Why was Pebble Island significant to the Argentineans?
‘Pebble Island, just off the north tip of West Falkland, was significant to the Argentineans because of radar installations and the necessity to base close air support and light attack aircraft there to menace any British approach to Falkland Sound from the north. However, with only a handful of T-34C Mentors and a squadron of ill-suited Pucaras available, the strategy was not maximized. Pebble Island was rendered even less useful after the British Special Air Service conducted a raid and destroyed all the aircraft, fuel, and ammunition on the airfield’ 11.
It was misjudged by Argentines junta that the United States would support the cause of invasion and back them up. Galtieri was hoping for assistance and ‘intelligence support’ from the US side which has been denied by president Ronald Reagan 12. This leads to conclude that junta was quite naïve about the politics and internal affairs side of things between the US and Britain. There has been some intelligence provided by the US Land Satellite imagery to Argentina as per the agreement with the NASA 13. This has enabled Argentina to possess satellite imagery of the open seas of the South Atlantic, South Georgia and the Falklands to potentially assist the bombers with targeting the British Task Force. On the other hand, US has provided the same imagery to Britain which indicated that it was a civilian Land Satellite imagery with low-resolution and low intelligence value to both counterparts. The US has played a neutral part on the matter of Falkland Island sovereignty, although they were not so neutral on the use of force by Argentina. Realistically, there was no possibility of Argentina benefiting from the US intelligence whereas public support for Britain was rather high in both Europe and the US 14.
Another issue was the difficult and complex cooperation within the air traffic control system which required multiple departments involved for coordination of air assets of CANA, Army Air Command, and FAA. The first time that CANA and FAS have worked together was on the 30th May on the attack of HMS Invincible.