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Saturday, 26 February 2011






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Government Gazette

New Air Force Chief

Air Vice Marshal Harsha Duminda Abeywickrama RWP, RSP, USP has been appointed the new Air Force Commander. He will assume duties from February 28. He is the 13th Commander of the Sri Lanka Air Force.

Air Vice Marshal Harsha Duminda Abeywickrama

Air Vice Marshal Abeywickrama completed his education at Royal College, Colombo and enlisted to the Sri Lanka Air Force as an Officer Cadet in the General Duties Pilot branch on April 19, 1980. On successful completion of training he was commissioned in the rank of Pilot Officer on April 3, 1982.

During his illustrious career of 30 years, he held instructional, operational, planning, command and combatant command appointments including Commanding Officer of the first Fighter Squadron, Commanding Officer of Sri Lanka Air Force Palaly, Commandant Flying Training Wing, Base Commander of China Bay, Anuradhapura and Rathmalana Bases, Zonal Commander East and Chief Instructor of Air Wing of the Defence Services Command and Staff College. At the Air Force Headquarters, Air Marshal Abeywickrama served as the Deputy Chief of Staff, Director Air Operations and overlooked the duties as the Director Logistics.

Some of the notable achievements of his career were the formation of the First Supersonic Fighter Squadron of the Sri Lanka Air Force and the Air Wing of the Defence Services Command and Staff College.

He has had the privilege of being one of the first pilots of the Sri Lanka Air Force to gain competency to pilot the ‘F-7’ and ‘Kfir’ jets which were inducted to the Sri Lanka Air Force in 1991 and 1996.

During his tenure as the Director Air Operations he was instrumental in the revolutionary development of the combat capability of the Sri Lanka Air Force and was the driving force behind the many successful air operations during the Humanitarian Operations which ultimately ended the three decade terrorist conflict.

Air Marshal Abeywickrama received the Rana Wickrama Padakkama and the Rana Sura Padakkama for acts of bravery during flying missions in the North-East conflict zones, and the Utthama Seva Padakkama as recognition to devotion to duty, merit and exemplary conduct.

Air Marshal Abeywickrama is a graduate of the Air Command and Staff College, Air University, Alabama, USA.

He earned a Master’s Degree in International Studies from Kings College, University of London, and a Master’s Degree in Management from the General Sir John Kotalawala Defence University.

He also attended the Royal College of Defence Studies in London, United Kingdom. In addition, he holds a Commercial Pilot’s Licence with an Instrument Rating and is an A-2 Qualified Flying Instructor.

He is married to Neelika, an Attorney-at-Law by profession and they have one son, Kasun who is an undergraduate.


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