Saturday, January 19, 2008

Sri Lanka: US Pacific Fleet Commander welcomed in Sri Lanka

United States Pacific Fleet Commander Admiral Robert F. Willard called on Vice Admiral Wasantha Karannagoda, the Commander of the Sri Lanka Navy, at the Navy Headquarters, Colombo, today (17th January 2008). Upon his arrival, Admiral Willard was awarded a guard of honour at the NHQ premises. He was accompanied by a high-level U.S. Navy delegation.

The discussions held between Admiral Willard and the Sri Lanka Navy Commander focused on the bilateral relations and the maritime security. They proved very fruitful and led to the enhancement of the existing cordial relationships between the two navies and the solidifying of cooperation in many areas of mutual interests. Admiral Willard was impressed by the Sri Lanka Navy’s recent achievements in destroying the LTTE’s logistics capability and expressed his appreciation on the performance of the naval personnel concerned.

During his vist to Sri Lanka, Admiral Willard will inspect the radar-based maritime surveillance system and the Rigid Hull Inflatable Boats (RHIBs) provided to the Sri Lanka Navy recently under Section 1206 of the U.S. National Defense Authorization Act. The surveillance system and the inflatable boats are designed to enhance maritime security by increasing the Sri Lanka Navy’s ability to detect off-shore smuggling activity.

Admiral Robert F. Willard assumed command of the U.S. Pacific Fleet in May 2007 and is today responsible for the world’s largest fleet command, encompassing 100 million square miles and approximately 178 ships, 1500 air craft and 160,000 sailors, Marines and civilians. Admiral Willard had commanded the amphibious flagship, USS Tripoli and the aircraft carrier, USS Abraham Lincoln. An F-14 aviator, he served in a variety of fighter squadrons and aircraft carriers and commanded the Screaming Eagles of Fighter squadron 51

In related news 12 LTTE terrorists were killed and 3 LTTE bunkers were destroyed during confrontations with troops yesterday (18) in Mannar.

Source: Ministry of Defence, Public Security, Law & Order - Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka