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Military of the Falkland Islands

Military of the Falkland Islands
The British joint-forces flag used in the Falklands
Military unit
Unit nameBritish Forces South Atlantic Islands
AllegianceUnited Kingdom
BranchJoint Service (Royal Navy, British Army, Royal Air Force)
Part ofMinistry of Defence
Commanders
Commander British Forces South Atlantic IslandsCommodore Phillip Thicknesse
Aircraft flown
InterceptorEurofighter Typhoon
TransportHercules C3, VC10, Sea King

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The Falkland Islands are an overseas territory of the United Kingdom and, as such, rely on the UK for guarantee of their security. The other UK territories in the South Atlantic, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, fall under the protection of the British forces on the Falklands (also known as British Forces Falkland Islands or British Forces South Atlantic Islands), which includes commitments from the British Army, Royal Air Force and Royal Navy. They are headed by the Commander of the British Forces South Atlantic Islands (CBFSAI).

The maintenance of only a token military force before the Falklands War, and the suggestion that HMS Endurance was to be withdrawn, persuaded Argentina to start that conflict, assuming that Britain would not respond or be easily able to recapture the islands. Following the reclamation of the territory in 1982, the UK invested heavily in the defence of the islands, the centrepiece of which is the new airfield at RAF Mount Pleasant, 27 mi (43.5 km) west of Stanley. The base was opened in 1985, and became fully operational in 1986.


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