SLAF cadets to obtain training in US

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 10 July 2007, 17:48 GMT]
Two Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) cadets were selected for a four-year program designed to develop leadership skills and motivational training at the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado, a US Embassy press release said. Mr. James Moore, the U.S. Embassy's Deputy Chief of Missions, while presenting the documents to the selected cadets, said that the appointments "signify the close training relationship between our two militaries."

Full text of the press release follows:

Two Sri Lanka Air Force Cadets Gain Admission to United States Air Force Academy

Colombo, July 10, 2007: Two young cadets of the Sri Lanka Air Force recently received Certificates of Appointment to the prestigious United States Air Force Academy in Colorado. Mr. James Moore, the U.S. Embassy's Deputy Chief of Mission, presented the documents to Viludani Yatawara - the first Sri Lankan woman cadet officer to get selected to the program - and to Chamara Wijesinghe.

The United States Air Force Academy offers a four-year program of instruction and experience designed to provide cadets the knowledge essential for leadership and the motivation to serve as Air Force career officers. Each cadet graduates with a Bachelor of Science degree and a commission as a Pilot Officer in the Air Force.

Each year, Sri Lanka has an opportunity to nominate candidates for the U.S. Service Academy Program. Cadets Yatawara and Wijesinghe were nominated by the SLAF after several competitive interviews and a physical aptitude examinations. Their applications were subsequently forwarded to the US Air Force Academy by the U.S. Embassy. The two Sri Lankans competed against eligible candidates from 29 other countries for a limited number of seats allocated for international applicants.

As a result, the Sri Lanka Air Force will now have three cadets at the U.S. Air Force Academy; one officer gained admission last year. In addition, Sri Lanka presently has two cadets at U.S. Military Academy at West Point.

Congratulating the two cadets and their parents on their achievements, Mr. Moore said, "These appointments signify the close training relationship between our two militaries." Viludani Yatawara thanked the U.S. Government for offering her the rare opportunity, while Chamara Wijesinghe said that he was happy and proud to have been selected for this prestigious and competitive program.

Sri Lanka is one of the few countries that receive a full tuition waiver for the four-year degree program.


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