What are the main three components of Argentines air assets?
There were three components to Argentines air assets, Army Air Command which operated troop-lift and tactical helicopters from the Island, CANA which was mostly operating on the airfields of mainland and FAS (Fuerza Aérea Sur) or Southern Air Force who were responsible for controlling the air war in the South Atlantic 4. The mission of FAS was to attack the British Fleet simply. It’s argued that at the time it was quite a well-trained and a capable air force commanded by Brigadier-General Crespo. Along with Chile’s, it was one of the best air forces in South America at the time 5. All the Navy, Army and Air Force components deployed were under the command of BGen Mendez who was reporting to Vice-Admiral Lombardo, Crespo was under directions to report straight to the Argentinian junta. It was his role to coordinate the operations with Mendez, but the system of command and control was very confusing and unclear as Argentinian air assets on the island were controlled by Mendez 6.
There was only one hard runway in Falkland Island that could be used, and that was located at Port Stanley. It was good enough for transport helicopters and turboprop aircraft; it would not be able to accommodate military strike aircraft or civilian jets7. It would have been smart for Galtieri to look at extending and hardening the runway for forwarding deployment of Argentina’s Daggers and Skyhawk fighter jets.
‘The Skyhawks belonged operationally to the Commando Aviación Naval Argentina; the Daggers, Israeli versions of the Mirage V fighters, belonged to the FAA’ 8.
Also, the only airlifting capability Argentina has possessed at the time was a small number of Fokker F-27 transport planes and seven C-130 Hercules turboprop aircraft which could land on runways such as one at Port Stanley 9. All the transport capability was used to lift forces to the island, which limited Argentina’s ability to airlift support assets such as vehicles and artillery to the Island. Bad management of the limited airlift capability decreased the efficiency of Argentines Island defense capability as well as its potential firepower except for a small airfield on Pebble Island10.