President commissions Vessel P 626 from US as SLNS Gajabahu | Daily News

President commissions Vessel P 626 from US as SLNS Gajabahu

President Maithripala Sirisena is with the US Ambassador in Colombo Alaina B. Teplitz at the commissioning of  vessel as SLNS ‘Gajabahu. avy Commander, Vice Admiral Piyal De Silva, and Mass Media Non-cabinet Minister Ruwan Wijewardene were present.   Pictures by Saman Sri Wedage
President Maithripala Sirisena is with the US Ambassador in Colombo Alaina B. Teplitz at the commissioning of vessel as SLNS ‘Gajabahu. avy Commander, Vice Admiral Piyal De Silva, and Mass Media Non-cabinet Minister Ruwan Wijewardene were present. Pict

The vessel P 626 acquired by the Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) from the US government in a bid to increase the operational capability of the island’s sea arm, was commissioned as SLNS ‘Gajabahu’ on a ceremonial note by the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces Maithripala Sirisena at the Colombo Harbour on June 6.

Religious dignitaries of all faiths including the Maha Sangha; State Minister of Defence Ruwan Wijewardene; Secretaries to the Ministries including the Secretary to the Ministry of Defence, General (Rtd) Shantha Kottegoda; U.S. Ambassador to Sri Lanka, Alaina B. Teplitz; Chief of Defence Staff, Admiral Ravindra Wijegunaratne; Commander of the Army, Lieutenant General Mahesh Senanayake; Commander of the Navy, Vice Admiral Piyal De Silva; Commander of the Air Force Air Marshal, Sumangala Dias and a host of distinguished invitees graced the occasion.

Deputy Chief of Staff and Director General Operations, Rear Admiral Niraja Attygalle; Director Generals and Directors of the Navy, senior officers and sailors were also present.

The ceremony saw the Commanding Officer of the ship, Captain Rohitha Abeysinghe receiving the Commissioning Warrant from the President - the Chief Guest of the event. The Commanding Officer of the ship read out the Commissioning Warrant pledging his bounden duty in safeguarding the interests of the nation with full of respect and honour.

The President flanked by the Commander of the Navy got onboard the ship and unveiled the ship’s crest and the name board among the blessings of religious dignitaries, to designate the new AOPV as Sri Lanka Navy Ship (SLNS) ‘Gajabahu’. The President together with distinguished guests also went onto inspect the facilities and instrument fitted onboard this state-of-the-art vessel and he was briefed on the advanced technological instrument of the ship by the Navy Commander.

This vessel, which was previously owned by the US Coast Guard, was officially handed over to the Sri Lanka Navy, during a ceremony held at Honolulu, Hawaii, United States on August 27 last year. The ship with the 115m long and 13m wide platform has the maximum speed of 28 knots. It has a displacement of 3302 tonnes and the ship is manned by 22 officers and 111 sailors, as its crew. The ship is equipped with weapons, communications, aviation and other operating systems. Once the ship being joined the SLN fleet, she will take the place as the largest platform to be held by the SLN. The ship will be used for patrol and surveillance missions in the deep seas around Sri Lanka providing the maritime security and assistance to search and rescue operations.

 


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