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RAF Stanley

Old 15th Oct 2013, 16:52
  #101 (permalink)  
 
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Location of Photo

The photo shown in August is at Saunders Island settlement, I have seen similar shots from there, one showing a house with the fin of a Hercules peeping above it
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Old 31st Oct 2013, 18:08
  #102 (permalink)  
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It looks like at least the RAF Stanley Phantoms did actually fly outside the TEZ after their October arrival. Something really strange must have happened in the final days of December 1982 over the waters close to the argentinean mainland.



https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?f...type=1&theater

Christian
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Old 31st Oct 2013, 18:40
  #103 (permalink)  
 
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I would say your assumption is correct, CAW. We did fly west (quite a way) and we did encounter Argentinean aircraft.

Courtney
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Old 31st Oct 2013, 19:01
  #104 (permalink)  
 
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One of the reasons for the new airport at St Helena is that the tub that shuttles to & fro is near the end of it's life - the cost of replacing isn't a lot but the cost of running it for another 40 years is apparently horrendous
Correct, leading to the amusing Treasury suggestion to the FCO / DFID that they should consider buying a long-range Beriev-200.... not that the FCO got the joke IIRC. (Well, it would've cheaper than blasting the runway out, and where else can you take a flying boat on holiday?!)

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Old 31st Oct 2013, 20:04
  #105 (permalink)  
 
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Regarding the new St Helena airport, as I understand it the intention is an A319/737-700 operation from Cape Town, but the 1,550m strip (a fraction longer than London City) exposed to Atlantic gales is surely going to be a bit of a challenge. Luanda in Angola is about the same distance, while the nearest airfield is of course Ascension Island.
They have upgraded the plan to allow flights from London with a refueling stop in Spain (I can't find where it says the upgrade has been approved)

No flights from London? Woah, I?m going to Barbados? | St Helena Online | Page 4

Ascension shuttle is ?do-able?, says would-be airline chief | St Helena Online

There's going to be a 6 million litre fuel store. Given that the only sea access to the island is by a ship anchored offshore craning onto lighters, I'm not quite sure how the bulk fuel will get there in the first place.
They are building a harbour, fuel pipeline and road as part of the airport construction

http://www.sainthelenaaccess.com/new...-Update-38.pdf

A wharf for Rupert?s Bay | St Helena Online
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Old 31st Oct 2013, 20:04
  #106 (permalink)  
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CourtnetMill,

I heard "rumours", when I was a kid, that at times planes incoming from the sea could be seen from some cities down south.

Would you mind confirming wether or not:

a) low level attacks on Rio Gallegos airstrip were either plan and/or exercised?

b) if Buccanner aircraft were ever deployed south? (L. Freedman states that they were supposed to be used in some sort of retaliation actions against argentinean air and naval bases... he even states that those plans were prepared around October by direct request of the PM.)

Also, did you guys ever get to find any other aircraft than Boeings 737, ARA´s Electra or FAA´s ELINT Boeing 707??

I was told by someone actually in one of the planes that in more than a couple of times, FAA´s Hercules did fly directly over the islands in order to get to Antactica´s Marambio Air Base. Any comments on that?

Thank you.
Christian

Last edited by CAW; 31st Oct 2013 at 20:05.
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Old 31st Oct 2013, 20:28
  #107 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by CAW
Would you mind confirming wether or not:

a) low level attacks on Rio Gallegos airstrip were either plan and/or exercised?
Not to my knowledge. Mind you, we were an Air Defence outfit so we would have had no part in such a plan - except, perhaps to provide escort. Assuming you're talking after the war, we would have had no reason to do such a thing anyway. Once the Falklands were liberated, we had no further need for offensive operations. I would say "no".


b) if Buccanner aircraft were ever deployed south? (L. Freedman states that they were supposed to be used in some sort of retaliation actions against argentinean air and naval bases... he even states that those plans were prepared around October by direct request of the PM.)
Can't speak for the PM - he didn't always share his thoughts with me - but I'm sure there were plans to deploy Buccaneers should they have been needed. Again, after the liberation, they weren't needed. As for retaliation, I think you may have been fed a line. The UK had absolutely no wish to retaliate whatsoever. The only reason we were in the South Atlantic at all was to reclaim British teritory and to liberate British passport holders from an occupying power. There was no thought whatsoever of retaliation. What would thathave acheived?

Also, did you guys ever get to find any other aircraft than Boeings 737, ARA´s Electra or FAA´s ELINT Boeing 707??
I don't recollect any other type and I'm certain there was no overflight of the Falklands by Argentinean aircraft after the liberation. That was why we were there and why we have been ever since.

