REGIMENT OF SRI LANKA ARTILLERY - Once a Gunner is always a Gunner; whether Locally or Globally.

15TH MEDIUM REGIMENT

With the expansion of the Wanni theater of Humanitarian Operations by inducting more number of offensive formations, the requirement and demand for Artillery fire support too became high. Decentralization of the available resources of the artillery regiments to meet the requirement alone was not became the sound solution. Thereby, foresee the necessity of raising artillery regiments which could assigned for those offensive formations in order to coordinate their artillery fire support. Hence to take initial step, Ad Hoc Artillery Coordinating Headquarters comprising with a small number of officers, men and equipment was formed with the intention of coordinating fire support.The initial element of the 15th Medium Regiment of Sri Lanka Artillery was formed same as an Ad Hoc Artillery Coordinating Headquarter, under the raising instructions of ARO 71/2007, on 25 October 2007. Lt Col N Hathurusinghe psc IG SLA act as an Artillery Coordinator and this artillery element consisted with2 Officers and 8 Other Rankers. This newly raisedelementwasinitially designated to the 59 Infantry Division on14 March 2008, which was deployed at Helambawewa, WELIOYA sector of the Wanni theater of Humanitarian Operations.

Subsequently, to meet the operational requirementsand to fulfill the needs of allocating Artillery fire support for the Infantry Divisions and Task Forces,from 14 March 2008 15th Med Regt SLA was exclusively designatedfor the Task Force 1 operated inMANNARtaking the different axis of the operation.To function as a regiment, nominal 15 SLA was attached with a battery each from 6 SLA, 7 SLA and 8 SLA with different caliber guns. Thereon15 SLA was in operational from SILAWATHUREI and famous “Rice Bowl” area assisting the infantry troops of Task Force 1. Later Task Force 1 was re-designated as 58 Division. With the progress of the Humanitarian Operation, 58 Division raised thedemandto function 15 SLA as a fully equipped independent Artillery regiment.

To succeed the aforesaid requirement, raising of 15th Med Regt SLA was released on 29 August 2008 , at the time of regiment was deployed at Kovilkulam, MANNAR. Lt Col K T A D S Kolambathantri RSP psc IG SLA appointed as the first commanding officer. Within a very brief period of time 15 SLA was able to develop confidence of the 58 Division Commander Brig L H S C Silva WWV RWP RSP USP psc, achieving a greater performance. Due to the greater commitment, dedication and support given, regiment also earned the confidence and trust among troops under command to the division.

The batteries attached from other regiments were re-designated. First two batteries of 15 SLA were formed on 22 September 2008 inVELLANKULAM andnamed as 151 and 152 Medium Batteries. The third battery of 15 SLA was formed as 153 Medium Battery in OTHIAMALAI on 1 December 2008. 15 SLA continued its commitment in Humanitarian Operation under 58 Division exhibiting its capability of delivering artillery fire support by maintaining artillery supremacy in many of the tactically important places such as MULANKAVIL, NACHCHIKUDAH, POONARYN, PARANTHAN, KILINOCHCHI, ELEPHANT PASS, DARMAPURAM, VISHVAMADU, PUTHUKUDUIRIPPU, IRANAPALAI, PUTHUMATHALAN and finally VELLAMULLIVAIKKAAL.

LTTE was in finding an opportunity to launch an attack on the gun positions of 15 SLA due tothe attrition caused by effective fire support provides and to break the continuity of maintaining the fire supremacy against them. Hence LTTE launched a suicide attack on 152 Battery which was deployed in VISHVAMADU on 10 March 2009. During this attack Bombardier Jayatissa T C R N paid his supreme scarification to the Motherland becoming the only person who died from 15 SLA in the battle.Also an Officer and 03 Other Ranks were injuredin the different stages of the Humanitarian Operation.

The forth battery of 15 SLA was named as 154 Medium Battery, which was formed on 12 March 2010 in AIYYAKACHCHI(This battery was disband on 12 February 2012). Although, 15 SLA was classified as a Medium Artillery Regiment, due to the operational requirement batteries were equipped with the guns in multiple caliber such as 120 mm Mortars, 85 mm Guns, 122 mm Howitzers,130 mm and 152 mm Howitzers. At the later part of the operation 15 SLA had the privilege of handling 122 mm T-54 Gun whichwas the newest induction to the Regiment of Artillery.

