The former Air Force Commander has relinquished his duties and a new Air Force Commander will assume duties tomorrow.
A special function was held at the Air Force headquarters this evening to bid farewell to the former Air Force commander Air Chief Marshal Roshan Gunatilake and welcome the new Commander Air Vice marshal Harsha Abeywickrama. The former Air Force Commander who served 33 years bade farewell this evening amidst a Guard of Honour. Air Chief marshal Gunatillake who played a major role during the operation against terrorism has also been the commanding officer at Katuayake, Anuradhapura and China Bay Air Force bases. He was promoted to the rank of Air Chief marshal following the successful conclusion of the humanitarian operation. He is the only Air Force Commander to be promoted to this rank while in service. He will act as the chief of the Joint Defence Staff from tomorrow.
Air Vice Marshal Harsha Abeywickrama has been appointed as the new Air Force Commander. An experienced officer, he served as the Deputy Chief of Staff, Air Operations Director and in many other positions. An old boy of Royal College he joined as a cadet officer in 1980. As one of the first pilots in the F-7 and Kafir squadrons, he has received Rana Wickrama, Rana Shura, and Uttama Seva medals amongst others for his devotion to duty merit and exemplary conduct. He will officially assume duties tomorrow.