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Female Officers Commissioned as Pilots for SLAF for the First Time in SL

2020 Nov 16

For the first time in the history of the Sri Lanka Air Force, two female officers have been commissioned as pilots! 

Pilot Officer A.D.P.L Gunarathe and Pilot Officer R.T Weerawardana became the first Lady Officers of the General Duties Pilot Branch, after 3 years of training. 

The Flying Brevet was presented to them during the Commissioning and Wings Parade of the 61st Intake of Officers Cadets and 13th intake of female Officer Cadets, held on the 16th of November 2020 at the Air Force Academy in China Bay.

Pilot Officer R.T Weerawardana was presented the “Sword of Honour” by Group Captain N.R Raheem, a distinction that is awarded to one of the Officer Cadets based on academic and professional studies as well as all-round performance. 

This is the first time that a Lady Officer has been awarded the Sword of Honour in the history of the Sri Lanka Air Force.   

She also had the honour of commanding the parade with the Presidents Colour which also consisted of three squadrons and nine flights. 53 Officer Cadets were commissioned as Officers of the Sri Lanka Air Force. 

For 3 years, the officers from different branches such as General Duties Pilot, Technical Engineering, Electronic Engineering, Logistics, Administrative Regiment and Operations Air went through an intensive training programme and days of hard work. They began their initial training at the Combat Training School in Diyatalawa, after which they continued at General Sir John Kotelawala Defence University, after which, they followed basic administration courses and training at Flying and Ground Training Wings in China Bay and the Combat Training School at Diyatalawa.

What a year it has been for Sri Lankan women! From Asha De Vos becoming a Sea Hero in Scuba Diving Magazine to little Georgia’s recent win at Junior Masterchef Australia amidst many more, Lankan ladies are creating noise by brewing up a storm of success!