The Multinational Planning Augmentation Team (MPAT) ‘Tempest Express – 24’ Staff Planning Workshop co-hosted by the Office of the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) in liaison with the Ministry of Defence and Urban Development and the United States Pacific Command in liaison with the US Department of Defence was inaugurated today morning (1st April ) at the Galadari Hotel, Colombo.
The Chief of Defence Staff General Jagath Jayasuriya graced the opening ceremony exercise as the Chief Guest.
The entire workshop will be continued till 9th April 2014. The opening remarks were delivered by Mr. Pete DeFelice, official of the Multinational Training Augmentation Team of US Pacific Command. Chief Guest General Jagath Jayasuriya also addressed the gathering.
During the session 23 officials representing Sri Lankan Defence Forces will participate in this exercise along with 21 observers from the relevant Ministries and Departments of Sri Lanka. Meanwhile, the foreign participants for this multinational endeavour will include 20 officials from the United States of America and representatives from 15 other countries namely, Vietnam, Canada, Bangladesh, Australia, Philippines, New Zealand, Nepal, Maldives, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mongolia, Singapore, Thailand and Japan.
All the way through of this exercise, distinguished invitees from aforementioned countries and relevant agencies would enhance mutual understanding, awareness and corporation on several aspects including the means of providing mutual support to each other during natural and manmade disasters.
The Closing Ceremony will be held on 9 April under the patronage of the Commander of the Navy Vice Admiral Jayanath Colomboge. The US Ambassador H.E. Michell J Sisson will grace the event as the Guest of Honour.
Defence Ministry officials, officials of the US Pacific Command, state officials, foreign diplomats including defence attachés, representatives of NGOs and distinguished invitees were present at the programme.