The Insignia Awarding Ceremony of the 20th Intake of the Special Boat Squadron (SBS) was held at the SBS Headquarters in Trincomalee on 18th April 2013. Commander of the Navy, Vice Admiral Jayanath Colombage graced the occasion as the Chief Guest. A large audience including family members of the SBS personnel was also present along with senior Naval Officers including Commander Eastern Naval Area, Rear Admiral Rohan Amarasinghe, Bangladesh Defence Adviser, Commodore M. Nasir, Maldives Defence Adviser, Lieutenant Colonel Mohammed Mukthar and Commanding Officer SBS, Captain Priyantha Perera.
The spectators were treated to a well-executed display of SBS combat skills, which included rig drop & insertion, Arrow Craft maneuvers, mock raid on beach hide out, high speed recovery, anti-drowning drill, combat diving and close quarter combat, conducted at the Nicholson Cove.
SBS personnel who showed excellence during training were presented with special awards in recognition of their achievements. Lieutenant RD Rangana was adjudged the Best SBS under trainee and was also presented with the award for the highest aggregate marks in all subjects. Lieutenant TJ Gamhewa clinched the award for Best Physical Fitness while OD RMS Thusara won the award for the Best Marksman.
The 20th Intake underwent one year rigorous training which included a 09-month basic training followed by a 03-month on the job training (OJT). Out of 184 personnel, only 51 SBS personnel comprising 02 officers and 49 sailors were able to complete the full training to be awarded the coveted SBS insignia.
Commander of the Navy in his address, commended the SBS for the pivotal roleit played in the eradication of terrorism by conducting a series of well-coordinated special missions during the humanitarian operation. He expressed his confidence that SBS personnel will render their expertise to achieve SLN objectives and contribute positively for the nation building efforts being implemented after the dawn of peace.
Naval Today Staff, April 19, 2013; Image: Sri Lanka Navy