Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Changes after Debacle

Sri Lanka's military made key changes in its command and operational structure today, a day after the Black Tiger suicide squad destroyed more than a dozen air crafts in the Anuradhapura air base, officials said. President Mahinda Rajapaksha, who is also the commander in chief of the armed forces has appointed Major General Sanath Karunartne, a battle-hardened officer as the Overall Operation Commander(OOC) a newly created post for district of Anuradhapura, with immediate effect.

Former military spokesman Karunartne has been credited with defending the army's Elephant Pass garrison with 600 soldiers against prolonged Tiger attack in 1991. The base was later lost to the LTTE in 2000, hen there were 2200 troops at the camp. He was also able to defeat the LTTE's repeated attempts to enter Jaffna peninsular in late last year before taking over the duties as General Officer commanding at army's 11th Division operated from Panagoda cantonment.

His appointment is in addition to the Defence Secretary's order to take over outer perimeter security of all domestic airports in the country by Army. Elite Special Forces troops will take over some of the air force bases according to latest arrangements, it is learnt. However the move would not make the Air Force happy and there is a possibility that this could erupt into crossfunctional and operational problems with both forces, military analyzers say.

Yesterday's devastated attack into the airbase resulted in at least 17 aircraft destroyed or out of operation, causing at least US$40 million lost to the government, which is strugling to overcome incresing defence expenditure in the country. Country's next year's defence expenditure rised sharply by 19.4% compared to this year's budgeted of Rs.139billions. The lost would create a direct impact on Air Force especially on their short and medium caliber attacks against the Tigers.

Needless to say the lost assets of the Air Force also undermine the training and transport facilities, including the operational and reconnaissance support for other forces.

13 comments:

Vigilante said...

Defencewire,

Please remove the first pic from the top...
Hope you understand the reason...

This is not going to be easy for the loved ones of those heroes killed in this tragedy..

Thank you...

Vigilante said...

Want to use a single word...

Disasster..

I hope the new arrangements at SLAF bases means all those brave men will wear one uniform in order to, not to confuse each other..??

We need to train more and more SF personal on defending these vital installations.

Panhinda said...

I think govt web sites and politicians should stop running around claiming "terrorists desperately" doing this & that frothing in their mouth. When something like this happens, embarrassing truth comes out. They are cold calculating with a lot of patience and resolve - hardly "desperate". When lying to yourself, you end up underestimating the enemy. After recent successes by the Navy and Army obviously some started to relax.

The is a repeat of history. I clearly remember previous Army commanders who were royally shafted by LTTE just before claimed how close they were to defeating LTTE, again underestimating LTTE.

The NE monsoon season generally increases LTTE activity. They know bad weather is not good for the air force and heavy armory.

They could try to assassinate high profile leader using multiple suicide bombers, again innovating. I see Basil Rajapaske a lot in the public seemingly taking high risks.

Rifard said...

defencewire,can u confirm that 17 aircraft were lost in this attack.?.if so,can u pls give a breakdown,sure hope all 17 are not beyond repairable condition.that would be utter catastrophe!!

asanka prasad said...

good work, 'you have to close the stable when the horse has left',their next target is trinco(a 60% chance),there will be at least two major attacks before mahaveer naal,remember their stratergy at the moment is to carry out the attack that gives wider publicity not the one strtegically important to them.

tikira said...

changes are bit two late mate, any how things should start from level 0,if we expect they gonna attack an air force base again we are donkey asses. history is recurring, every thing has a frequency every incident,follow the history,what was there next step following similar succeses.

GoldenEagle said...

If I remember correctly the Airforce is planning to buy 2 Beech aircrafts for maritime surveillance. These are most likely beech HISARs(same kind destroyed in the attack)

Am I right defencewire?

Defencewire said...

There was some talk to that effect during military budgeting for the forthcoming budget. I am not sure how it has transpired. I believe they might have to be custom built. The other issue is to obtain new UAVs. These will involve huge financial debt.

tikira said...

DW,is this gonna effect the planed offensives, r there gonna be change of planes

Sam Perera said...

It is a mistake/waste to utilize army SF to guard the vital installations. Simply put, they are trained to do something much more worthwhile than a role of a sentry. I hope that MOD will not make this mistake.

londonistan said...

Best way to counter this 'blight of complacency'? Set up a security-oriented variant of the Audit Office. Regular, un-announced visits (day or night, overt or covert),to installations with the threat of demotion, public reprimand, fine and/or jail (dereliction of duty, etc) for those found not to be doing the tasks assigned to them properly (including officers in charge)is I think now a necessity.

defenceAnalyst said...

Londonistan,
Glad to see you still remember the 'complacency our blight' article. Now, again, people are hiding the facts and soon complacency will return again. This will be the time LTTE will wait for to uncoil again. How many times have we seen this!

Ranil said...

SLAF big wigs have to face the fact that they suck and defending their camps. they haven't learned the lesson after Katu attack.
I can't understand why SLDF can't work together without getting their ego's involved into the equation only helping the enemy in return.
If the army or even navy is better at a certain job...get them involved and get it done. End of the day the enemy doesn't care whether you're slaf or SLA or whatever.... they will exploit every little loophole they can find....
It's shameful for SLAF to not like that fact army has taken over certain responsabilities in securing this base. These assets are not their daddy's property so they have no right to get their ego's involved especially when they have failed miserably to get the job done.
Politics at any level doesn't help anybody.

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