HMS Protector has visited Buenos Aires, the capital city of Argentina, in a sign that relations between the UK and Argentina are warming.

The loss of the submarine San Juan accelerated previously planned strengthening of relationships between the Armed Forces of the UK and Argentina. This is the second visit by HMS Protector this year.

Before this year, the last time a Royal Navy vessel visited the country was 2004.


When the San Juan went missing, Britain moved to support Argentina using its forces based in the Falklands. HMS Protector was sent to help the Argentine effort.

One Royal Air Force C-130 Hercules present in the islands was also placed at Argentine disposal, and one RAF Voyager based in Oxfordshire landed in Comodoro Rivadavia, on the 22nd of November; this landing was the first of a British military aircraft to do so in Argentina since 1982. Besides that, specialists from the British Submarine Parachute Assistance Group, regarded as an elite unit, were deployed to advise its Argentine counterparts.

Sadly however, Argentine law maker Gabriel Solano tweeted ‘F*** you!’ and described the crew of HMS Protector, at the time searching for the missing Argentine submarine, as pirates.

Gabriel Solano of the Argentina’s Workers’ Party cited the announcement of support in the search for the ARA San Juan by the British Embassy and made a controversial comment:

“They are occupation troops of the Argentine territory “

Argentinian users however reminded him that the ship is an icebreaker, whose purpose is to help in the discovery of the submarine. Many others appeared to criticise the politician for what was described as a “disgusting” tweet.

40 COMMENTS

  1. Shame we can’t afford something bigger. Not something say as large as the JMSDF AGB Shirase (though it would be nice) just something bigger.

  2. What no pitchforks, torches, and screaming mobs? After all it’s COMMON knowledge that the San Juan hit a British mine. I’m surprised that the Argentine government hasn’t tried to impound the vessel…

    Dripping sarcasm off… My sympathies still lie with the crew and family of the San Juan.

    Cheers!

    • It’s very sad. Hopefully them finding the submarine will bring some sort of comfort to the families as we approach Christmas. 🙁

    • I read some comments from many Argentinian people on the HMS Protector twitter page and they where overwhelming in their appreciation of British efforts to help find the submarine when the tragedy happened and very welcoming of the crew.

    • British mine 800+ miles away from her last known position and very much further South and West then she was supposed to be. Something odd going on there.

  3. Anyone know what’s happened with the routine deployment of a frigate or destroyer alongside hm S Clyde at the Falklands? Any announcements regarding this? Cheers

    • It happens when a ship is available, but given the general lack of escorts available, deploying a proper warship to deter a non-existent threat when the island already has adequate other defences isn’t seen as a priority

  4. Unfortunately, one or two comments above need to be deleted. I welcome the improvement in relations between Britain and Argentina. Long may this continue.

  5. I for one hope that this is the beginning of a rapprochement between us. There are bigger, badder issues out there than the Falklands and while I would never want to belittle the sacrifice of our service personnel, or in generally to call into question the validity of our response to their actions in 1982, I do feel that the time has come for a reassessment of our position.

    It’s right to adhere to the principle that the islanders should have the final say on their nationality but we can and should act to take the emotion out of the debate to allow some new thinking to at least be heard.

    What would eg be wrong with a resource sharing agreement together with (if we really still wanted to) a Cyprus-style SBA arrangement in years to come? It is surely doable. Internet wisdom puts the cost of our garrison at around 60-70 mil a year and my gut feel says that’s on the low side. Even if that’s a realistic number – or even half of it is – is it really worth it? What strategic benefit do we derive? What risk do we mitigate? What option do we keep open? In tough times, what else could the money be spent on? What are the economic regrets for maintaining a hard line?

    • Do you know which South American country has the biggest UK embassy? For about 95% of Argentinians the Falklands isn’t an issue.

      Why should we hand over territory that has never been their’s just because they stamp their feet a little? They will still butchering indigenous peoples 30 years after our colony had been founded on islands that have never had any human settlement. Geographic proximity is no argument for ownership. Especially when those claiming ownership are colonialists too.

