Commander of the Navy graces SBS insignia awarding ceremony as Chief Guest

The Special Boat Squadron (SBS) held an insignia awarding and passing out ceremony today (10th March 2023) to mark the termination of SBS training which was successfully completed by 01 officer and 31 sailors. At the invitation of the Commanding Officer SBS, Commander Dharmasiri Herath, the Commander of the Navy Vice Admiral Priyantha Perera, as the Chief Guest, graced the event which was held in a dignified sequence at the SBS Headquarters in the Naval Dockyard, Trincomalee.

A group of young blood who voluntarily joined the 30th intake for the grueling SBS training, successfully completed their course and earned the rare privilege of wearing the SBS insignia. The Commander of the Navy pinned prestigious SBS insignia on course participants and presented awards to those who were outstanding during their training.

Accordingly, Ordinary Seaman WNS Weerasinghe won the Lieutenant Commander SK Dalugama Memorial Trophy awarded for the SBS Member who possessed the Highest Physical Endurance. The Chief Petty Officer KG Shantha Memorial Trophy awarded for the Best Sportsman was won by Ordinary Seaman DMAL Dissanayake. Meanwhile, the Lieutenant Commander TD Palihena Memorial Trophy awarded for the Best Swimmer was presented to Ordinary Seaman DAE Dissanayake. Sub Lieutenant WTW Sapumohotti won the Commander SNK Silva Memorial Trophy awarded for the member who accumulated the Highest Aggregate in Overall Subjects. In addition, Ordinary Seaman HMA Sandaruwan won the Commander CD Martenstyn Memorial Trophy awarded for the Best Marksman and Ordinary Seaman TVAH Sandaruwan won the SBS Dagger awarded for the Most Excellent SBS Member.

The distinguished invitees also witnessed live action of SBS personnel’s combat skills and special entertaining events. The demonstration was conducted at the SBS Headquarters premises and Nicholson Cove Sea area. The exercise was also augmented by a Bell 212 Helicopter of the Sri Lanka Air Force.

The Navy Special Boat Squadron was established in 1993 with the objective of creating a special combat unit capable of fighting in brown waters and coastal shallows, to suppress terrorist activities in the lagoons and associated land in the North. From its inception until the end of the Humanitarian Operation, which marked the termination of 30-year brutal terrorism, the Special Boat Squadron has played a pivotal role in naval operations. The incumbent Commander of the Navy, Vice Admiral Priyantha Perera has commanded the elite Special Boat Squadron twice in his career.

Addressing the SBS personnel who successfully completed their training, Commander of the Navy congratulated them on their achievement. Adding further, he heaped praise on the previous Commanding Officers, officers and sailors who served in the elite unit of the Navy, mentioning that their contribution was a decisive factor for the development of the Special Boat Squadron, which was started with 03 officers and 38 sailors. On this momentous occasion, he also recalled the supreme sacrifice made by SBS personnel for preserving the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the motherland. Vice Admiral Priyantha Perera also urged freshly groomed SBS personnel to hone professionalism unique to SBS, keep high standard of discipline, perform their noble duty and be committed to nurture a stable ocean region.

Meanwhile, the Commander of the Navy also mentioned that there was great admiration from overseas for the instructors of SBS , as a result of their capabilities exposed during Visit, Board, Search, and Seizure (VBSS) training programmes conducted in partnership with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. Finally, he also expressed his gratitude to the beloved parents of the new batch of SBS personnel for giving their consent for their children to pursue a noble cause.

On the sidelines of the event, Commander of the Navy made floral tributes to the War Hero Monument at the SBS Headquarters and also declared open the newly erected SBS Four Man Team Replica.

The President of Navy Seva Vanitha Unit, Mrs Mala Lamahewa, Deputy Chief of Staff and Director General Operations, Rear Admiral Pradeep Rathnayake, Commander Eastern Naval Area and Commandant Volunteer Naval Force, Rear Admiral Dammika Kumara, Flag Officer Commanding Naval Fleet, Rear Admiral Nishantha Amarosa, senior officers from the Navy Headquarters and Eastern Naval Command, distinguished invitees and parents of insignia recipients were also present on this occasion.