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Unit History


Grupo 3 de Ataque

 

Role: Attack.


The unit was formed in 1981 with two Escuadrónes Operativos of 29 Pucarás and one Escuadrilla de Servicios, when Escuadrón I de Ataque was disbanded. The same year G3A got six new aircraft (A-549,A-550,A-552,A-553,A-555,A-556).

 

During the Falklands War the unit operated two Escuadrónes Aeromóviles, the Escuadrón Aeromóvil Pucará Malvinas, which operated on the Falkland Islands and Escuadrón I.A.58 Pucará, which operated from BAM Santa Cruz.

 

After the war the group received fourteen new aircraft (A-560,A-562-A-564,A-567-A-575,A-577,A-578) in 1982. In 1983 six Pucará (A-576,A-579-A-583) joint the unit. In 1986 28 aircraft were assigned to this unit and Escuadrón I Operativo was disbanded in 1987. A-565 and A-566 from Escuadrón IV de Ataque joint the unit in 12.1990, while the rest of the disbanded unit (A-551,A-557,A-558,A-568,A-569,A-574,A-580) moved to BAM Reconquista during the following months. During 1991 eight new I.A. 58A Pucará (A-585,A-588,A-589,A-591-A-593,A-596,A-598) became available. In 1992 three more aircraft (A-594,A-597,A-599) joint the unit. The last two new Pucarás became available in 1996 (A-604) and 1997 (A-595).

 

Escuadrón I Operativo

Role: Attack.

The unit was formed in 1981 and disbanded in 1987.

Aircraft Used:
Type Qty Service Example Serials
FMA I.A. 58A Pucará 26 1981 - 1986

A-501,A-502,A-506,A-511-A-518,A-520,

A-522-A-524,A-526-A-529,A-531-A-534,

A-536-A-538

FMA I.A. 58A Pucará 6 1981 - 1986

A-549,A-550,A-552,A-553,A-555,A-556

FMA I.A. 58A Pucará 14 1982 - 1986

A-560,A-562-A-564,A-567-A-575,A-577,

A-578

FMA I.A. 58A Pucará 6 1983 - 1986 A-576,A-579-A-583

 

 

Escuadrón II Operativo

Role: Attack.

The unit was formed in 1981.

Aircraft Used:
Type Qty Service Example Serials
FMA I.A. 58A Pucará 26 1981 - 1986

A-501,A-502,A-506,A-511-A-518,A-520,

A-522-A-524,A-526-A-529,A-531-A-534,

A-536-A-538

FMA I.A. 58A Pucará 6 1981 - 1986

A-549,A-550,A-552,A-553,A-555,A-556

FMA I.A. 58A Pucará 14 1982 - 1986

A-560,A-562-A-564,A-567-A-575,A-577,

A-578

FMA I.A. 58A Pucará 6 1983 - 1986 A-576,A-579-A-583
FMA I.A. 58A Pucará 28 1986 - 2002

A-501,A-505,A-510,A-512,A-518,A-524,

A-530,A-534,A-538,A-550,A-562-A-564,

A-567,A-568,A-571,A-572,A-575-A-583,

AX-04,AX-06

FMA I.A. 58A Pucará 22 1991 - 2002

A-551,A-557,A-558,A-565,A-566,A-568,

A-569,A-574,A-580,A-585,A-588,A-589,

A-591-A-599,A-604

FMA I.A. 58A Pucará 28 2002 - Present

A-512,A-518,A-551,A-557,A-558,A-563,

A-565,A-566-A-569,A-571,A-572,A-574,

A-575,A-583,A-585,A-588,A-589,

A-591-A-599

FMA I.A. 58D Pucará 6 2002 - Present

A-504(2),A-524,A-534,A-577,A-580,A-582

 

Escuadrón III Operativo

Role: Attack.

No unit history known.

