UK Refights Falklands War
How timely was James Daly’s recent series of articles concerning whether or not Great Britain could mount another Falkland’s style operations in the modern era! The UPI reports on a recent exercises which seeks to learn just that:
British forces mounted a warfare exercise involving navy and air force personnel in the Falkland Islands, scene of a 1982 conflict between Argentina and Britain and more recently of intense oil and gas exploration activities.
The two-day operation, code-named Cape Bayonet, simulated an enemy invasion in which the British air force’s Typhoon multi-role fighter and navy ships took part, MercoPress reported.
The British and the Islanders have good reason for continued vigilance:
Some estimates have put the Falkland Islands’ undersea oil deposits at 60 billion barrels, drawing speculative investment from London’s financial district. More cautious analysts say that, although potentially huge, the Falklands’ hydrocarbon deposits may be expensive to extract and commercialize due to lack of key infrastructure connecting the islands with world markets…The military exercises took place during a tour of the Falklands by British forces ahead of the start of drilling in the basin in February 2010.
The MercoPress article has further interesting details:
British forces have been taking part in a major warfare exercise in the Falkland Islands, where hundreds of servicemen died during the 1982 conflict. The Highlanders (4 Scots) joined the Royal Navy and RAF in a two-day operation after an “enemy invasion” on the islands, 8,000 miles from the UK, in the South Atlantic…
The exercise saw 100 Highlanders picked up by state-of-the-art protection vessel HMS Clyde at Mount Pleasant and transported overnight to San Carlos, scene of a major British amphibious landing during the 1982 conflict…two Typhoon jets, the RAF’s most modern multi-role fighter, were called in to join the exercise offering unrivaled air support to the troops on the ground.
It was vital that all three services worked in unison to defeat the enemy. The exercise is seen as important training in the planning and execution of tactical manoeuvres which the forces will experience in the battlefield.
The Highlanders are headed for the Afghan soon, so the operation was equally timely for them. Concerning James Daly’s excellent series “Falkland’s then and now”, here is another exert: