Colombo, Dec 13 (NIA) – US sailors on an advanced U.S. Maritime Patrol Aircraft, who arrived in Sri Lanka on a week long visit on Dec 4, worked with Sri Lanka Air Force and Navy in safe-guarding the international shipping lanes that are vital to global commerce, a US Embassy statement said here on Tuesday.
The “Red Lancers” of Patrol Squadron TEN (VP-10) who arrived aboard the P-8A Poseidon aircraft, also met with Sri Lanka military personnel to demonstrate the capabilities of the P-8A and exchanged expert advice.
“This bilateral partnership with Sri Lanka security forces reinforces the global maritime rules that produces greater prosperity for all of us,” said U.S. Embassy Chargé d’Affaires Robert Hilton.
The Red Lancers are stationed in Jacksonville, Florida and currently on a routine deployment to the Indo-Asia-Pacific to ensure safety and security of vital sea lanes and trade routes, including integrating air and sea patrol operations.
The P-8A is a multi-mission aircraft that provides long-range maritime patrol capabilities, making it the most advanced ocean surveillance aircraft in the world.
“We are pleased about the opportunity to partner with our friends in the Sri Lankan government and armed forces,” said Lt. Anthony Beres, the detachment officer in charge.
“The P-8A Poseidon brings advanced capabilities to maritime safety patrols, search and rescue, counter-narcotics, and humanitarian and disaster relief efforts, and we appreciated engaging with the Sri Lankan Navy during this visit.”
The Poseidon Aircraft departed from Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport in Hambantota, which was built by China on a semi-commercial loan, during the previous government. Th new Sri Lankan government is currently in talks with China to get a Chinese firm to partner to run it or buy a stake.