Aircraft Used:
Type Qty Service Example Serials
FMA I.A. 58A Pucará 26 1981 - 1986

A-501,A-502,A-506,A-511-A-518,A-520,

A-522-A-524,A-526-A-529,A-531-A-534,

A-536-A-538

FMA I.A. 58A Pucará 6 1981 - 1986

A-549,A-550,A-552,A-553,A-555,A-556

FMA I.A. 58A Pucará 14 1982 - 1986

A-560,A-562-A-564,A-567-A-575,A-577,

A-578

FMA I.A. 58A Pucará 6 1983 - 1986 A-576,A-579-A-583
FMA I.A. 58A Pucará 28 1986 - 2002

A-501,A-505,A-510,A-512,A-518,A-524,

A-530,A-534,A-538,A-550,A-562-A-564,

A-567,A-568,A-571,A-572,A-575-A-583,

AX-04,AX-06

FMA I.A. 58A Pucará 22 1991 - 2002

A-551,A-557,A-558,A-565,A-566,A-568,

A-569,A-574,A-580,A-585,A-588,A-589,

A-591-A-599,A-604

FMA I.A. 58A Pucará 28 2002 - Present

A-512,A-518,A-551,A-557,A-558,A-563,

A-565,A-566-A-569,A-571,A-572,A-574,

A-575,A-583,A-585,A-588,A-589,

A-591-A-599

FMA I.A. 58D Pucará 6 2002 - Present

A-504(2),A-524,A-534,A-577,A-580,A-582

 

Escuadrilla de Servicios

Role: Transport/Liaison.

No unit history known.

Aircraft Used:
Type Qty Service Example Serials
Hughes 500 (369HE/HM) 2 1981 - 1998 H-20, H-23
FMA-Cessna A.182N 2 1981 - Present

PG-373, PG-374

Aero Commander 500U Shrike Commander 1 1981 - Present

T-139

FMA I.A. 50 Guarani II 1 1981 - 1990

T-119

 

Escuadrón Aeromóvil Pucará Malvinas

Role: Attack.

Escuadrón Aeromóvil Pucará was activated at the start of the Falklands War on 31.3.1982 and moved with three aircraft (A-523,A-552,A-556) on 2.4.1982 to the recently established Base Aérea Militar Malvinas at Port Stanley IAP at the Falkland Islands. Two aircraft joint the unit the same day (A-529,A-532). Because of the shortage of the runways of BAM Malvinas, the base could not operate A-4 Skyhawk, Mirage or Canberra aircraft. So the decision was made to sent additional Pucará to the Falkland Islands for a complement of twelve aircraft. A-502,A-506,A-509,A-513,A-517,A-520,A-527,A-528 arrived at BAM Comodoro Rivadavia on 8.4.1982, but only A-502,A-506,A-509,A-513,A-520,A-527 moved to BAM Malvinas on 25.4.1982. A-528 followed two days later. Because of heavy British attacks at BAM Malvinas the unit moved to BAM Cóndor at Darwin on 29.4.1982.

 

On 1.5.1982 FAS reported an imminent attack on this base so the unit moved another time to Estación Aeronaval Calderón on Pebble Island. During this air raid A-506,A-517 and A-527 were destroyed, while A-513,A-523 and A-529 were damaged after accidents. So the squadron had only five aircraft serviceable. During the next days A-502 and A-529 were repaired. On 15.5.1982 most of the aircraft (A-502,A-520,A-523,A-529,A-552,A-556) were destroyed during a raid of SAS on Estación Aeronaval Calderón as were four Beech T-34A Mentor of COAN and one Skyvan of PNA. So the unit moved back to BAM Cóndor on 16.5.1982.

