A Royal Air Force C130 Hercules transport aircraft has landed at
This is the first military flight to touch down on the new airstrip, the
eighteenth aircraft to call since the airport was finished in September 2015;
and it flew south from the RAF base on St Helena Airport Ascension Island.
The St Helena Government has released a brief statement, see: http://www.sainthelena.gov.sh/c130j-hercules-aircraft-to-arrive-this-sunday/.
It is no secret that the airport on the remote island will be used for defence
purposes. The United Kingdom
goes to a lot of effort to protect its overseas territories in the south Atlantic
region which are all over it. There is St Helena and its
neighbours, the British Antarctic Territory and the
Falkland Island Dependency. There is no doubt that the airport on St Helena
will be taken into account by those planning the perennial strategy to protect
the Falkland Islands from Argentina following its invasion and occupation of
the islands in 1982, ended by the Falklands conflict. The RAF were on a
research and development mission this time, but active maritime aerial patrols
will eventually come and go from St Helena. The situation with the Falkland
Islands is a strange one which I've covered before. I suspect
British enthusiasm for its distant outpost has little to do with any
sentimentality over the rights and desires of the Falklander people. It is more
likely motivated by a concern over natural resources or even the activity of
extraterrestrials, see: http://hpanwo-tv.blogspot.co.uk/2016/09/jack-of-antarctic-rip.html,
Interestingly the following blog post about the military landing written by a St
Helena resident mentions that there are "conspiracy theorists"
on the island. They say: "The sight
of such an iconic aircraft on St Helena will
no doubt be fuel for the military conspiracy theorists. I remember first
hearing opinions voiced at local public information meetings ten years ago that
this airport was being built for the military..." See: https://whatthesaintsdidnext.com/2016/12/18/raf-c-130-hercules-first-military-flight-lands-at-st-helena-airport/. Interestingly the crew of the Hercules
aircraft have been told not to speak to the media while they're on St
Helena. This means elements of their mission are classified.
See here for additional background: http://hpanwo-radio.blogspot.co.uk/2016/11/programme-212-podcast-st-helena-airport.html.