Air Marshal Udeni Rajapaksa is tipped to be appointed as the new Commander of the Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF).

Accordingly, Rajapaksa is set to assume duties as the 19th Commander of the Sri Lanka Air Force.

Born in Colombo in Western Province in 1969, Air Vice Marshal Udeni Rajapaksa is a past pupil of Bandaranayake College, Gampaha and Ananda College, Colombo. 

He joined the Kotelawala Defence Academy, Ratmalana as an Officer Cadet in October 1988 in the 6th Officer Cadets’ Intake. 

Having undergone his Basic Combat Training and Graduate Studies at Kotelawala Defence Academy, Basic Flying Training at No. 1 Flying Training Wing, Sri Lanka Air Force Base Anuradhapura and having performed with distinction, he became the Best Flight Cadet in the 33rd Flight Cadets’ course. 

Then he proceeded to No. 2 Squadron, Sri Lanka Air Force Base Ratmalana for advance flying training. He was commissioned as a Pilot Officer in the General Duties Pilots Branch on 05 October 1990 as a graduate of the Kotelawala Defence Academy, Ratmalana.

Air Vice Marshal Rajapaksa commanded SLAF Academy, China Bay as the Commandant in 2020 and was appointed as Eastern Air Commander. 

Then he embraced the responsibilities as the Base Commander SLAF Base Katunayake, Southern Air Commander and Overall Operations Commander (Air Defence) during his tenure at SLAF Base Katunayake. Gradually, he held the appointment of Director Air Operations at Air Force Headquarters before being appointed as the Chief of Staff of the Sri Lanka Air Force.

Air Vice Marshal Rajapaksa held the appointment of Chairman of Sri Lanka Air Force Athletic Association and he has been awarded Sri Lanka Air Force Colours for Tennis in 2010 and he is the only SLAF Officer who has won Commander’s Cup Eagles’ Challenge trophy (in 2021). He also has been awarded SLAF Colours for Golf in 2021.

source adaderana