No 9 Attack Helicopter Squadron celebrates Silver Jubilee today
The No 9 Attack Helicopter Squadron which is the home of the Mi-24s of the Sri Lanka Air Force celebrates its Silver Jubilee (25th Anniversary) today (24 November 2020).
The Mil Mi-24 is a Soviet built attack helicopter with multi role capabilities. It can be used as a gunship and as a limited troop carrier. The Mi-24 also known as the “Flying Tank” and has been in operation since 1972.
The No 9 Attack Helicopter Squadron saw light on the 24 November 1995 with the initial induction of 3 Mi-24V Helicopters with 6 Pilots and 26 Engineering Crew.
Then Squadron Leader Jagath Rodrigo had the distinction of being the first Commanding Officer of the No 9 Attack Helicopter Squadron. Later on in 2001, Wing Commander Rodrigo made the supreme sacrifice with the downing of his Mi-24 by an enemy Surface to Air Missile. Then Squadron Leader Rodrigo and Flight Lieutenant Thilina Kaluarachchi were the first SLAF Pilots to ever fly a Mi-24 attack helicopter for an operational mission.
During the course of 25 years in service, 28 members of the Squadron (11 Pilots, 15 Aircrew members and 2 Technicians) have made the supreme sacrifice in the name of our motherland. The highest for any Flying Squadron of the Sri Lanka Air Force.