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Ascension Island Staging for Operation Corporate

Unit/ Formation: 3 Cdo Brigade RM

Location: Ascension Island

Period/ Conflict: The Falklands War

Year: 1982

Date/s: 6 April 1982

Naval Party 1222, intended for the island’s defence, arrival at Ascension. 3,700 nm from Britain and 3,300 nm from the Falklands, Ascension was vital to the success of the Task Force. The Amphibious Task Group with 3 Cdo Bde used Ascention to prepare for the coming landings.

troop transport Canberra arrived the week of the 19th April with transport Elk and five Landing Ship Logistics (LSL) carrying most of 3 Commando Brigade

In the case of the troops, only limited preparation was possible as there was no room for large scale manouevres other than marching, although they were able to train on the rapidly constructed firing ranges and practice disembarking from the troopships by helicopter and landing craft. More importantly, the opportunity was taken for the hastily loaded ships to re-distribute some of their stores to other ships, to receive much needed supplies from the UK, and where possible to "combat load" for an amphibious landing.

HQ Coy, 40 Cdo mainly MT Troop and Provost Section Yomping on Ascension Island

Much of the necessary "cross decking" was carried out by the helicopters with their vertical replenishment capabilities, but also taking part were the Navy landing craft, Royal Corps of Transport Mexeflotes and locally hired lighters. In all this movement there were major logistical problems.

LCU Foxtrot 4 (Landing Craft Utility) one of 4 from LPD (Landing Platform Dock) HMS Fearless, moving supplies or taking part in landing exercises, presumably in English Bay. (F4 was lost during the Falklands Conflict)

Wideawake had one runway and limited dispersal areas and helicopters could only land there because of the volcanic dust, there was no port, and the one jetty was three miles away and not always useable because of the Atlantic waves.

Read More/ Web Link: Navy History Net

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