Military of the Falkland Islands

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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.[2] They are headed by the Commander of the British Forces South Atlantic Islands (CBFSAI).[3]

The maintenance of only a token military force before the Falklands War, and the suggestion that HMS Endurance (A171) was to be withdrawn, persuaded Argentina to start that conflict, assuming that Britain would not respond or be easily able to recapture the islands.[4] Following the reclamation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 miles (43 km) west of Stanley.[5] The base was opened in 1985, and became fully operational in 1986.[6]


Falkland Islands Defence Force

The Falkland Islands maintains its own part-time volunteer force, the Falkland Islands Defence Force (FIDF), previously known as the Falkland Islands Volunteer Corps. Although this unit existed in 1982 as a reinforcement for the Governor's detachment of Royal Marines, it did not play any part in the main conflict during the war of 1982, its members having spent the duration of the hostilities under house arrest by the Argentines after their surrender on Argentine capture of the islands.[7][8][9]

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