It’s not only the Falkland Islands that are being protected by the military presence in the South Atlantic, according to the man in charge at Mount Pleasant base.
‘My mission is to deter any military aggression to these islands or the other South Atlantic overseas territories,’ said Brigadier Bill Aldridge, Commander of British Forces in the Falklands. ‘I’ve got the capabilities to do that.’
It was actually on South Georgia, a separate territory, that the Argentinian flag was first raised in the conflict of 1982.
St Helena and Tristan da Cunha have not faced any serious military threat since Napoleon died in 1821 – notwithstanding the sinking of the Darkdale in James Bay during World War Two.
Brigadier Aldridge was interviewed in a BBC report about the arrival of Prince William in the Falklands.
A press statement issued by the UK Ministry of Defence today (6 February) says the islands will provide Flight Lieutenant Wales with important training as a search-and-rescue (SAR) pilot:
‘The experience they get here is second-to-none,’ says his commanding officer, Squadron Leader Miles Bartlett. ‘It is a challenging and varied job providing an essential capability to the military and the Falkland Islands population.’
Changeable weather on the island provide challenging conditions, said the MoD. Tasks for Flt Lt Wales can include rescuing fishermen from trawlers, taking seriously ill patients to hospital, putting out peat fires or dropping off vital supplies to isolated areas.
Prince William will not perform any royal duties during his six-week South Atlantic tour.