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1982 Falkland Conflict Operational Logistics And Command And Control

2126 words - 9 pages

The Falklands conflict began on Friday, 02 April 1982, when roughly 500 Argentinean special forces landed at Mullet Creek on East Falkland Island. Under Operation Rosario, Argentina advanced on the Government House at Port Stanley against an unorganized garrison of British Royal Marines stationed on the island. Little opposition was encountered and the Argentinean Junta quickly assumed control. On the same day, Brigadier General Mario Menendez was appointed governor of the islands and Port Stanley was immediately renamed Puerto Argentino. Argentina expected at this point that the British would cede sovereignty over the islands through negotiations and with little or no armed conflict. Argentina had been claiming the Falkland Islands, or Las Islas Malvinas as they call them, since 1833. However, the United Kingdom responded differently with Britain's UN ambassador Sir Anthony Parsons sending a draft resolution to the Security Council condemning the hostilities and demanding immediate Argentine withdrawal from the Islands. Upon rejection of British demands, the British government announced the islands would be retaken by force and began their largest mobilization of British forces since World War II. Since the Argentinean government expected Britain to cede sovereignty of the islands with little or no conflict, no response planning had been performed or preparations made to extensively defend the islands by force. Argentina was obliged to hastily prepare for war with a British task force expecting to arrive within three to four weeks seeking to reclaim the Falkland Islands. This was to be Argentina's first war in almost 120 years. This paper will discuss the command and control structure of both the Argentine and British forces in addition to the operational logistics that occurred during the conflict asserting certain failures in both and correlating these assertions with the operational factors of time, space and force.
A professional military staff organized in a complicated command arrangement led the Argentinean Junta combat operation. In addition, they commanded a poorly trained and inexperienced combatant force. A theater command, the South Atlantic Theater of Operations (TAOS), was established under Vice Admiral Juan Lombardo to command Argentine naval units and the Falklands garrison. Subordinate to Admiral Lombardo, Brigadier General Benjamin Menendez commanded all Argentine army, air force, and navy units. The Fuerza Aerea Sur (FAS), or Southern Air Force, was established under the command of the air force Brigadier General Ernesto Horacio Crespo. The FAS was outside the authority of the theater commander and reported directly to the Argentine Junta.
The command structure, lacking a sole theater commander over all forces in the Area of Operations (AO), proved ineffective at strategic planning and joint operations. In a 1994 article in Joint Forces Quarterly, Robert L. Scheina,...

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