20th March 2021 09:49:11 Hours
The `KETERIYANS` the step followers of versatile leader and the founder father of the Gajaba Regiment (Late)Maj Gen VijayaWimalaratne RWP RSP VSV USP psc, had the privilege of hosting the Joint Military Exercise “THE EX SHAKE HANDS - 1 (2021)” with Pakistan Army, further strengthing the long lasting bounds between the two armies and two countries, on the visionary concept of non other than Chief of Defence Staff, Commander of the Army, Colonel of the Regiment the Gajaba Regiment and Special Force, Gen Shavendra Silva WWV RWP RSP VSV USP ndu psc Mphil.
The Pakistan contingent consists of 06 officers and 35 other ranks arrived in the country on 15 March 2021 and upon their arrival they were warm heartedly welcomed at the Bandarananayake International Airport by a group of senior officers of Gajaba Regiment in accordance with the COVID - 19 preventive health guidelines issued by the health authorities, and later they were ushered to the most prestigious Home of Gajaba, where the Joint exercise is scheduled to be conducted from 16 March 2021 to 31 March 2021 with the participantion of two contingents from Sri Lanka Army and Pakistan army.
The Sri Lanka Army is representing a contingent along with 04 officers and 40 other ranks from elite Gajaba Regiment.
Pakistan and Sri Lanka are having decades long bilateral ties in many spheres, the most important aspect in this regards is the military co - operation that both the countries are enjoying throughout the history.
The Pakistan contingent, on their arrival to the Home of GajabaSaliyapura, was warmly welcomed by the Ex Director Brigadier Sanjeewa Fernando RWP RSP ndu along with the Centre Commandant Gajaba Regimental Centre Brigadier Dinesh Udugama RWP RSP USP psc and a gathering of senior officers.
The concept of this Platoon level exercise is to share knowledge on SOPs and experience in Internal Security and counter revolutionary warfare , tactical level military operations with the view of enhancing further operational capabilities of the two Armies in countering any potential threat which could affect the security concerns of both the countries in future.
Following formal reception of the Pakistan contingent the "ICE BRAKEING" interaction session was glamorously held at the Regimental Centre with the participants of both contingents along with the Exercise Director, Centre Commandant and gathering of senior officers on 16 March evening.
On 17 March the Ceremonial opening of the Joint Exercise commenced at the parade ground of Home of Gajaba , where two Armies awarded a colourful parade to the Director General Infantry, Maj Gen ThilakHangilipola RWP RSP , where he officially announced the commencement of the joint military exercise "EXERCISE SHAKE HANDS - 1 (2021)"
Later, all the invitees and members of both the contingents accomanied for a special tea at Other Ranks' mess.
The organising committee members of the exercise, the DefenceAttache of high Commission of Islamic Republic of Pakistan Colonel Muhammad Safdar Khan, few senior officers from Vijayabahu Infantry Regiment, Staff officers of the Gajaba Regimental Centre were present at this occasion.