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US and Sri Lankan air forces discuss regional security and further training

Officials from the US and Sri Lankan air forces held discussions on “regional security” and further training for Sri Lankan troops, at a second round of meeting at a second round of Airman to Airman talks earlier last month.

US Air Force Airmen from across the Indo-Pacific met at the Sri Lanka Air Force headquarters, where discussions reportedly “focused on enhancing regional security, future training opportunities and exercises geared toward strengthening interoperability and professional military education opportunities,” according to a US Pacific Air Forces press release.

“Sri Lanka holds an important location in the Indian Ocean and it is vital that we maintain a strong relationship with them,” said US Air Force Maj. Gen. James O. Eifert, Air National Guard assistant to the commander of Pacific Air Forces (PACAF).  

“The engagement was very successful,” he added. “The SLAF did an outstanding job of communicating their needs and priorities which enables us to bring them back to HQ PACAF. It was a great opportunity to be here and improve the Sri Lanka, U.S. relationship.”

 “The discussions enable air force staff to air force staff discussions at the action officer level on various activities and engagements, not only in the current year of execution but also several years in advance,” added US Air Force Maj. Mark Lesar, PACAF International Affairs Division country director for South Asia.

The latest meeting comes amidst growing military ties between the United States and Sri Lanka. Earlier this week, Sri Lanka’s president met with a US Congress delegation from the House Armed Services Committee and discussed military training programmes being conducted between the two governments.

Amongst the training programs conducted by the US forces, was an exercise in “anti-terrorism security”, in Trincomalee last year.