The Sri Lanka Defence Service Command and Staff College (DSCSC) led by Air Commodore Camillus Bertram Labrooy along with his delegation consisting of 16 senior officers visited the SA Navy (SAN) on 11 September.
The purpose of the visit was to expose Labrooy and his senior officers to the history, social-cultural structures, economic developments and the role of the defence force in safeguarding national security, the South African Navy said.
Labrooy joined the Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) in 1986 and was commissioned as a pilot officer in the administrative regiment branch in December 1987. Currently, Labrooy is the chairman of the indigenous martial art of “Angampora” after having pioneered the introduction of the art to the SLAF in 2012.
Flag Officer Fleet, Rear Admiral Bubele Mhlana, hosted Lebrooy for a courtesy call at the Fleet Command Headquarters. During the courtesy call gifts were exchanged, seeking to enrich bonds and ties between the two forces, the SA Navy said.
The delegation was given a presentation on the core functions of the South African Navy, followed by a tour on board SAS Mendi and SAS Queen Modjaji I.
The SLAF is the youngest arm of service of the Sri Lanka Armed Forces, and operates more than 160 aircraft and has a projected trained strength of 27 400 airmen and 1 300 officers. The SLAF specialises in providing air support to ground forces and carrying out air strikes on rebel held areas in the Northern and eastern theatres.
The SLAF in service inventory currently consists of one IAI Kfir multirole fighter and three Chengdu F-7 interceptors, two Super King Airs for maritime patrol, nine Harbin Y-12s, four Antonov An-32s, two C-130 Hercules and two Xian MA60s for transport. In terms of helicopters, the SLAF has four Bell 206s, ten Bell 212s, three Bell 412s, 21 Mil Mi-17s and nine Mil Mi-24s. Their trainer aircraft fleet consists of one Chengdu J-7 jet trainer, five Hongdu JL-8 jet trainer and six Nanchang CJ-6 basic trainers.