occasion.
Before gracing the SBS insignia awarding ceremony, Commander of the Navy took time off to address the officers of the Eastern Naval Command at the Eastern Naval Command Wardroom and sailors at the Admiral Wasantha Karannagoda Auditorium on 04th June. There, he said that each naval person should be committed to perform duties and responsibilities of the Navy focusing on national security, especially taking into account the current situation in the country. Vice Admiral Ulugetenne also emphasized that the Navy expects all naval personnel to perform their bounden duty responsibly.