Commander of the Navy presides over 25th anniversary of Diving School

The Sri Lanka Navy's Diving School celebrated its 25th anniversary with a commemorative event held at the Diving Training School in the Naval Dockyard, Trincomalee, on 08th June, 2024. The event was graced by Vice Admiral Priyantha Perera, the Commander of the Navy. The Diving School, a vital training institution for navy divers, was originally established on 10th June 1999.

The Diving Training School is dedicated to providing rigorous, scientifically-based training to develop diving officers and sailors for the Sri Lanka Navy. Notably, the present Navy Commander, Vice Admiral Priyantha Perera, was the inaugural Commanding Officer of this institution. The school commenced operations at the Naval and Maritime Academy with an initial team of six sailors.

Established in January 1965, the Sri Lanka Navy Diving and Salvage Unit has played a pivotal role in national security by conducting essential underwater operations for the Navy, since its inception. With a rich history, the Navy Diving and Salvage Unit's professionals offer specialized diving support for underwater salvage, rescue, demolition, and construction. Their expertise extends beyond naval operations, assisting various governmental and non-governmental sectors, and they also provide diving training to the tri-service Special Forces.

During the 25th anniversary celebration of the Diving School, the Commander of the Navy highlighted that the school was established with the objective of providing systematic and scientific training to diving officers and sailors. The school was designed to specialize in both diving operations and training, ensuring these functions are carried out independently.

The Navy Chief highlighted the extensive legacy of the Navy's Diving Unit during his remarks. He recounted the remarkable diving missions conducted by late Commander Shanti Bahar, who bravely ventured into enemy territory and executed specialized diving operations. Later, Commander Bahar played a pivotal role in establishing the Naval Infantry branch as well. Vice Admiral Perera also remarked that the initiatives undertaken by the Commander Bahar served as a source of inspiration for special forces of sister services, motivating them to conduct long-range operations.

The Navy Commander emphasized the critical need for naval personnel with outstanding endurance, particularly in specialized units like the Diving Unit. He highlighted the rigorous nature of the training required for such roles, stating that it demands intense preparation. The Navy Commander stressed the importance of utilizing the skills and leadership of trainers to enhance endurance among trainees. He highlighted the necessity of employing scientific methods in the training of the Diving Unit and other special forces.

The Navy Commander expressed appreciation for the dedication of officers overseeing the Diving School since its establishment. He emphasized the invaluable contribution of those skilled diving officers and sailors to the Navy's operations. Vice Admiral Perera expressed optimism about the significant progress achieved by the Navy's Diving Unit, emphasizing its growth trajectory. He highlighted the pivotal role of the Diving School in training future diving officers and sailors, essential for the Navy's major vessels. Additionally, he anticipated an expanded contribution from women in the Diving Unit, underscoring the commitment to diversity and inclusion within the Navy's operations.

The Navy Commander emphasized the significant role the Navy is playing in fostering tourism within the diving sector. He highlighted the Navy's potential to bolster Sri Lanka's tourism industry, indicating a positive outlook for its growth. He mentioned that Navy divers will be presented with a variety of future job opportunities in this industry. To prepare for these opportunities, divers should focus on consistently enhancing their training, knowledge, and experience while maintaining both physical and mental fitness, he opined.

The occasion was attended by the Commander Eastern Naval Area, Rear Admiral Kanchana Banagoda, Commandant Naval and Maritime Academy, Commodore Rohan Joseph, senior and junior officers from the Eastern Naval Command, senior and junior diving officers, the first Chief Instructor of the Diving School, Master Chief Petty Officer (Retd) MACN Ansari and a group of naval personnel.