Lt Col MP Karunarathne IG SLA took over duties as the second commanding officer of the regiment on 21 June 2010 and he was the second officer in the history of the regiment of Artillery to command a regiment in the rank of a Colonel. During his command 15 SLA was deployed in KILINOCHCHI, allotting to the 58 Division. Later on 27 October 2011,15 SLA was assigned to deploy in Vattappalei, MULLAITIVU under command to Security Forces HQ (MLT).

According tothe requirements of consolidation phase of the operation15 SLA had to change itslocations of the Main Headquarters and the Battery deployments. Since the ownership of the occupied land at MULLAITIVU was not in the hand of 15 SLA, necessity has arisen to find a permanent location to the regiment in South. With lots of effort and commitment by the commanding officer and other officers of the regiment 15 SLA was fortunate to find a suitable 10 acre land at Balalla, MAHO, at KURUNEGALA district which was belongs to Ceylon Broadcasting Cooperation. After completing the formal documentation for the acquisition, Rear Headquarters of15 SLA was established on 31 March 2012 and converted the land in to a military establishment.

After completing two-year tenure as the Commanding officer Col MP Karunarathne IG handed over his reigns to Lt Col D K S Jayasinghe RSP psc IG SLA on 20 August 2012 as the third Commanding Officer of 15th Medium Regiment of Sri Lanka Artillery. Temple for the camp was constructed in the Regiment Headquarters Mullitivu. During this period two old buildings which had been constructed by Ceylon Broadcasting Service, were renovated to fulfill the accommodation requirement of the troops deployed in the Balalla rear headquarters. SLASC Fuel and the Ration Point was established in the Balalla rear headquarters, were the main achievements.

With another two successful years regiment received its fourth Commanding Officer Lt Col C A B Tennakoon RSP psc IG SLA who assumed his duties on 16 January 2014.15 SLA was given the responsibility of supervising Regimental Weight Lifting. For the first time in the regimental history Sri Lanka Artillery became the Champion of Weight Lifting in Army inter regiment championship in year 2014 with the achievement of 03 x Gold Medals and 04 x Silver Medals.

Lt Col C S Munasinghe WWV RWP RSP USP psc IG SLA assumed duties as a 5th Commanding Officer of 15th Medium Regiment of Sri Lanka Artillery on 28 January 2016 and later he became the third officer in the history of the Regiment of Artillery to command a regiment in the rank of Colonel. With his arrival, a new chapter began in 15 SLA with significant change of command and administration. Fastdevelopment plan was implemented to uplift the infrastructure at both ends of RHQ, MULLAITIVUE and Rear HQ Balalla MAHO. Since the land occupied at MULLAITIVUE was not belongs to the Regiment he gave main attention to develop Rear HQ. Further he gave attention to enhance the academic knowledge of the Officers and Men by giving special concern on training identical to the present contest.

Within a very short period of time regiment marked remarkableachievements both in academics and administration. Main developments in RHQ Balalla are, Construction of 100’ x 20’ OR accommodation with 20’ x 10’ toilet complex, Construction of ORs Mess, Ration Stores and Kitchen building complex, Renovation WO’s & SGT’s Mess and adding 40’ x 20’ new building and toilet complex to the WO’s & SGT’s Mess, converting completely collapsed building to a new Officer’s Mess, converting a partition area of the main building to a Commanding Officer’s Chalet, making a Parade Square and constructing of Saluting Dais,converting completely collapsed building to a new Battery Offices, giving a water supply to the entire camp, laying foundation to acquire complete land area of 40 acres to the Regiment and start construction of another 100’ x 20’ OR accommodation. To achieve all these mammoth tasks Commanding Officer was backed by well dedicated and committed 2 ICs Maj Sooriya Asmadala and Lt Col Ruwan Gunarathna and Headquarter Battery Commanders, Maj Ravi Dasanayake, Maj Nuwan Kumarasinghe and Maj Menaka were among them.

