Template loop detected: Template:Infobox national military The Atlantic Islands Defence Force is the military organization responsible for the defence of the Atlantic Islands. It consists of the Atlantic Islands Navy, the Atlantic Islands Army, and the Atlantic Islands Air Force. In total the Atlantic Islands Defence Force consists of 8,000 personnel and is managed by the Ministry of Defence and controlled by the Defence Council, chaired by the Secretary of State for Defence.
The Atlantic Islands Defence Force was founded in February 1940. It was feared that an Axis invasion of the islands would take place if the war continued to go in their favour. On 2 February 1940 two Royal Air Force squadrons landed on the islands to provide air cover. 2,000 men aged between 18-28 were drafted from the islands to form the Atlantic Islands Army. Plans stated that the army should be ready for combat within a year, although in reality this was never achievable. The army was in fact ready for combat by 8 February 1942.
During the course of the war a further 6,000 were drafted from the islands to form the Atlantic Islands Navy and the Atlantic Islands Air Force. The Navy consisted of four Destroyers and was the first branch of the Defence Force to become operational. It was also the only branch to see combat during the war. The air force consisted of four squadrons, one for each island, and was largely equipped with Spitfires. The air force was also the last branch to become operational on 7 June 1945.
During the Cold War, the Atlantic Islands Navy worked alongside the Royal Navy in an anti-submarine role. The army and air force largely remained the same, although equipment was updated regularly. By 2010 a $1.4 billion project to replace the aging Destroyers of the navy with the larger, modern Empire class Cruisers was completed.
The Atlantic Islands Navy consists of four Empire class Cruisers, HMAIS Legion (L67), HMAIS Lightning (L65), HMAIS Lookout (L66), and HMAIS Loyal (L68). Each ship has a displacement of 12,000 tons, a crew of 500, and is armed with eight 6inch (150mm) naval guns, two quadruple Harpoon launchers, and four DARDO systems.
Atlantic Islands ArmyEdit
The Atlantic Islands Army consists of two divisions, the 1st and 2nd, four Brigades, and 20 Battalions. The standard issue service rifle is the SA80 which replaced the L1A1 in 2000. The standard machine gun is the L7 and the standard side arm is the USP.
Atlantic Islands Air ForceEdit
The Atlantic Islands Air Force is based heavily on the Royal Air Force. Frontline aircraft are controlled by Air Command, which is organised into three groups defined by function: 1 Group (Air Combat), 2 Group (Air Support) and 4 Group (training aircraft and ground facilities). The air force itself consists of both fixed-wing and rotary aircraft. Aircraft currently in service are 60 Harrier Jump Jets and 20 AgustaWestland Apaches.