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COMMANDO REGIMENT

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1st COMMANDO REGIMENT

Lt Col WC Samarasinghe RSP USP psc


In accordance with the progress achieved by the Sri Lanka Army and incompliance with the various requirements that arose in our country. It became extremely necessary during the year 1977 to form a special unit in the Army. With the good graces of the unstinted support given to this necessity by the then commander of the Army Lt Gen JED Perera ndc psc, it was decided at a conference held through his leadership to form special unit comprising three officers and three other rankers in and advisory capacity before the end of the year. In this regard arrangement were made to provide special commando training course on 09th February 1978. The initial commando training course was held at Diyathalawa Ella Army camp. In this regards 6 officers and 24 other rankers comprising from Armour, Artillery, Engineers, Infantry drawn from Light Infantry, Gamunu watch and Singhe Regiment of the Sri Lanka army participated. Those who voluntarily participated and successfully completed the training course, came from different units of the Army who completed second course and were selected as instructors were return to their respective regiments.

On 15th March 1980 as per instruction received from the Sri Lanka army Head Quarters the Commando Squadron was formed and was installed at Diyathalawa "B" camp. Major SD Peiris was appointed as the officer commanding of this squadron.

Thereafter, some officers and other rankers of the squadron under the responsibility and guidance of the regiment underwent a course of training conducted by British instructors. (SAS) In Anti-Hijacking and Hostage Release operations. In addition to this some of the commandos who had undergone an Airborne course at the Indian Air force training school, Displayed their capabilities at an air display at Rathmalana Airport on para jumping on the Army day held on 10th October 1980.

On 4th December 1980 The commando squadron was established at Ganemulla, By 1981 mid year when the construction of the first stage of the camp had been accomplished. And the building was officially opened by then Hon. Deputy Minister of defense TB Werapitiya. Thereafter stage by stage the completion of the camp went progressively, and as result on 15th March 1984 the Officers Mess was ceremonially declared opened by Lt Gen Weeratunga, then Commander of the Army.

The commandos, were thus engaged on operational duties in North and East, and also played a major role in the Vadamarachchi operation. In addition, the commandos were engaged in small tem operations, and other special operational task during this period. Commandos were engaged in VIP protection duties, and those who had received training in Anti-Hijacking and Hostage releasing, were placed at the Bandaranayake International Air Port at Katunayake.

On 15th March 1986 CQB Hut was declared opened, by then Hon, Minister of Defence Lalith Atulathmudali, for the use of Anti-Hijacking and Hostage release training purpose.

On 15th March 1988 a Commando Training School was opened, in order to give more impetus to the commandos to carry out their duties more progressively and successfully.

On 28th April 1988 the first Commanding Officer, Lt Col SD Peiris psc went on retirement, and Major PS Handapangoda, was officially appointed to fulfill this vacancy as Commanding Officer.

During this time, independent brigade was formed and thus the Commando Regiment became a part of the Independent Brigade.

In the year 1990 for the first time the commando instructor team conducted a parachute training course, the graduation parade was held on 21st February 1990 On 15th March 1991 a well equipped building, for Para training was opened at Ganemulla camp.

On 1st May 1991 the Commanding Officer, Lt Col PS Handapangoda, Left the service and Lt Col PP Fernando psc was appointed as Commanding Officer. During this period on account of the successful operations performed by the commandos in the east jungles such as Thrikonamadu, Thoppigala, Angodavilluwa, Welioya and also operations conducted in the (Pooneryn and Vettilakerni) were conducted quite successfully.

Past Commanding Officers of 1st Commando Regiment

Name

From

To
MAJOR SD PEIRIS (O/C) 1980.03.15 1986.03.15
LT COL SD PEIRIS psc 1986.03.15 1988.04.28
LT COL PS HANDAPANGODA 1988.04.28 1991.05.23
LT COL PP FERNANDO psc 1991.05.23 1994.03.10
LT COL SM DE A RAJAPAKSHA RSP RSP 1994.03.10 1996.03.20
MAJOR S SOORIYABANDARA RSP 1996.03.20 1996.07.14
LT COL S SOORIYABANDARA RSP 1996.07.14 1998.01.01
MAJOR SAR WIJEPALA RSP 1998.01.01 1999.01.07
LT COL PRS JAYASEKARA RSP psc 1999.01.07 2000.01.28
MAJOR ND DAHANAYAKE 2000.01.28 2000.05.02
MAJOR HHASPK SENARATNE RSP psc 2000.05.02 2004.01.26
MAJOR HPR HANDUNPATHIRANA psc 2004.01.26 2007.03.15
MAJOR RPDU RAJAPAKSHA RWP RSP 2007.03.15 2007.08.07
MAJOR AKGKU GNANARATHNA psc 2007.11.17 2009.07.01
MAJOR DNJ FERNANDO RSP 2009.07.01 2009.11.10
LT COL DNJ FERNANDO RSP 2009.11.10 2012.02.06
LT COL UAAP UBESIRIWARDENA RSP 2012.02.06 2014.02.19
LT COL BMSKK DHARMAWARDANA RWP RSP 2014.02.20 28.02.2016
LT COL KVIL JAYAWEERA 28.02.2016 28.02.2018
LT COL RRC KARUNARATHNE RWP 28.02.2018 27.02.2020
LT COL AMTN ABEYKOON WWV RWP RSP psc 28.02.2020 14.10.2021
LT COL WC SAMARASINGHE RSP USP psc 15.10.2021 To date