 

With just one aircraft serviceable (A-509) the unit got four (A-511,A-516,A-531,A-533) Pucará as replacement from BAM Santa Cruz on 15.5.1982. A-511 was shot down by 801 NAS Harrier near Bombilla Hill on 21.5.1982, while A-531 was shot down by SAS over Bombilla Hill the same day. The remaining three aircraft moved to BAM Malvinas on 27.5.1982. With only A-509 and A-533 serviceable the squadron received another time replacement from BAM Santa Cruz, when A-532 and A-537 flew to the Falkland Islands on 27.5.1982. A-537 crashed into Blue Mountain in bad weather on 28.5.1982, while additional three aircraft (A-515,A-536,A-555) arrived at BAM Malvinas the same day. A-555 was destroyed near Goose Green on 28.5.1982. The last replacement arrived on 29.5.1982, when A-514, A-522 and A-549 were assigned to this unit. All remaining aircraft were captured by British Forces on 14.6.1982 and the unit was disbanded.

Aircraft Used:
Type Qty Service Example Serials
FMA I.A. 58A Pucará 12 2.4.1982 - 15.5.1982

A-502,A-506,A-509,A-513,A-520,A-523,

A-527,A-528,A-529,A-532,A-552,A-556

FMA I.A. 58A Pucará 5 15.5.1982 - 27.5.1982 A-509,A-511,A-516,A-531,A-533
FMA I.A. 58A Pucará 4 27.5.1982 - 28.5.1982 A-509,A-532,A-533,A-537
FMA I.A. 58A Pucará 8 28.5.1982 - 14.6.1982

A-514,A-515,A-522,A-532,A-533,A-536,

A-549,A-555

 

Escuadrón I.A.58 Pucará

Role: Attack.

Escuadrón Aeromóvil Pucará was activated at the beginning of the Falklands War at the end of April 1982 at the recently established Base Aérea Militar Santa Cruz at Puerto Santa Cruz with seventeen Pucará (A-501,A-511,A-512,A-514,A-515,A-516,A-518,A-522,A-524,A-531,A-532,A-533,A-536,A-537,A-538,A-549,A-555) to patrol the coastline and counter possible SAS operations on the mainland. On 15.5.1982 four aircraft (A-511,A-516,A-531,A-533) were sent to BAM Cóndor as replacement, two Pucará (A-532,A-537) flew to BAM Malvinas on 27.5.1982 and three aircraft (A-515,A-536,A-555) the next day. The last replacement was sent to the Falkland Islands on 29.5.1982, when A-514, A-522 and A-549 arived at BAM Malvinas. The remaining aircraft were operational at BAM Santa Cruz until 23.6.1982, when the unit returned to BAM Reconquista and disbanded.

Aircraft Used:
Type Qty Service Example Serials
FMA I.A. 58A Pucará 17 4.1982 - 15.5.1982

A-501,A-511,A-512,A-514,A-515,A-516,

A-518,A-522,A-524,A-531,A-532,A-533,

A-536,A-537,A-538,A-549,A-555

FMA I.A. 58A Pucará 13 15.5.1982 - 27.5.1982

A-501,A-512,A-514,A-515,A-518,A-522,

A-524,A-532,A-536,A-537,A-538,A-549,

A-555

FMA I.A. 58A Pucará 11 27.5.1982 - 28.5.1982

A-501,A-512,A-514,A-515,A-518,A-522,

A-524,A-536,A-538,A-549,A-555

FMA I.A. 58A Pucará 8 28.5.1982 - 29.5.1982

A-501,A-512,A-514,A-518,A-522,A-524,

A-538,A-549

FMA I.A. 58A Pucará 5 29.5.1982 - 23.6.1982 A-501,A-512,A-518,A-524,A-538

 

 

Air Bases:

Base

Duration

Base Aérea Militar Reconquista/Reconquista

1981 - Present

 

Unit Insignia:

 

Grupo 3 de Ataque

 

References:

  • FMA IA-58 Pucará (Juan C. Cicalesi & Santiago Rivas/Serie Fuerza Aérea Argentina Nro. 18)

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First Created: 15 March 2010 - Last Revised: 15 March 2010
Copyright © 2010 Erich Klaus.     e-mail: erich.klaus@a1.net