US troops arrive here for joint excercise

A group of US troops arrived in Colombo yesterday, military sources said yesterday adding that the group will take part in joint exercises with Sri Lankan security forces.

Admiral Dennis C. Blair the then Commander-in-Chief, US Pacific Command in a rare visit to Colombo in July last year said that the US sends trainers to Sri Lanka three or four times a year where they train with primarily some of the special forces of the Sri Lankan armed forces on a range of skills from humanitarian issues like first aid on the battlefield through reconnaissance techniques and other skills.

Sri Lanka and India are among the countries in the region benefited by what the US Army calls the Extended Relations Programme (ERP) under which contingents from various specialised formations including Navy SEALS take part in joint exercises. (SF)