The Colombo Naval Exercise (CONEX) 2023 organised by the Sri Lanka Navy for the fifth (05th) time commenced on 06th February 2023. The naval exercise will be held off the western coast until 13th February.

The training exercise is conducted annually with the aim of maintaining the operational efficiency of the Sri Lanka Navy. CONEX – 2023 comprises both harbour and sea phases and its harbour phase commenced on 06th February. During the harbour phase, members of the Navy and Air Force, who are taking part in the exercise, exchanged views on scenarios, rules of engagement and communication protocols.

Meanwhile, the opening of of sea phase of CONEX 2023 got underway on 09th February on board SLNS Sayurala. The event was held under the auspices of the Deputy Chief of Staff and Director General Operations Rear Admiral Pradeep Rathnayake and with the attendance of Commander Western Naval Area, Rear Admiral Suresh De Silva, Flag Officer Commanding Naval Fleet Rear Admiral Nishantha Amarosa and a group of senior officers from the Navy Headquarters, Western Naval Command and Naval Fleet Command. The sea phase is augmented by SLNS Sayurala, SLNS Sayura, SLNS Gajabahu, SLNS Nandimithra, SLNS Vijayabahu and SLNS Mihikatha from the Sri Lanka Navy and SLCG Samudraraksha from the Sri Lanka Coast Guard. In addition, the Fast Attack Craft P 4443, P 4445, P 437 and P 435 of the Fast Attack Flotilla also join the exercise.

The conduct of CONEX – 2023 aims to nurture a stable ocean region by eliminating potential non-traditional maritime security threats in island waters and keep the operational readiness and efficiency of the fleet units of the Sri Lanka Navy. Moreover, honing the knowledge and skills of naval personnel and developing interoperability with the Sri Lanka Air Force, in order to respond to a wide range of operational and contingency scenarios are some of the other key aspects of CONEX.