Sri Lanka Army Special Forces Regiment

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Special Forces Regiment
Sri Lanka Army Special Forces Regiment Insignia
Active December 1986 - Present
Country Sri Lanka
Branch Sri Lanka Army
Type Special Forces
Role Asymmetric warfare,
Counter Terrorism,
Special Operations
Size Four Regiments
Part of Special Forces Brigade
Regimental Centre Seeduwa
Nickname(s) SF
Motto(s) “Determined, Dared and Done”(අධිෂ්ඨානයෙන් අභීතව අරමුණ කරා)
Colours Red and Black
Decorations 2 Parama Weera Vibhushanaya
Colonel of the Regiment Vacant
Col A.F. Lafir PWV RWP RSP  
Black beret with regimental cap badge with Jolly Roger skull-and-crossed-bones arm patch "Special Forces" shoulder tab

The Sri Lanka Army Special Forces Regiment (SF) (Sinhalese: විශේෂ බලකාය Visesha Balakaya) (Tamil: சிறப்பு படைகள் ரெஜிமென்ட்) is one of two special operations units of the Sri Lanka Army alongside the Sri Lanka Army Commando Regiment. Since its inception as a combat tracker team in 1986, the unit gradually expanded into a brigade consisting of several regiments. It is the most secretive unit in the Sri Lanka Army.


The Sri Lanka Army Special Forces evolved from organization initially known as “Combat Tracker Team”. This group at the inception in 1985 had two Officers and 38 men and was to be tasked to carry out small group operations which have capability of operating deep in enemy territory against LTTE terrorism in time of war. This Combat Tracker Team led by the dedicated and devoted leadership of Maj Gen (retired) G. Hettiarachchi, WWV, RWP, RSP, USP, psc from the Sri Lanka Armoured Corps (SLAC) (then Major) and Col A. F. Lafir, PWV, RWP, RSP, (posthumous) (Then Lt). Subsequently with the formation of the Special Service Group (SSG) the Combat Tracker Team becomes the reconnaissance element of the SSG. Later as the SSG concept failed to materialized, the Combat Tracker Team changes its name as Rapid Deployment Force (RDF) (Special Force) and operated independently. With the massive successful results of the RDF it was gradually expanded to 04 squadrons. In December 1988 the RDF (SF) was officially designated as 1 st Regiment Special Forces. At present the Special Forces consist of a Regimental Centre, SF Brigade, Training School, 4 Battalions and Regimental Headquarter Battalion –Special Forces.


Combat Rider Teams, Special Forces Regiment - Sri Lanka Army

Current SF roles are believed to include:


There has been no informative disclosure about the selection and induction processes of the Special Forces Brigade confirmed by the Sri Lankan Army. Information regarding the unit's selection and induction processes remain highly classified.

Long Range Reconnaissance Patrol[edit]

The Long Range Reconnaissance Patrol (LRRP) is designated as covert operations unit of the Sri Lanka Army. This unit is operated under the Directorate of Military Intelligence of the Army and for this LRRP, it is believed to be composed of personnel from the Commando Regiment and Special Forces Regiment.


Soldier of the Sri Lanka Army Special Forces Regiment demonstrating the use of a Ghillie suit for camouflage

Special Forces Training School was established on 15 February 1992 and it is conducting the basic and specialized training for all Special Forces personnel.[citation needed] It also conducts special courses to train instructors from other battalions in the Army and has also helped to train Navy Special Boat Squadron personnel and Sri Lanka Air Force Regiment Special Force.

A Combat Rider team of the Special Forces.
  • 1st Regiment Special Forces consist of highly trained Special Forces Vehicle Operators. They are proved to be forces to reckon-with, due to their quick reaction capability.
  • 2nd Regiment Special Forces was initially raised in 1994 with 3 Squadrons. Today it is a fully fledged battalion with 04 fighting squadrons. It has a diving team with assault boats and consisting of combat divers capable in Underwater demolition.
  • 3rd Regiment Special Forces, which was established in 1996 as a Sea borne/combat diving force has now been tasked to operate on the ground role as another SF battalion as that role has been taken up by Special Boat Squadron of the Sri Lanka Navy. Currently, the 3rd Special Forces Regiment serves as the most elite Counter Terrorist unit of the Special Forces Brigade. Members for this unit are often selected from other units of the Special Forces Brigade.
  • 4th Regiment Special Forces was established in 2008.
  • 5th Regiment Special Forces, which was established in 2009, was disbanded on 1 April 2012.
  • New special urban fighting squadron was rise on 16 April 2012 for Hostage Rescue and Counter Terrorism Missions.


The insignia depicts Eagle has been regarded as symbol of courage and warlike qualities, a sing qua non for any member of the Special Forces. The superior imposition of the eagle indicated the ability the unit of scooping towards its prey. It is well equipped for its task with its hooked beak. Wonderful keen eyes help to locate the target, powerful wings help to rush to the target, curved talons help to grab the target and hooked bear help to destroy the target. All those magnificently adapted to its requirements.

Brig. G. Hettiarachchi was a Major when he raised the Special Forces Regiment

Four Sharp Arrows- Placed on the background of the insignia and pointing to either side, depict the regiments basic concept of a 4 – man team and its capability of deep penetration(LRRP) into enemy territory and operating in small groups whose skills and have been sharpened as an arrow's head. Placing them crossing each other is intended to give the idea of combined strength and mutual support within as well as with other forces in all types of operation.

Recipient of the Parama Weera Vibhushanaya[edit]

Notable members[edit]

  • Major General G. Hettiarachchi, WWV, RWP, RSP, USP,
  • Colonel A.F. Lafir PWV, RWP, RSP   - Former Commanding Officer of the 1st Regiment Special Forces
  • Lieutenant Colonel J.A.L Jayasinghe, WWV, RWP, RSP  
  • Colonel Harendra Ranasingle - Former Special Forces Brigade Commander
  • Colonel Sujeewa Senarathyapa
  • Colonel Nishshanka Eriyagama
  • Colonel Chandimal Pires
  • Colonel Mahinda Ranasingle
  • Colonel Ihalage
  • Colonel Raj Vijesiri
  • Major General Mahesh Senanayaka
  • Major General Presanna Silva
  • Lt Col Channe Waduge
  • Major Darsham a Ratnayaka
  • Major Upul Wirasinghe
  • Brigadier Nirman Dharmaratna

Further reading[edit]

  • The Perfect Soldier: Special Operations, Commandos, and the Future of U.S. Warfare by James F. Dunnigan[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Publisher : Citadel, Year:(June 1, 2003), Language: English, ISBN 0-8065-2415-4 / ISBN 978-0-8065-2415-3

External links[edit]