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* Sri Lanka Army to conduct mega field training exercise to ready combat convoy battalions for UN mission in Mali
Mon, Mar 20, 2017, 12:25 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Mar 20, Colombo: Sri Lanka Army will conduct a mega field training exercise to prepare its contingent of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) for deployment of combat convoy battalions.

The Field Training Exercise (FTX) that complements the Sri Lanka Army to undertake the forthcoming UN Combat Convoy Tasks in MINUSMA will start off from Kankasanthurai on Monday (27) and cover a distance of about 1166 km across the country during the 9-day long assignment after its preliminary formalities officially commence on Tuesday (21), the Army said on its website.

A Combat Convoy Company (CCC) of 15 Officers and 185 Other Rankers in more than 68 vehicles will take part in the hypothetically-designed FTX, code named 'Ex Harmattan' encounteing simulated threat conditions en route during the Exercise, launched exclusively to improve the UN mission competence capacity of the CCC of the Army.

Troops of the Infantry with Armor, Mechanized Infantry and other logistic elements will commence the FTX from Kankasanthurai in the North and terminate in the South, close to Sooriyaweva under four Phases along with belligerent parties after 9 days on 5 April 2017.

The FTX convoy during the span of the assignment will pause at Nawaladi, Vidattaltivu, Oyamadu, Minneriya, Puttalam, Maduruoya, Buttala and Sooriyaweva areas to match with hypothetical scenarios of the Exercise settings during the course of its tour from Kankasanthurai to the South.

Brigadier D.M.D.C.D Gunawardena functions as the Exercise Director and is assisted by Colonel S.U.M.N Manage, Deputy Exercise Director.

Under the Phase - I, the convoy expects to derive a comprehensive knowledge on Mali's geographical and ground realities vis-à-vis current political developments and its administrative structure.

The CCC under the Phase - II will focus on Planning and Preparation of the FTX before the FTX's execution proper begins afterwards under the Phase - III. The FTX culminates with a debriefing under the Phase - IV after 9 April.

The mammoth FTX would educate the CCC on combat and supply practices, command and leadership, emergency contingency plans, combat convoy tasks, decision-making during emergencies, application of convoy drills, protest controls, disposal of Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), administration and logistic sustenance, maintenance of communication and other techniques and procedures in UN peace enforcement operations, logistics and planning process, unique to UN Combat Convoy Tasks in MINUSMA - Mali, etc.

Sri Lanka Army, now recognized as a UN troop contributing member to the UN Peace Keeping Missions, has been invited to dispatch a peace-keeping convoy company to Mali, the 8th largest country in Africa.


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