Courtney

P.S. Sorry for rushed typing.
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Old 31st Oct 2013, 20:37
  #108 (permalink)  
 
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I'm sure there were plans to deploy Buccaneers should they have been needed. Again, after the liberation, they weren't needed.
FWIW well after the conflict (AFAIR early '83) a Bucc (? a pair) did make a fleeting visit to Stanley (stayed only for a day or two).

(edited to correct number of aircraft)

Last edited by wiggy; 1st Nov 2013 at 09:44.
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Old 31st Oct 2013, 20:56
  #109 (permalink)  
 
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I don't recollect any other type and I'm certain there was no overflight of the Falklands by Argentinean aircraft after the liberation.
18 Jan 83: Air Raid Warning Red! We were tasking on the western end of West Falkland when the warning was broadcast, and told to 'get out of there'. So we (very bravely) flew at 20ft (ish) rapidly eastward whilt the QRF F4s overflew us westbound. Threw the Chinook on the ground at Pt Howard and joined the Gurkhas in their trenches, thankful they didn't shoot us down as all their weapons were now pointing upwards. The only really p*****-**f people were the two FJ mates we had taken with us on sightseeing, who spent all their time divided between looking out for hostiles and cursing 'cos they wouldn't be able to get airborne as well!

It transpired that at least one pair of FJs had come out from Argentina and entered the FIPZ before descending low level and disappearing from radar whilst still on an eastbound track about 50 miles from the coast (they must have then turned away, but no doubt with a good bit of elint/sigint for them).
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Old 31st Oct 2013, 21:25
  #110 (permalink)  
 
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Fair enough for them to come visiting us. We did it them all the time. "Presence Runs". I wonder what elint they might have gathered and for why? It was all over by then.
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Old 1st Nov 2013, 03:02
  #111 (permalink)  
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CourtneyMill. thank you for your clear answers!!

Assuming you're talking after the war, we would have had no reason to do such a thing anyway. Once the Falklands were liberated, we had no further need for offensive operations.
As for retaliation, I think you may have been fed a line. The UK had absolutely no wish to retaliate whatsoever.
I´m sorry I didn´t make myself clear enough. Yes, I was talkling about the "after war events". I apologize to you all, I misused the word "retaliation"; Freedman´s words refer to "reasonable response to any argentine military adventures".

"Upon reading the November JIC paper which reached this conclusion, the Prime Minister expressed an interest in whether or not offensive operations by Britain might be a reasonable response to any Argentine military adventures: Their shipping and bases are now vulnerable, as we have considerable forces in or near the Falklands’"

L. Freedman. "The Official History of the Falklands Campaign" Volume 2, Chapter 44: "Fortress Falkland". Rutledge. London. 2005. (Quote in page 585)

As for the motivation to fly outside the FIPZ, Freedman states in page 586 that:

"In December 1983 an Argentine submarine deployed much further south than usual, and Heseltine authorised a temporary change in the ROE...A ‘warning zone’30nm in from the edge of the FIPZ was established in which unidentified submarines could be harassed but not attacked unless they unmistakably demonstrated hostile intent. Once a submarine penetrated further than 30nm inside the FIPZ it could then be attacked...This change applied only to submarines but led to Heseltine asking the Chiefs of Staff to re-examine the ROE to ensure that they met the threat from Argentina while minimising the risk of an ‘accidental’ engagement. Out of this came a recommendation that the warning zone concept should be extended to include Argentine surface combatants and combat aircraft, both of which could be unmistakably warned-off by visual means. A warning zone 30nm deep would still leave the Commander British Forces with adequate room and time to engage Argentine combat units that had aggressive intent... The Commander was later given additional discretion to identify potential targets close to, but outside, the FIPZ boundary. This had the added advantage of further extending the range of response to a potential incursion..."

If I´m not clear enough, what I mean to say is that I undoubtly understand that the purpose of the british forces that were either kept or developed to the Malvinas after the argentinean surrender was not to carry on offensive operations against the argentinean mainland. But it´s also true that, since they were to serve defensive popouses only, the best way to acheive just that is to be either ready to strike first (once its known that an offensive action is coming against you) or to have the information and capacities to answer quickly to an "incoming surprise"
. I believe that both of these options requiere the previous gathering of tactical intelligence.

Since I read the documents released by the UK National Archives in December 2012, and presented in previous pages, I made some connections with Freedman´s statements and came to think that -may be- the UK forces in the island would be needing to gather information/intelligence to be able to properly achive those aims. That´s why I suggest that flights outside the FIPZ were not only a defensive need.

One final note, if I may: as far as I know (and I´m putting a big deal of money and time researching real documents related to this war) most of the "official information" we researchers are able to have access to, comes from the UK. There´s barely a few official documents release and/or published by Argentina on this topic. We basically count on your testimonies, stories, and good will to let us all know about these things that -like me- many find worth asking about.

