San Carlos Harrier FOB - 1982

Discussion in 'Sappers' started by meridian, Apr 14, 2012.

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  1. meridian

    meridian LE Good Egg (charities)

    Doing a spot of reading about the Harrier FOB at San Carlos in 1982, it seems to be it is an under appreciated bit of combat engineering and I want to find out more :)

    Does anyone know of any books or places online where more information can be found; what Sqn built it, kit used, how they did it with most of the gear on the bottom of the sea with the Atlantic Conveyor, operational impacts, x marks the spot on a map, all that kind of thing.

    Fascinating subject and one which not many people seem to know about
  2. Taken from the London Gazette ( )

    Whilst 5th Infantry Brigade moved forward in the south, other elements of the Task Force were fully employed. On land a build up of stores and ammunition in preparation for the final battles took place. This included the construction of a Harrier Forward Operating Base at Port San Carlos by 11 and 59 Squadrons of the Royal Engineers

    The Corps museum at Brompton would probably be able to shed some light on the subject though; hope this helps.

    Also this book has some info: "Sea Harrier over the Falklands" by "Sharkey" Ward (who commanded 801 NAS FAA during the 1982 conflict):
  3. They could have screwed it down properly:)
  4. 011.jpg

    Not the best of pictures, but this is a painting by Terrence Cuneo.

    It shows sappers at San Carls building the FOB and EBFI bunding.
    Built by 11Fd Sqn, it shows a CET digging out sites for the EBFI bladders.

    The necessary equipment for the task went down on the Atlantic Conveyor, however sufficient trackway had been loaded seperately to enable the site to still be constructed, all be it on a slightly smaller scale than anticipated.
  5. Where was the mouse on that painting?
    I've forgotten. I've always loved this particular piece as it catches so much of what we are about: building things to get the job done!

    Great, I'm all happy now. Time for a beer.
  6. If I remember correctly it is running along the pipe nearest to the front of the picture.
  7. I think the mouse has just been eaten by the guy from 9 Sqn.

    It just demonstrates the reversal in Sqn roles.
    In '82 11 Sqn were spearheading the Engineer role in Harrier FOB and support.
    In '88 when I went down, my section from Sp tp 48 Sqn(C) were attached to them because they didn't have any idea about ADR and air support etc.
  8. Yep, you're right. I think..
    Liked the way he managed to cram in the three beret colours in the foreground: blue, green & maroon.
  9. meridian

    meridian LE Good Egg (charities)

    thanks all, did they use class 30 then, PSP, AM2 or something else?

    Does anyone know where exactly on a map it was as well?
  10. As fas as I can remember, PSP.

    Map I can (poss) look up, wait out.
  11. Will PSP take the weight of a laden Harrier?
  12. meridian

    meridian LE Good Egg (charities)

    Doesnt PSP need pinning and AM2 not, the bits I read said that all the AM2 was on the ACO.

    Where I am going with this is to try and understand the impact on the wider operation of only being able to create an austere FOB, the proper gear being on the Atlantic Conveyor. Thus Sea Harrier and GR3 operations were curtailed and/or still having to be largely conducted off the carriers. If the FOB had been established earlier and with the full set up, would the Sea Harrier CAP, for example, been able to operate over San Carlos or Bluff Cove with much greater time on station and therefore been able to prevent some of the shipping casualties and resultant significant loss of life, especially Bluff Cove

    Kind of brings the current F35B/F35C debate into a bit of focus as well
  13. Would a modern 5gen fighter like an F35b take kindly to those sort of primative conditions? Id say not. With the longer legs a F35C would have would it be needed?
  14. The picture I posted shows the harriers in normal take off. If planking stores had been in that short supply could they not have just operated VTOL? After all they were in fighter CAP mode not overload with stores for ground attack.

    Bluff cove happened a lot later after San Carlos was fully established. The idea was a second landing to march on Stanley from a closer FUP, due to the loss of Chinooks.
  15. As far as I remember from the stories, there was (then!) no AM2 matting at PSC. AM2 turned up later, extending Stanley airport? Recall guys whinging about that lovely stuff, PSP, bloody useless as a roadway and buggar all use for a Harrier, I should imagine. (see post in Naafi bar, Harrier FOD trench tread)