Friday, February 19, 2010

Falkland Islands revisited?

Statement from the MoD:

Defence of the Falklands

There is widespread media coverage of tensions over British companies' intended oil explorations in the Falkland Islands which the Argentinean Government is protesting against. The coverage focuses on perceived actions by the MOD to bolster up its defence of the islands.

In a particular comment piece in The Daily Telegraph, Damien McElroy argues that Britain could not once again assemble a task force of the kind sent to the Falklands following the Argentine invasion in 1982.

The UK has transformed its military presence in the Falklands compared with the small force in place before the 1982 invasion.

The question of whether or not a task force identical in nature to that sent in 1982 could be dispatched once again is therefore totally academic. The South Atlantic Overseas Territories are now defended to such an extent that such an emergency course of action should never again need to be taken. In 1982, the situation was very different.

The UK Government is fully committed to the South Atlantic Overseas Territories. A deterrence force is maintained on the islands and in the South Atlantic, which comprises a range of land, air and maritime capabilities.

We have stationed on the Falkland Islands a sizeable garrison of Service personnel, four of the most up-to-date air defence aircraft in the Royal Air Force's fleet, and other air assets.

In the South Atlantic we have an enduring Royal Navy presence currently provided by HMS York (Type 42 destroyer), HMS Clyde (Falkland Islands Patrol Vessel), RFA Wave Ruler (Fleet Oiler) and HMS Scott (Survey Vessel). None of this was the case in 1982, prior to the Argentine invasion, when the Falkland Islands were far less well defended.

Posted at 12:16 PM in Defence in the media |

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