NOLES Field Training Exercise concludes successfully

The Field Training Exercise (FTX), conducted jointly by the US Marines Forces, Pacific Command (MARFORPAC) and the Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) as part of the 16th Non-Lethal Weapons Executive Seminar (NOLES), concluded successfully at the Welisara Naval Complex today (30August 2017).

The Director General Operation, Rear Admiral Piyal de Silva attended the closing ceremony as the Chief Guest. The Director General Training, Rear Admiral Dimuthu Gunawardene, the Commander Western Naval Area, Rear Admiral Niraja Attygalle, senior SLN officers and Deputy Defence Attaché of the US Embassy in Sri Lanka, Mr. Jacob English were also present on the occasion.

The 09-day FTX consisted of a series of theoretical and practical training sessions on the use of non-lethal weapons, which are designed to incapacitate equipment and personnel while minimizing fatalities and permanent injury to personnel, and undesired collateral damage to property. The seminars held in the morning imparted the theoretical knowledge while hands-on training conducted in the afternoon each day provided the much-needed practical knowledge.

140 Sri Lanka Navy personnel took part in the FTX held under the supervision of seventeen (17) US Marine Corps Forces personnel. The multi-faceted training focused on force orientation, communication skills, Observe, Orient, Decide, Act (OODA) techniques, manning vehicle check points and searching procedures. Participants were highly impressed by the practical demonstrations; the use of non-lethal weapons such as Tasers and pepper sprays in particular, drew their attention since the stunning effect generated was highly effective in controlling unruly persons. They were also briefed on the provisions laid down in the internationally accepted conventions such as the Geneva and Hague Conventions which are applicable to the custody and detention of rioters disrupting law and order.

On the sidelines of the NOLES 2017, a serious of programmes has been organized by the Sri Lanka Navy to enhance the friendship and camaraderie between the two forces. They included visits to the Temple of the Sacred Tooth in Kandy and the Elephant Orphanage in Pinnawela as well as a traditional martial art demonstration by the SLN Angampora Pool.

Meanwhile the Non-Lethal Weapons Executive Seminar (NOLES), the second segment of the US Pacific Command’s premier multi-lateral theatre security cooperation event, got underway at the Hotel Galadari in Colombo today. It is being held for three consecutive days with the participation of forty-one (41) military personnel representing 18 foreign countries and six (06) representatives of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), senior officers and other ranks from the tri services and Police. The executive seminar provides a common platform for all stakeholders to deliberate on issues related to peace support operations.