By Darshana Sanjeewa Balasuriya
An ex-vessel of United States Coast Guard Cutter (USCGC) ‘Sherman’ which was taken over by the
Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) from the US government, arrived at the Colombo port yesterday.
Navy said the vessel was acquired by the Navy from the US government in a bid to increase the operational capability of the country’s sea.
The ship is commanded by Captain Rohitha Abeysinghe and its crew is comprised of 22 officers and 111 sailors.
Former Commander of the Navy, Admiral Sirimevan Ranasinghe officially took over the Ex-USCG ‘Sherman’ into Sri Lanka Navy from Rear Admiral Haycock, Assistant Commandant Acquisition and Chief Acquisition Officer of USCG, in a ceremony held at Honolulu, Hawaii, United States in August last year.
Ex-USCGC ‘Sherman’ is a 115m long ship equipped with state of the art weapons and machinery. Once the ship joins the SLN fleet, she will take the place as the largest platform to be held by the SLN. She will be utilized for patrol and surveillance missions in deep seas around Sri Lanka providing the maritime security and assistance to search and rescue operations. Navy said the ship is scheduled to receive its commissioning from President Maithripala Sirisena in the near future. Navy Commander Vice Admiral Piyal de Silva, Navy Chief of Staff, Rear Admiral Nishantha Ulugetenne and Director General Operations, Rear Admiral Niraja Attygalle and a host of senior officers from the Naval Headquarters and Western Naval Command were present at the event.