      South America should be a continent to rival Europe and North America. You have ask to, why is it pretty much a hole from the Rio Grande to Tierra Del Fuego?

      The Falklands is useful for a couple of reasons. It supports our claims to the Antarctic. And in a shrinking and ever changing world gives us port and basing facilities. Plus the EEZ. Never mind that the Islanders are probably more British in their outlook than most of the people here at ‘home’.

    • You don’t live there. Only a local will appreciate what it means to have an eternally belligerent neighbour. I do t pretend to know what it was like during the war. But I am from Gibraltar. As a proudly British national, there is no hardship I would be unwilling to go through to maintain British sovereignty, jurisdiction and control of my homeland. In both Gibraltar and the Falklands the neighbour is a bully. You cannot share with a bully. The bully takes what he can and the more you give the more he takes. Therefore there cannot be sharing of resources. All you can do is keep.things civil and respectful and agree to disagree. But you must always remember that a leopard will never change his spots. At least that is my experience and the experience of 314 years of history of having a belligerent bully for a neighbour.

    • Money should never be an object when safeguarding the freedoms of the citizens of a nation.

      The Falkland Islanders have voiced their opinions several times. They wish to remain British Citizens and a British Overseas Territory – something which the Islanders have clearly demonstrated in recent years. Until their opinion changes I.E: a desire for shared sovereignty or independence, it is only right that we continue to maintain their wishes. The UK government should not try and negotiate or act on their behalf without their consent.

      A similar issue arose with Gib’ in the early 2000s. The Labour government thought they were speaking for the people in discussing shared sovereignty. In fact, they were doing the exact opposite.

      The remaining UK possessions are of critical strategic importance – not just for the military, but also research, foreign relations, and many boast rich EEZ. Our military presence in the Falklands was of great help to the Argentines during the hunt for the submarine, even if a few of their politicians thought otherwise. However, we should be investing in these territories with a vengeance, not bowing to the demands of a few political wombles in select countries.

    • OOA-if we reduce our relationship with our fellow Britons to one that must be justified solely on a cost-benefit analysis then maybe we should be ceding some of the outlying Scottish islands to surrounding Scandinavian countries, Northern Ireland to the Republic, and perhaps Hastings and the surrounding countryside to the descendants of Normans across the water in France? Strategic, political,historical,economic,ethical and kinship reasons apart, your suggestion to hand the Falklanders to Gabriel”F*** You” Soland, makes perfect sense!!!

      • Exactly Geoff.

        Personally, as a Scandinavian I’d like to reclaim Cumbria and a bit of Yorkshire.

        Sure the costs of denying me my right isn’t worth the costs, no matter how the few million people living there feel about it.

      • I agree with you that it’s not all about money and tried to make the primacy of the vote clear in my point. Said another way, what I was trying to argue was that I hope this port visit Marks a gradual return to a sensible debate. It’s clear that this is a long way off given comments like Steven’s but if we could normalise our relationship with Argentina on this issue, there may in time be some interest from the islanders – perhaps in future generations – on more co-operation, perhaps even shared governance. I say again, I’m not advocating ditching the principle of self-determinatio – more a hope of a gradual return to the situation in the years before the conflict when there was a window of opportunity to settle this without the cost of over a thousand lives and untold cost.

        As for the points above regarding strategic presence, fair enough but there are other ways to achieve this eg. most would agree the SBAs in Cyprus are hugely beneficial to us and they coexist in a sovereign state..

        • The sensible debate is that the Falklands have never been Argentinian… The only reason they ever bring it up is when their politicians need to deflect attention away from some domestic issue.

          I welcome the warming relations. It is beneficial for both of our countries to be friends and Argentina is a beautiful place.

        • Thanks for your comments. I would love it if relations between the two countries could be normalised but it would seem to me that this would only happen if, either the Argentinians dropped their claim to the Islands and ceased the brainwashing of their people in this regard, or the British suddenly decide one day to walk away. I think neither of these options are realistic or likely.
          Regards

  6. We need a bigger more capable ice breaker. One with a helicopter hangar and bigger ice braking capabilty. Even Sir David doesn’t even have a helicopter hangar..!! Shocking!

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