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RAF Stanley

Old 16th Nov 2013, 13:52
  #121 (permalink)  
 
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Hi Christian

Very interesting questions. I would doubt the Skyhawk story. However, if they had flown low level all the way to the Jason's, would the FI AEW picked them up incoming? What was providing AEW at the time?

Was it the SK, or did we have ship or submerged assets providing the warnings?

Andy
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Old 17th Nov 2013, 22:58
  #122 (permalink)  
 
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HMS Valiant was on station off Rio Grande, but she did not pick any Skyhawk (or any other attack A/C) that day.

If it is true, the raid departed from Gallegos or else.

Regards,

Last edited by Marcantilan; 18th Nov 2013 at 12:16.
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Old 18th Nov 2013, 00:47
  #123 (permalink)  
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We should also add that FAA A-4 had been withdrawn back to Villa Reynolds by that time. COANīs Skyhawks left were no more than 2... may be 3.

So, if they trully were A-4s, supported by KC-130, they probably came from Comodoro Rivadavia or even Trelew. Different thing if weīre talking about COANīs Super Etendart: they most likely were flying from Punta Alta.

Iīm pretty sure that no less than 15 or 20 air-contacts were reported by HMS Valiant between June 25th and 27th, most of them C-130. I should double check that. Were there any SSNs still on station just outside the 12NM zone letīs say around Puerto Santa Cruz, San Julian or Gallegos?

Christian
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Old 18th Nov 2013, 10:34
  #124 (permalink)  
 
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CAW,

There were some attacks planned on mainland airfields in the summer of 1983. This was in response to 23 Sqn's resoundingly successful participation (OK, it was the QWIP) in an otherwise spectacularly unsuccessful firepower demo for the Army on a W Falkland range. There was much running about with pink files with a big red stamp on them shortly thereafter- I think it took about a week before the "General Staff" at HQ BFFI was persuaded that committing the bulk of your AD assets to un-recce'd strafe attacks at max unrefuelled range was not out of the top drawer of cunning plans.

That said, 20mm HEI @ 6000 rounds per minute was impressive to watch from both outside and inside the cockpit and, for me at least, it topped the list of fun weapons events.
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Old 18th Nov 2013, 10:50
  #125 (permalink)  
 
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There were some attacks planned on mainland airfields in the summer of 1983. This was in response to 23 Sqn's resoundingly successful participation (OK, it was the QWIP) in an otherwise spectacularly unsuccessful firepower demo for the Army on a W Falkland range. There was much running about with pink files with a big red stamp on them shortly thereafter- I think it took about a week before the "General Staff" at HQ BFFI was persuaded that committing the bulk of your AD assets to un-recce'd strafe attacks at max unrefuelled range was not out of the top drawer of cunning plans.
But, does this mean they were actually planned to take place, and then cancelled - or contingency plans for a retaliation in the invent of an attack by the Argentine Air Force? I would doubt that there would have been a plan for a unilateral attack by UK assests against the Argentine mainland, given the political fallout that would provoke - including the Inter-American Treaty of Reciprocal Assistance - but there again, I only take the view of a historian looking at the context of the time rather than someone that was there.

Could you elaborate more on the firepower demonstration on West Falkland.

Thanks

A
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Old 18th Nov 2013, 11:59
  #126 (permalink)  
 
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Andy

This never got as far as tasking or even formal contingency plan status. And you are right in thinking there would not have been a plan for a unilateral attack, the ROE profile would not have permitted that anyway. I'm not sure it was even thought of as a retaliatory option (assuming an ARG attack got through the AD system in the first place, eh Courtney?!), I think it was more of a 'great idea' moment that failed to survive contact with any sort of reality.

The firepower demo involved a bit of 4.5" Naval Gunfire Support, Lynx + TOW and F4 strafe against a few dead vehicles lying in the peat on the W Falkland mainland. There may have been some 105mm arty as well, but memory wobbles after 30 years... I believe it may all have been Army-inspired, but that could just be vicious rumour.

ff
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Old 18th Nov 2013, 12:34
  #127 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by fortissimo
assuming an ARG attack got through the AD system in the first place, eh Courtney?!
Indeed, my friend. Would never have happened in my day!
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Old 18th Nov 2013, 17:37
  #128 (permalink)  
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Thanks for your post, fortissimo!!