RAISING OF UNMANNED AERIAL VEHICLE REGIMENT IN SRI LANKA ARMY

Amongst the Tri Services of Sri Lanka, Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV), also known as Remotely Piloted Vehicle (RPV), which commonly known as ‘DRONE’ (Dynamic Remotely Operated Navigation Equipment) were handled by the Air Force. We have to undeniably accept the commendable role played by the Air Force in terms of UAV missions during our conflict and especially during East and Wanni Humanitarian Operations. However, inadequate cooperation with the Air Force was experience throughout, since the monopolies of UAVs were in the hands of them. Hence, it was immensely felt that the Army could possess our own UAVs. Certainly, the vision of then Commander of the Army Lt Gen A W J C De Silva RWP VSV USP ndu psc to form an UAV regiment in the Army was an achievement of much awaited aspiration. As a result, Army UAV unit is established under the Regiment of Artillery. 15th Medium Regiment was re-designated as 15th UAV Regiment SLA and commenced functioning from 21 March 2016 at Army Camp Balalla, MAHO as the newest member of the Regiment of Sri Lanka Artillery. Col C S Munasinghe WWV RWP RSP USP psc IG was assigned as the First Commanding Officer when he was in the rank of Lt Col and became the founder of the UAV Regiment of Sri Lanka Artillery.

In order to function as a professional outfit and to perform specified role and tasks enumerated, training of the men was the greatest challenge faced by the Commanding Officer. Since the handling of UAVs and its technology been quite different trait to the Gunners, lend hands to Air Force through AHQ to coordinate an awareness program, which was vehemently rejected by them. Talent, professional and dedicated Battery Commanders took the challenge and tried to depend on own. With the direction of the Commander of the Army and close supervision by the Commander Artillery Brigade and Commanding Officer of the UAV Regiment, to take the first step, commenced training men on Quad Copters at the Center for Research and Development which is an indigenous product. Further, unit officers conducted lectures on UAVs and their applications after self-studies through internet. These positive approaches paved the way to Commanding Officer to take some fresh breath who shouldered this mammoth challenge in isolation. Meanwhile regiment was equipped with Two Phantom 4 Quad Copters. Changing the schedule of the Regiment Training Camp at School of Artillery, 15th UAV Regt was given a chance to commence training by formulating a special program identifying and inserting subjects peculiar to UAVs. This was conducted from 8 May to 22 June 2017.

To equip the Regiment with proper UAVs, approval has been granted to procure Two Short Range and Four Long Range UAVs.

Preserving of national interests, territorial integrity and the sovereignty of the country is a prime responsibility of the Army. Responsibility of preserving of territorial water and the Exclusive Economic Zone are lies with the Navy though; Army too can contribute to this task very effectively by employing UAVs. Hence, this regiment will be employed in military and nonmilitary applications as according to the situation and requirement and will play a significant role. Thereby, it is a well foreknow fact that this regiment will be the show piece of the Artillery in future

GALLANTRY

S/N

No

Rank

Name

Medal

01

O/61664

Lt Col

D K S Jayasinghe RSP psc IG SLA

Rana Sura Padakkama

02

O/62702

Lt Col

C A B Tennakoon RSP psc IG SLA

Rana Sura Padakkama

03

O/62866

Maj

H A R Chandrakumara RSP SLA

Rana Sura Padakkama

04

O/63599

Maj

A D K Ganganath RWP RSP SLA

Rana Wickrama Padakkama, Rana Sura Padakkama

05

O/65303

Maj

T V N De Saa RSP SLA

Rana Sura Padakkama

06

O/65722

Maj

T A S M Tenuwara RSP SLA

Rana Sura Padakkama

07

O/65994

Maj

W M M R K Wickramasinhe RSP SLA

Rana Sura Padakkama

08

O/66989

Capt

A A Herath Bandara RSP SLA

Rana Sura Padakkama


 

 

S/N

No

Rank

Name

Medal

01

S/153736

Sgt

Chandrasiri R M RSP SLA

Rana Sura Padakkama

02

S/154249

Sgt

Priyantha W A K RSP SLA

Rana Sura Padakkama

03

S/153623

Bdr

Ranbandara K P RSP SLA

Rana Sura Padakkama

04

S/154983

Bdr

Madura Kumara T R RSP SLA

Rana Sura Padakkama

05

S/156271

Bdr

Rathnayaka S RSP SLA

Rana Sura Padakkama

06

S/157140

L/Bdr

Pradeep Kumara M A RSP SLA

Rana Sura Padakkama

07

S/159209

L/Bdr

Sanjeewa U K A T RSP SLA

Rana Sura Padakkama

08

S/158557

Gnr

Weerasinhe T M P RSP SLA

Rana Sura Padakkama