Commander of the Sri Lanka Air Force
Commander of the Sri Lanka Air Force

Air Marshal Kapila Jayampathy
WWV, RWP,RSP (3 bars), MSc (Int Rel), MIM (SL), fndu(China),qhi

KAPILA VEEDIYA BANDARA JAYAMPTHY (KAPILA JAYAMPATHY) joined the Sri Lanka Air Force on 05th March 1982 as an Officer Cadet in the General Duties Pilot Branch in the 10th Officer Cadet intake.  Upon enlistment he followed the Basic Ground Combat course at Sri Lanka Air Force Diyathalawa before moving to Flying Training wing at Sri Lanka Air Force Base China Bay on 28th July 1982 to follow his Basic Flying Training.  He was then posted to No 04 Helicopter Squadron at Sri Lanka Air Force Base Katunayake, to follow the advanced phase of the helicopter training in 1984.  On completion of the advanced phase on choppers, he was commissioned as a Pilot officer in the GDP branch on 1st April 1985.

During the period 1985 to 1990, he was posted to No 04 helicopter Squadron at Sri Lanka Air Force Base Katunayake, where he specialized and mastered helicopter flying and became a Qualified Helicopter Instructor (QHI) with an exceptional A-2 Instructor grading to his credit. It is worthy of note that he was the youngest QHI in SLAF history, and took on the responsibility of grooming new helicopter pilots for the Air Force, as a pilot officer.  As a young and ardent pilot instructor, he was actively involved in training aspects at No 04 Helicopter Squadron became the OC Training in the squadron.  He took active part in the Operational commitments at the Northern and Eastern theaters, providing air support to ground troops in ground combat missions.  He was promoted to the rank of Flying Officer in 1986 during his tenure at No 04 Squadron, and to the rank of Flight Lieutenant in 1989.  In 1990 he was relieved from flying duties and was posted to AFHQ as the Staff Officer II to the Director Training.  In 1991 he was again posted to No 04 Helicopter Squadron and was in charge of the training element as the OC Training.  After obtaining his VIP & VVIP rating, he actively took part in all VIP and VVIP commitments undertaken by the Squadron.

In 1993 he was promoted to the rank of Squadron Leader and on 17th September 1994 he was appointed the Commanding Officer of the No. 07 Helicopter Squadron at Sri Lanka Air Force Base, Hingurakgoda.  As the architect of the Squadron flying the US built Bell 212 helicopters and Bell Jet Ranger helicopters, he was also responsible for the conduct of Basic and Advanced Rotary wing conversions.  As the Chief Instructor, he extended his full effort to set up a conducive flying environment at the squadron’s new home.  On being promoted to the rank of Wing Commander during the year 1996, he was posted to Air Force Head Quarters as the Staff Officer Operations 1 to the Director Operations.  He was responsible for all matters pertaining to the movement and coordination of the entire fleet of the SLAF.  On being reverted back to flying duties on 19th June 2000 he assumed Command of No 06 Helicopter Squadron at Sri Lanka Air Force Base Vavuniya, which flew the Russian built heavy lift Mi 17 helicopters.  He immersed himself in operational flying commitments in addition to his duties as the Chief Instructor training at the squadron.  It was during this time that he was promoted to the next higher rank of Group Captain.

On 01st July 2002 he had the distinction and the privilege to be appointed the Base Commander of Sri Lanka Air Force Base Hingurakgoda, in which capacity he was the overall commander of the entire Base which included two lodger Helicopter Squadron.  In spite of his busy schedule he still got actively involved in flying training missions.  Further, he was the driving force behind introducing and establishing the AIR BASE DEFENCE AND RESCUE squadron of the SLAF.  The ABDR is presently known as the Regiment Special Forces.

In January 2005 he was appointed the Defense Advisor to the Sri Lankan High Commission in Islamabad, Pakistan, where his contribution towards getting the support of the Pakistan military in the form of military hardware and training to crush the LTTE was an important achievement.  His efforts to support the Sri Lankan security forces operations is noteworthy.  He relinquished this appointment in December 2007 and was promoted to the rank of Air Commodore on 01st Feb 2007.