I can now confirm that the Grupo 5 Skyhawks re-deployed to their peace-time base between June 20th and 26th. Daggers from one of the Squadrons of Grupo 6, were completly withdrawn by June 26th and back in Tandil. May be a few planes of both types remained down south for something like a week.

My guess, is that around June 18th, the FAS decided itīd start to retreat its remainig assets to recover as fast as possible, its fighting capacity. This could only be achieved by going back to peace-time routine, at least in a roulement basis. It appears to be obvious that both pilots and commanding officers needed to rest and re-think their whole experience at war, planes needed to be either repaired or upgraded, supporting lines needed to be re-stablished, and so on.

If this "strategic retreat" of late June was caused by the need to de-escalate the conflict, or by another set of aims, I still canīt tell.

Christian
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Old 18th Nov 2013, 20:00
  #129 (permalink)  
 
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CAW

You must be talking June 83.

June 82 was still a little too dangerous for the RAF AD Force to come out to play, so it must have been June 83 which was when they thought it was safe enough to venture south and take over from the Harriers - whilst waiting for a proper airfield to be built for them.

The Lightnings were still around then - why, oh why, did we not send them down south!!!!!..............

Surely they would have sorted all the problems of the world out!!............

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Old 18th Nov 2013, 20:42
  #130 (permalink)  
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You must be talking June 83.

June 82 was still a little too dangerous for the RAF AD Force to come out to play, so it must have been June 83 which was when they thought it was safe enough to venture south and take over from the Harriers - whilst waiting for a proper airfield to be built for them.
BomberH,

Iīm not sure I clearly understand what you mean.

The first RAF AD (meaning aircraft, not only SAMs), as far as I know, was stablished at RAF Stanley in June 1982. It later became the HarDet, which handed over the task to the F-4 when they got there by October 1982.

By 1983, RAF had an interesting number of planes stationed at Stanley, and as far as I was able to find out, no less than two FOBs were still manned and running.

Given that we have already read testimonies of pilots that did fly west, outside the FIPZ, given that we even have a few pictures and known locations of "encounters" between RAF and argentinean aircrafts, and -at last- given the fact that most of this facts were both known and discussed in documents that the UK Government has released, I think that the arising question here is: did the RAF have enough planes "in the theatre" to be able to think about conducting offensive operations against mainland targets, ie airfields?

I apologize if I got you wrong, BomberH.

Christian
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Old 18th Nov 2013, 21:31
  #131 (permalink)  
 
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Christian

No, I need to apologise to you................

My comment was banter - otherwise known as irreverent comment between different forces within the RAF.

You were interested in serious comment - so I need to apologise to you for reducing your thread to banter, rather than making worthwhile comment on the points that interest you.

You are, of course, correct - the Harriers did the business at Stanley from June 82 until the F-4s arrived. I left in July 82, so I have only peripheral knowledge of the activities that interest you.

I am sorry not to be able to offer you more meaningful comment on the points that are of interest to you.
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Old 18th Nov 2013, 21:51
  #132 (permalink)  
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Regarding post conflict incursions to FIPZ - Does anyone else recall the Sept/Oct time 1986 period. - I was off duty on one of the Radar sites one evenig when the boss comes in and told us to get an early night as intelligence suggested some kind of potential action from Argentina the following day.

Come daylight we manned our site fully and things were far quieter than normal with regards our flying, eventually the day passed and things got back to normal, but I've often wondered, 1: Did I make it up, and 2: If I didn't what was going on!
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Old 18th Nov 2013, 22:19
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The Lightnings were still around then - why, oh why, did we not send them down south!!!!!..............
And precisely how would they have been deployed south?

There weren't enough diversion aerodromes to have made AAR an option, we didn't have any transport aircraft large enough to carry a dismantled Lightning - and the engineering effort to rebuild them on arrival at an austere location would have been colossal.
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Old 18th Nov 2013, 22:19
  #134 (permalink)  
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BomberH, there are plenty of things you could share with us.

If I may.

I left in July 82, so I have only peripheral knowledge of the activities that interest you.
Could you tell us about a second Harrier FOB set up at Teal Inlet during June?

AR1,

Regarding post conflict incursions to FIPZ - Does anyone else recall the Sept/Oct time 1986 period. - I was off duty on one of the Radar sites one evenig when the boss comes in and told us to get an early night as intelligence suggested some kind of potential action from Argentina the following day.
I can confirm to you that there were at least two 707 flights, north of Byron Heights after 14th June 1986. I wouldnīt be surprised if another set of flights like that would have been scheduled for the southern Spring.

