Air Force Day in Sri Lanka Date in the current year: March 2, 2016

Air Force Day in Sri Lanka Air Force Day in Sri Lanka is celebrated on March 2. The holiday commemorates the creation of the Royal Ceylon Air Force (now the Sri Lanka Air Force) in 1951, three years after the country's independence.

The Sri Lanka Air Force is the youngest of the country's forces. It was officially formed on March 2, 1951 as the Royal Ceylon Air Force (RCyAF). Right after its establishment, the RCyAF had no aircraft. The first aircraft, de Havilland Canada DHC-1 Chipmunk, arrived several months later. They were used as basic trainers.

The RCyAF was renamed to the Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) in 1972, when the Dominion of Ceylon became a republic and received its current name. The role of the air force increased in the 1980s during the Sri Lankan Civil War. Currently, the SLAF has about 28,700 active personnel and operates over 160 aircraft. Its motto is “Protect Lankan Skies”.

Sri Lanka Air Force Day is not a public holiday, but it is celebrated every year with official speeches, solemn ceremonies, air shows, and other relevant events and activities. Other service branches of the Sri Lanka Armed Forces also celebrate their anniversaries: Army Day is observed on October 10 and Navy Day falls on December 9.

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