On This Day…
2nd April 1982 – Argentina invades the Falkland Islands
On 2 April 1982 Argentina invaded the Falkland Islands. A Naval Task Force with 3 Commando Brigade Royal Marines and 3 Para, the Spearhead battalion, was assembled. This was OP CORPORATE.
The conflict was to provide a severe test of the Royal Signals’ versatility. The Corps needed to ensure that there were sound communications in the UK between the various HQs, ports, airfields, logistics depots and the forward operating base in Ascension Island, 4,000 miles away.
The Royal Marines largely delivered their own communications, but the Corps needed to set up communications for a new divisional HQ, for a new 5th Infantry Brigade and rear links 8,000 miles back to the UK. A signal troop of two officers and 61 men, commanded by Maj Keith Butler, was formed for HMS Fearless, the command ship for land operations. They ran radio nets and the Land Forces COMMCEN, provided four vehicle-borne rebro detachments and a three-vehicle divisional tactical HQ. The Divisional HQ met for the first time at Ascension Island en route to the Falklands.
600 members of the Corps took part in OP CORPORATE, approximately 500 were on the Falklands during the campaign, and eight were killed.
We will remember them Certa Cito.