Which radar site did you manned back then, if I could ask?

Christian
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Old 5th Jan 2014, 13:28
  #135 (permalink)  
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Hello again and Happy New Year to you all!!

Iīve just found this picture taken at Yorke Bay sometime after June 1982. I canīt seem to place neither the exact date nor the situation pictured.

I do Know that the major landing of both materials and machinery to set up RAF Stanley, were conducted from RFA and MV vessels and did not use the Stanley jetty. I read somewhere that mexeflotes were used to land these items directly to the airport peninsula.

Could it be that this picture shows something related to those vessel-to-beach landings?



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Christian
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Old 5th Jan 2014, 14:10
  #136 (permalink)  
 
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CAW:
Iīve just found this picture taken at Yorke Bay sometime after June 1982
I would be very surprised if that was in Yorke Bay - it was heavily mined with both anti tank and anti personnel devices, and it was a good few years before any clearance was carried out. If, however, it was taken on 29 Dec 82 it was of the only 'heavy' digger/dozer the engineers had on the island at the time. Whilst trying to dig out sand or gravel from a beach for use in construction they succeeded in bogging it down with a rapidly incoming tide and we were tasked to try to 'help' the recovery and prevent many red faces. The engineers 'reckoned' it weighed 16 tons, so even our Chinook was not going to lift it (although we did try - Op Corporate rules!). Eventually though we did succeed in helping to pull it out just before the sea would have forced an abandon ship episode.

Unfortunately I can't remember exactly which beach it was, but I seem to remember it was fairly close to PSC (Port San Carlos).

WRT Mexefloats - they were used for almost everything to do with loading/offloading ships in Port Stanley in the early days - even pax to and from accommodation ships such as the Norland as none of the port infrastructure could take the traffic. In addition the mexes got everywhere - I think we had one or two over at PSC (which was how the bulldozer got ashore in the first place).
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Old 5th Jan 2014, 18:59
  #137 (permalink)  
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Shackman, thank you for your answer.

As for this precise observation:

I would be very surprised if that was in Yorke Bay - it was heavily mined with both anti tank and anti personnel devices, and it was a good few years before any clearance was carried out. If, however, it was taken on 29 Dec 82 it was of the only 'heavy' digger/dozer the engineers had on the island at the time.
I must tell you I agree with you: that beach had been heavily mined.

Still, the reference I have mentiones Yorke Bay. Since I remember reading about some fast de-mining activity carried oud by RE personal after June 18th around the airstrip and beyond the area, and adding to that the fact that Stanleyīs jetty was no use given the volumes and speed requiered for REīs equipment to be offloaded... well, I just thought that it could all relate.

Thereīs another detail in the picture that makes me think about the Pembroke Peninsula: those two isles in the back. Arenīt they the Toussac Island, just a few houndred meters north of the peninsulaīs shore.

Could it be that the beach was not actually Yorke but the one east of it?



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Hereīs another one of the dozers:



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Cheers!
Christian

.
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Old 16th Jan 2014, 20:36
  #138 (permalink)  
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CAW, re Mexe and unloading kit at Port Stanley

Have a read of this

That Famous Runway at Port Stanley ? Part 3 (Post Conflict) - Think Defence

The kit and construction materials, at least for the interim operating capability, seem to have been offloaded by a combination of Mexeflotes and RLC RCL's at a number of jetties in and around Port Stanley.

For your research, have you got a copy of Edward Fursden's book, picking up the pieces. It is very good

Falklands Aftermath: Picking up the Pieces: Amazon.co.uk: Edward Fursdon: Books Falklands Aftermath: Picking up the Pieces: Amazon.co.uk: Edward Fursdon: Books

Will have a look through some of my other reference materials for you to see if I can add anything to the bulldozer information posted by Shackman

Happy New Year by the way !
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Old 29th Jan 2014, 22:51
  #139 (permalink)  
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ThinkDefense,

Thanks for your answer. Iīve read all of your "papers" on RAF Stanley and those related to the Malvinas War. Iīve been doing a research of my own for some years now and look forward to publish in the near future.

I do not own a copy of the book you mention, but Iīll try to get one. Anyways, if you know of free dowload site, Iīll much appreciate it.

Thanks again.

Christian
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Old 29th Jan 2014, 23:44
  #140 (permalink)  
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CAW, if you look at the Amazon link the book can be had for pennies, then its just postage charges I guess
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