IAF Chief RKS Bhadauria in Colombo for Sri Lanka Air Force 70th anniversary celebrations

Colombo: Indian Air Force (IAF) Chief RKS Bhadauria on Wednesday arrived in Colombo for a two-day visit as the Sri Lanka Air Force`s (SLAF) is celebrating its 70th anniversary.

He was invited by Commander of SLAF Air Marshal Sudarshana Pathirana. Air Chief Marshal Bhadauria was scheduled to attend the inaugural ceremony in which an IAF contingent comprising of Suryakiran and Sarang Aerobatic Display Teams and Tejas LCA is taking part, the Ministry of Defence said in a statement.

During the course of his two day visit, the IAF Chief is also scheduled to interact with various dignitaries and the heads of services of the armed forces of Sri Lanka, the Ministry said. 

On Saturday, the IAF aerobatic display teams, the fixed wing “Suryakirans” and rotary wing “Sarang”, along with Light Combat Aircraft Tejas, had arrived at Colombo to participate in an Air Show.

The three-day Air Show is scheduled to commence on March 3 as part of the 70th-anniversary celebrations of the SLAF.

The IAF and SLAF have had consistent cooperative exchanges over the years and interact regularly through Headquarter level Air staff talks to share valuable experiences in the fields of ground and flying training, professional military education, HADR and operational best practices.

The IAF`s participation in the 70th-anniversary celebration of SLAF is a further manifestation of the strong professional bonds that the two Air Forces share. The IAF Suryakiran Aerobatic Team (SKAT) had earlier toured Sri Lanka in 2001 for the 50th-anniversary celebrations of SLAF.Recent years have also seen the two Air Forces increase inter-personnel engagements through exchange visits of serving personnel and families to both countries.

The presence of the IAF Chief during the inaugural day of the Air Show reinforces the strength of IAF-SLAF ties. However, the visit will further strengthen the existing cooperative process and open up newer avenues of mutual interest, the statement added.

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