The Present Chief of Staff of the Sri Lanka Air Force, Air Vice Marshal Udeni Rajapaksa will be promoted to the three-star rank of Air Marshal with effect from 30 June 2023 and will be appointed as the 19th Commander of the Air Force.
Air Vice Marshal Udeni Priyadarshana Rajapaksa, a distinguished military officer, received his primary education at Parakrama Vidyalaya, Bandarawatta and Bandaranaike College, Gampaha. Continuing his academic journey, he pursued his secondary education at Ananda College, Colombo. Displaying a strong commitment to serving his country, he joined the Kotelawala Defence Academy in Ratmalana as an Officer Cadet on 6 October 1988, as part of the 6th Officer Cadets’ Intake and possessed the Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering.
Air Vice Marshal Rajapaksa underwent Basic Combat Training and Graduate Studies at the Kotelawala Defence Academy. Afterward, he completed Basic Flying Training at No. 1 Flying Training Wing, Sri Lanka Air Force Base Anuradhapura, where he excelled and was recognized as the Best Flight Cadet in the 33rd Flight Cadets’ course. Following the achievement, he advanced to No. 2 Squadron, Sri Lanka Air Force Base Ratmalana, for Advanced Flying Training. On 5 October 1990, he was commissioned as a Pilot Officer in the General Duties Pilots Branch.
Air Vice Marshal Rajapaksa has expertise as a pilot in a remarkable range of aircraft, including the PUCARA as a Fighter Pilot and CESSNA-150, Y-12, AVRO, SIAI Marchetti SF 260, Beechcraft, Antonov AN-32 and C-130 as a Transport Pilot.