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Proud to Serve | Bandula Abeyratne

The call to serve and protect the nation is proudly embedded in Bandula Abeyratne’s every day, with a rich family history of military service. Following his 22-year career with the Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF), Bandula’s pride in service extends to his current role as a Consolidated Logistic Support Engineer (QC) with Babcock.

I joined the SLAF in November 1989 as an Officer Cadet, and was Commissioned in the Technical Engineering Branch (Tech/Eng) of the SLAF as a Pilot Officer in 1991.

During my 22 years with the SLAF, I served as an Aeronautical Engineer for helicopter squadrons, which operated Bell 206 and 212 helicopters that were mainly used for combat support and casualty evacuation. During the Sri Lankan Civil War I mainly engaged in routine maintenance, battle damage recovery, battle area maintenance and support for my squadron’s helicopters.

My proudest period of service was as Officer Commanding Maintenance (OCM) at No 4 VVIP Helicopter Squadron, which operated Bell 212, 412, and 412 EP Helicopters, without any major incidents from 2004 until my retirement in 2011 as a Wing Commander.

After I left the military, I served at another state Engineering firm, State Engineering Corporation of Sri Lanka for three years, before migrating to New Zealand in December 2014. After migrating, I utilised my passion and skills in engineering through several different roles, however I was missing the satisfaction of helping others that I had while in service.

When I heard Babcock was hiring for a Consolidated Logistic Support Engineer, I saw the opportunity to marry my passion for service with the technical skills I had honed over my career. I joined Babcock in 2022, and since then have worked in Babcock’s team at Devonport in service of the Royal New Zealand Navy Fleet (RNZN).

My main duties are supporting the logistics and maintenance functions of the RNZN. Being the only engineer in the team, it is my responsibility to be the connecting link between supply chain and those on the ground maintaining the vessels.

As a civilian, I am proud that I can contribute to activity that is in the interest of the country I now call home. I see my career with Babcock evolving to participate more on the fleet maintenance side, where I can utilise my technical skills for segregated rebuilds, overhauls, or asset longevity projects.

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