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Sri Lanka Air Force members train with U.S. Air National Guard


Members of the Sri Lanka Air Force and the United States Air National Guard trained together in Great Falls, Montana, from September 8-12, 2022.

Fifteen Sri Lankan Airmen learned to operate aircraft loading and refueling equipment that their nation will receive in 2023 through the U.S. Defense Department’s Building Partner Capacity Program, which provides military training and equipment to enhance partner nations’ capabilities. Planning and resourcing of this training began prior to May 2021.

“We brought a mix of pilots, loadmasters, crew chiefs, fuel specialists, maintenance officers and logistics officers on this mobile training team,” Sri Lanka Air Force Wing Cmdr. Danushka Premadasa said. “We got to see and use this equipment; it is going to help us effectively use this new equipment for our refueling and loading operations.”

The 36th Contingency Response Support Squadron assigned to Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, organized the event at the Montana Air National Guard Base. (Members of the Sri Lanka Air Force and the 120th Airlift Wing, Montana Air National Guard, pose on September 9, 2022).

Throughout the event, Sri Lankan Airmen trained with U.S. Airmen from the 120th Airlift Wing’s logistics readiness and maintenance squadrons. The teams trained on pallet buildup, refuel/defuel procedures, forklift operations, weight and balance calculation, and loading and unloading.

Since 2020, Sri Lanka Air Force and the Montana Air National Guard have worked together as part of the State Partnership Program, through which the Montana National Guard conducts military-to-military engagements with Sri Lanka to support security goals spanning military, government, economic and social spheres. The international partnership strengthens government relations while building a network of allies throughout the Indo-Pacific region.

“It was great to have the Sri Lanka Air Force members here again,” said Master Sgt. Mark Payton of the 120th Logistics Readiness Squadron. “This is the second time I have worked with them, and it provides a great atmosphere of sharing knowledge while learning about each other’s cultures.”


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