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sexta-feira, 3 de abril de 2015

Falklands War. 33 years military speaking.

For me, Britan has all the right to Falklands, like Portugal was to Goa, Damão e Diu, and also Cabo Verde e S.Tome e Principe. But the proposed article is about what change after the war with Argentina, in the islands and surrounded area. And it change a lot, especially for the military and of course for Argentines. 

In 1982 the UK had 70 troops and 20 security forces (more 120 islands defende force man), up une polar patrol ship in the islands (HMS Endurance). Today 1200 troops, 20 security forces, 3 ships (includes one frigate and one patrol ship), rapier AA missiles, 4 Typhoon fighters, 1 C-130 and one Vc-10 for re-fueling (and 202 man from island defende force). So, it's clear that one pacefull area before the war is today, becouse of the 1982 invasion, militarised not only in the islands but also in all South Atlantic. Major error Argentina.  

War Cemetery in Falkland
In total 907 people were kill. Argentina lost 649 men and Britan 255. The rest were civilians. In 2011 were 113 uncleared minefield, and are still today places like Port William on East Falkland that is an example of the danger of the mines in the islands. No casualties but six military personal were injuried in 1982 and 1983. The war left on the islands abou 5 000 anti-tank mines and 20 000 anti-personnel. Under the Mine Ban Treaty all them have to be clean by the end of 2019.

The wrecks of the war area everywere. More from Argentina in land, and in the sea most of them are british. In the islands, remains of A4, Pucára, T-34, Uh-1, AML amoured car, etc, and also Harrier and others british stuff, are only some exmples what today we can see in the fields. Falkland Museum have one section about the war and some pieces are preserved in there and in Heritage Museum and Historic Dockyard Museum also in Falklands.  
Other material are display in Imperial War Museum, Marines Museum and Army Museum, in the UK. 

Marino Velasco´s crashed A4 in the Falklands

After the war the Falklands Islands Defence Force (FIDF) was reformed in 1983 (on first April of 1982 of 120 only 23 man turned out). Today are a force with 202 man (2 are permanent the rest are in reserve), with 400 000 Pounds annual budget, from Falklands Islands Governement.
The man meet once a week for training, with british soldiers, Royal Navy and do also civil operations like rescue and fisheries protection. Equipment are from Land Rover to Grenade Launchers, and includes also L7 machine guns and Styer AUG Rifles.    
Wreck of an Argentina Pucara

Military presence was heavily invested by the UK after 1982. Mount Pleasant, the new RAF Airfield, 27 miles from Stanley is the major prove of that, fuly operacional since 1986, and with is own port facility call Mare Harbour. After the war planes like the F4 and the Tornado made the defence of the island, but today the fighter are the four Eurofighter Typhoon. Sar was been made by Sea King helicopters but the AAR Corps is what make the missions today with AW189 type. 

Remains of a T-34 aircraft from Argentina Navy

Royal Navy was a Frigate Type 23 or a Destroyer Type 45, a Patrol (permanently until 2018), an Ice Patrol Ship and a RFA Tanker near the islands. Other units like Trafalgar and Astute class nuclear submarines are deployed in area in classified deployments, and they carry torpedos and Tomahawk missiles.

Army maintains a garrison on the island in Mount Pleasant, about 1200 personnel made up a infantry company, an engineer squadron, a signals unit, a logistic group and supporting services. There also a Rapier Missile battery deployed. The UK maintains a Joint Rapid Reaction Force with the 3 services, that in 48/72 hours could be deployed to the islands in the event of receiving intelligence of a specific threath to the territory.   

It is clear that the Argentina invasion of the Falklands was a major fiasco for the country. The British significant presence in South Atlantic was increase and diplomatic solution is today denied by UK becouse of the invasion. The Argentina Military Junta was disband and military argentina forces are a shadow of what were in 1982, with the crisis reduce de navy and the airforce to minimal, made by old equipment like Hercules class destroyers (one sink alone in port) or A4 fighters. Today they are no match to British Forces, also with less ships, man and fighters.

With major oil fields discover on the sea in Falklands Maritime Zone and President Cristina election in Argentina, the pression to the UK in diplomacy and propaganda by the south american country is much more intense that since the 90s. But referendo in 2013 at Falklands give 99,8% of the people voted in favour of remaining a british territory ouverseas, economically self - sufficient, and that trust in more than 180 years of British administration. And that is democracy, not "colonial tradition" like Daniel Filmus said and other members of Cristina's executive repeat to exaustion. They made a mistake, now they had to live with it. That's life.        

Armada Argentina today capital ships

Remains of an Argentina Army UH1 helicopter

Remains of an Harrier in Goose Green
Aml armoured car

Mount Pleasant Base

Mount Pleasant land facilities

Typhoon Fighter

FIDF operacional with a Styer Rifle and a Rover in back

Type 23 Frigate

HMS Clyde Patrol Boat in Falklands

A C130 at Mount Pleasent base

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