While in Tierra del Fuego Argentine defense minister Jorge Taiana participated with Malvinas War Veterans of the commemoration of the 40th anniversary of the joint operation attack on the Royal Navy's carrier, HMS Invincible, while again condemning UK for the illegitimate occupation of the Falklands/Malvinas Islands.
The permanence of the illegitimate occupation since 1833 of our Malvinas Islands by once the mighty powerful British Empire, and which it attempts to retain in the XXI century, is none other than a colonial attitude totally unacceptable, Taiana pointed out in his speech in Rio Grande.
It is most important to remember and honor the fallen, in this case pilots Jose Daniel Vásquez and Omar Jesus Castillo, fallen in complying with their duty in a very risky mission where nonetheless they showed their valor, courage, professional commitment and love for the motherland
We commemorate and pay tribute to the heroes alive that participated in that same joint mission, and who are here now with us, Veterans Ernesto Ureta and Gerardo Guillermo Isaac. They managed to return alive and are an example of heroism. Argentina not only has 649 heroes, those who made the utmost sacrifice, but also the living heroes and an example of all those who fought for the defense of the Argentine sovereignty of our Malvinas
Taiana then pointed out to the significance of joint operations and coordination of the armed forces. Forty years ago the significance of joint operations by different services was less visible. However nowadays, in the world and in Argentina, we are convinced that a central element to increase our defense capacity, our dissuasion capacity and quick reaction is the joint involvement of all services of the armed forces.
He added, we are now strengthening the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and that is why we are in Tierra del Fuego with an integrated effort, a homage to that joint attack mission implemented forty years ago. That is why we are deploying modern radars which are part of a program to better monitor and control our aerospace:
Taiana anticipated that the next step is for the Argentine Army to establish a permanent garrison and presence in Tierra del Fuego, and continuing to work at the Integrated naval base to ensure the province has a joint active development, firm and most aware of the strategic position that it occupies in the South Atlantic facing the usurped Islands, and connected to Antarctica. It is the crucial bridge to make Argentina bi-continental, belonging to two continents, which is how we must think in this XXI century”.
The Argentine joint attack on HMS Invincible, according to Argentine sources occurred on the 30th May 1982 with two Super Etendard from the naval air force, taking off with the support of four A4C Sky hawks from the Air Force. HMS Invincible had been detected sailing some 100 miles southeast of Stanley.
The Navy aircrafts were loaded with the last Exocet missile AM-39, and the Air Force joined with the four A4C, stationed in San Julian, with three 250 pounds bombs each.
At 14:30 of May 30th, and at a distance of 20 miles the missile was launched, and the two fighter bombers returned to their base in Rio Grande, while the A4C continued with the bombs attack. Argentine Air Force insist the carrier was struck by the Exocet missile, but two pilots lost their lives after dropping their bombs, their aircraft hit by HMS Invincible defenses.
Britain and the Task Force never acknowledged that HMS Invincible was struck by a missile or that the bombs caused much damage.