Falklands : Security Issues lead to Impromptu Exercise
Submitted by Falkland Islands News Network (Juanita Brock) 21.04.2010 (Article Archived on 05.05.2010)
Party-goers and those in pubs on Saturday night became alarmed when they saw nurses, doctors, security personnel, FIDF members and Policemen and women departing to go to work.
SECURITY ISSUES LEAD TO IMPROMPTU EXERCISE
By J. Brock (FINN)
Party-goers and those in pubs on Saturday night became alarmed when they saw nurses, doctors, security personnel, FIDF members and Policemen and women departing to go to work. Indeed, rumors began to fly on Sunday morning that a group of small boats from Argentina had caused trouble around the Ocean Guardian rig. This caused a considerable amount of work and very few answers until the Chief Executive, Mr Tim Thorogood released a statement saying that on Saturday evening FIG’s patrol vessel Protegat made radar contact with what appeared to be some unidentified vessels to the North-West of the Islands.
He went on to say that although the contacts were not confirmed, it was possible that security issues in relation to the oil rig might arise and accordingly established procedures were initiated as a precaution.
Those involved included not only some deployment of military assets but also implementation of FIG’s own arrangements which centre on operating Silver Command (which co-ordinates FIG resources in any major incident). Accordingly FIG staff was requested to attend Silver Command. Silver command was used last year during operation “Silver Teal” when a scenario about a large number of casualties was acted out.But not to fear - it soon became clear that the radar contacts were simply anomalies and so staff were stood down after an hour or so. There is no evidence that any security or other threat existed and the reaction was simply precautionary,” he said. “ It was a useful exercise of FIG’s procedures.”