The Sri Lanka Army is the oldest and largest of the three armed services of Sri Lanka and is responsible for overseeing land-based military and humanitarian operations. Established as the Royal Ceylon Army in 1949, it was renamed when Sri Lanka became an independent republic in 1972. As of the year 2000, the Army had approximately 150,000 regular and reserve personnel and 18,000 National Guardsmen, who are organized into 26 regiments.
The Sri Lanka Army is operationally controlled by the Joint Operations Command, which was established in 1985, and comprises 13 divisions, one air-mobile brigade, one commando brigade, one special forces brigade, one independent armored brigade, three mechanized infantry brigades and 40 infantry brigades.
In late 1987, the army had a total estimated strength of up to 40,000 troops, about evenly divided between regular army personnel and reservists on active duty. The approximately 20,000 regular army troops represented a significant increase over the 1983 strength of only 12,000. Aggressive recruitment campaigns following the 1983 riots raised this number to 16,000 by early 1985.By 2007, the Army had expanded to over 120,000 personal.