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Falkland Islands

goto the Garrison Website Please Note: The Falkland Islands Army Garrison the now has its own web site.
It provides insight into life on the Islands for both Soldiers and their dependants.

The Falkland Islands are a UK Overseas Territory situated in the South Atlantic, some 350 miles north east of Cape Horn. They consist of about 700 islands, mostly uninhabited, with the main settlements on the two largest islands, East and West Falkland.

The Falkland Islands have been in continuous British occupation since 1833. Captain John Strong, who gave the islands their English name, made the first known landing in 1690. South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands were once Dependencies of the Falkland Islands. They were formed into a separate dependent territory in October 1985.

Argentina disputes the British claim to sovereignty over the islands. The country bases its claim to the Falklands (or the 'Malvinas' as they are known in Argentina) on the grounds that it succeeded to rights claimed by Spain in the eighteenth century. The British Government however has no doubts as to their British sovereignty, as Britain has continuously administered the islands since 1833 and the population consider themselves to be entirely British.

Falklands Conflict

In March 1982, Argentinean scrap metal merchants landed on the Falkland Islands' dependency of South Georgia and raised the Argentinean flag. This was followed by an invasion of the Falkland Islands themselves on 2 April 1982. The United Nation's Security Council condemned the invasion.

The United Kingdom reacted by sending a Task Force to the South Atlantic and imposing a naval and air blockade on the large Argentinean garrison on the Falkland Islands. South Georgia was recaptured, and a large logistics and staging post was set up on Ascension Island to support the Task Force.

Then on 21 May 1982, British troops landed at Port San Carlos and began to move towards Port Stanley. Our troops won a significant battle at Goose Green, which laid the foundation for the victory that was to come. After an intense air and artillery barrage and the capture of dominant mountain ridges around Port Stanley, the Argentinean Commander on the Falkland Islands surrendered all his forces on 14 June 1982.

After the 1982 conflict, the United Kingdom established a garrison on the Falkland Islands, consisting of naval, land and air elements. The role of the British Forces on the Falkland Islands today is to defend the Islands against an attack by an aggressor and to provide any military aid to the civil authorities.

In May 1985, HRH Prince Andrew opened the Mount Pleasant Airport, just 30 miles away from Port Stanley. The completion of the airport complex has allowed the number of troops stationed on the Islands to be reduced to a more economical, but still secure level. Now, should the need ever arise, reinforcement troops can be flown in speedily and directly.

About 500 Army personnel are currently stationed on the Falkland Islands. They work within the following groups: an Infantry Company Group, an Engineer Squadron, a Signals Unit, a Logistics Group and Supporting Services. Over the years, the British forces have completed extensive reconstruction work. Further tasks of road building and clearing the Islands of munitions and debris have also been undertaken.

The Falklands conflict was a major victory for the British Forces and enhanced the standing of our forces around the world. It took tremendous resolve and ability to fight a conflict so far away from friendly soil, especially against such huge odds, in a very demanding environment. The efforts of the forces involved are remembered with great pride.