Hope I´m not a pain in the back to you and thanks again!!
Christian

Last edited by CAW; 1st Nov 2013 at 03:04.
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Old 1st Nov 2013, 09:02
  #112 (permalink)  
 
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Buccaneer Boys

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If you read the above book, chapter 17 details the trip of 2 Bucc's to RAF Stanley were they stayed for 10 days. These aircraft were from 12 Sqn which were Maritime attack but with the capability of supporting troops.
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Old 1st Nov 2013, 09:24
  #113 (permalink)  
 
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Jul/Aug 83 ... another "Air Raid Warning Red" with a FIPZ penetration. Stanley launched the QRA F4 pair, rest of station did what it should and dived into assorted holes. ATC moved to Alternate locations.

FIPZ penetrator duly turned for home, F4s recovered to base, normality returned. It was a nice sunny day, IIRC.
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Old 1st Nov 2013, 15:59
  #114 (permalink)  
 
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RAF Stanley Reinforcement Plans - Buccaneer

By mid-83, Buccaneers were an option in the RAF Stanley reinforcement plan. Martel missiles were going to be stored in ISO containers, with side doors for easy access, that were going to be positioned off-base due to the high Net Explosive Quantity in areas inaccessible by most vehicles except Unimog and BV206 - 4-Ton trucks could not get there. The ISOs would have been moved to aircraft dispersals by Chinook.

Last edited by RAFEngO74to09; 1st Nov 2013 at 16:09.
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Old 1st Nov 2013, 19:06
  #115 (permalink)  
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trap one, that chapter and the quote you meke, it´s just where I got the first mention of any Buccaneers in the islands. Just like happens with Nimrod pics, I´ve just never come across with -let´s say- one of those planes in RAF Stanley´s apron... That´s why I asked about it. Thanks!!

RafEng074to09, are you saying that those were the contingency plans or that they had actually been excersised? (I mean, the deployment of both Martel missiles and attack planes)

MPN11, shackman and wiggy thank you for your posts. I´m trying to round up some conclusions regarding the period December 1982 - January 1983.

Christian
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Old 1st Nov 2013, 19:47
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CAW

The missiles were going to be held forward because there would have been insufficient time to deploy them by any means available then within the sailing time of an invasion fleet.

They had not been deployed by the time I left and I don't know what happened subsequently. The project had got to the point where some ISOs had been bought and ground crew at the Buccaneer base in the UK had rehearsed how to break out the missiles and loading equipment from them and load the aircraft.
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Old 1st Nov 2013, 20:00
  #117 (permalink)  
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Thank you again RafEng!!!

I take it like you were there sometime around 1983. If I may, a question that might look like out of place: Can you (or anyone) remember an incident around March 29, 1983 in the area of Cape Meredith? (it apparently involved an argentinean civilean vessel)

Christian
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Old 1st Nov 2013, 21:49
  #118 (permalink)  
 
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Well. When I was there on F4s (Oct-Dec 1982) the main op roles were QRA and Presence. We were briefed that the role of "Presence" was to demonstrate that while Argentinian military ac were not allowed to come into the FIPZ (and we had free rules of engagement on that, excluding the B707), we were perfectly allowed to use international airspace to the 3 mile limit if necessary. The role entailed flying towards Argentinia to the Prudent Limit of Endurance (PLE) and then returning to base - huge fun.

Of course what actually happened was a game amongst the crews to see who could get closest to the Argentinian mainland. Cruise climb, cruise descent, engines set at 93.5% for the whole flight. The furthest achieved I believe was Madsox who reported he turned around "when he got to the mountains". BS no doubt but it earned a "revision of policy" from senior management.

Last edited by BSweeper; 1st Nov 2013 at 21:55.
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Old 15th Nov 2013, 19:39
  #119 (permalink)  
 
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Got a couple of pics of the Buccs at Stanley - March 83 IIRC. Lots of debate about which RHAGS they could use..... and how far West they were allowed to operate, being seen as offensive assets.

Also somewhere might have more dates for QRA launches between Mar 83 and Jul 83, but as I was only on duty for 50% of my time down there I probably missed some.
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Old 16th Nov 2013, 00:43
  #120 (permalink)  
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Bsweeper, thanks for your data!! Much appreciated!!

Single Spey, can you please share any of those pictures? Also, would it be much for me to ask if you can list briefly some of those QRA during your time down there?

For all of you to know, I´m trying to set straight the facts on "a Story" someone told me about a Skyhawks Flight towards San Carlos on... JUNE 26th, 1982. As I was told, it turned around when they overflew the Jasons...

Christian
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