Argentina recalls Air Force Malvinas’ baptism of fire; promises “utmost respect for Islanders”
Defence Minister Arturo Puricelli assured that the Argentina government will reiterate its claims over the UK militarization at the Malvinas Islands and highlighted the backing of Latin American countries in the struggle fight for sovereignty over the archipelago.
Our country will reiterate the claims accompanied by several countries, especially Latin America, Puricelli assured on the 30th anniversary of the baptism of fire of the Air Force on May first 1982 during the Malvinas Islands war.
Puricelli also said that Argentina has “the utmost respect for the Islanders which continue as hostages and condemned to isolation because of the UK stance”.
During the rally held at the VI Air Brigade at the city of Tandil, the head of the ministry assured that the support of the countries, especially from Latin America, will help Argentina achieve its aim of recovering sovereignty over the Islands, which is important because of its resources.
According to Puricelli, the Malvinas Islands is the only place militarized in South America, since it is a territory “where nuclear weapons can circulate” adding that the “Malvinas cause demand will be sustained as long as necessary and as long as history demands victory”.
Recalling the 1982 South Atlantic war Puricelli said it was “the product of an improvised political and military decision” and admitted that the “Malvinas cause was used by the dictatorship to attempt to save a decadent political process”.
“The (Argentine) Armed Forces were sent to a certain defeat, and the air instrument proved it had transport capacity but not combat force”, said the Minister adding these conclusions were extracted from the recently released Rattenbach report.
“Without any doubt the war was a serious retreat in our sovereignty rights over the Islands” said Puricelli.
Brigadier Normando Constantino, Air Force Chief of staff said that in the Malvinas war the “technological and numerical misbalance with the English was compensated with the professionalism and courage of the Air Force personnel”, adding that in the original plan it was not anticipated a combat situation for the Air Force. He later paid tribute to the fifty five members of the Air Force who lost their lives in the conflict.
Minister Puricelli was accompanied at the ceremony by Argentina’s top military commands together with lawmakers; members of the Judiciary branch as well as Malvinas veterans and Malvinas families’ relatives.
Tuesday’s commemoration remembers Argentina’s Air Force baptism of fire when the first air strike against the British Task Force sent to recover the Falklands. A total of 57 sorties and dropping 20 tons of bombs were completed on that first day in 1982.
This is a special month and year also because the Argentine Air Force is celebrating its 100th anniversary.