On his return from Pakistan, he was appointed as the Base Commander Sri Lanka Air Force Base Katunayake, the largest Air Force Base.  He was the overall commander of the entire Base which consists of twenty-four lodger formations including the elite fighter aircraft squadrons.  It is pertinent to mention that during the peak of the LTTE threat, including that of the LTTE air wing, he commanded this base and was also appointed as the Competent Authority for the Bandaranayake International Airport by his Excellency the President.  It was during his tenure holding these two vital and important appointments that the 15th SAARC conference was held in Sri Lanka with the participation of seven heads of states.  During this summit he was again appointed as the chief security coordinator by the Ministry of Defense.  He conducted effective security arrangements for this summit with the assistance of the Sri Lanka Army and the Police facilitating the culmination of the summit without any adverse incident.

In the year 2008/2009 he was sent to National Defense University of China to follow the National Defense Course, earning the distinction of being the first officer of the Sri Lanka Air Force to be nominated for this prestigious course.  He graduated from NDU China with distinguished colours and a fellowship.

He was promoted to the rank of Air Vice Marshal in November 2009 and on his return from China, he was appointed as the Base Commander Sri Lanka Air Force Base China Bay in December 2009. On 1st January 2010, the Base was designated as the Air Force Academy.  With it, his appointment was changed to the Commandant of the Air Force Academy. After completing his tenure as the commandant, he was made a member of the Air Force board of management as the Director Logistics on 05 September 2011. As the Director Logistics, he uplifted the Logistics Operation in the SLAF to a high level which contributed greatly to the smooth functioning of the organization.  On 28 February 2014, he was appointed as the Director Air Operations in addition to his duties as the Director Logistics.  It was a testament to his capacity and his ability that he was able to cope with both air operations and logistics directorates at once, and was the only person to do so up to date in the history of the SLAF.  He served as the Director Air operations from 2014 to 2016.

To date, he maintains an unblemished service record being the senior most helicopter instructor in SLAF since 30 April 1995. He is proud to wear the ‘Deshaputhra’ medal on his chest, as he was the first battle casualty in SLAF when he flew his helicopter back to base safely after he was shot by the enemy, ensuring the safety of the assets and human lives which were in his hands.

Further to the above, he devoted his efforts to uplift sports in the SLAF as the Chairman of Hockey.

He has followed the following courses during his service career.

•    Bell Helicopter Transition Course at Bell Textron, Texas, USA-1986
•    Joint Air Warfare Course at IAF in India – 1992
•    Junior Command and Staff Course at PAF in Pakistan – 1992
•    Air Crew Instructors Course at RAF, Cranwell, UK – 1996
•    Defense Resource Management Course, Bangkok, Thailand – 1997
•    Air Doctrine symposium, Guam, USA – 1998
•    Cobra Gold Combined Exercise, Bangkok, Thailand – 2001
•    Defense Resource Management Course – Naval Post Graduate School, Monterey, California USA - 2004
•    National Defense Course, China in 2008/2009
•    MSc (Int.Rel.) Preston University, Pakistan  in 2007 – 2008
•    Alumnus of Harvard University, USA in year 2015
•    Alumnus of National Defense College, USA in year 2015

He has been awarded the following decorations for bravery, dedicated service and exceptional flying capability displayed in the face of the enemy attacks in the North and Eastern theaters in the country.

•    RANA SURA PADAKKAMA four times (03 Bars) In 1992, 1994, 1996, 1998
•    North Humanitarian Operational Medal 2011
•    East Humanitarian Operational Medal 2011

Air Marshal Kapila Jayampathy is married and has four children.

He enjoys swimming and shows a keen interest towards music and golf.


Copyright @ 2016 - Sri Lanka Air Force Information Technology Unit. All rights reserved