602 Commando Company

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Compañía de Comandos 602
602 Commando Company
Active 1978-1982
1982-present (current form)
Country  Argentina
Branch Ejercito Argentino Escudo.pngArgentine Army
Type Special Forces
Role Special Reconnaissance
Light Infantry
Air Assault
Airborne Operations
Size Company
Part of Special Operations Forces Group
Garrison/HQ Córdoba Province
Anniversaries 21 May
Engagements

Falklands War

Commanders
Notable
commanders
Maj. Aldo Rico


The 602 Commando Company (Spanish: Compañía de Comandos 602) is a special operations unit of the Argentine Army.

Unit insignia[edit]

The members of the unit wear green berets with unit badges. The company is divided in three assault sections.

History[edit]

Today's unit was created 21 May 1982.

Falklands War[edit]

They fought in the Falklands War (Spanish: Guerra de las Malvinas). The commander of the company was 39-year-old Major Aldo Rico.

On the night of 29–30 May, Captain Andres Ferrero's 3rd Assault Section attempted to seize Mount Kent but was beaten back in an SAS ambush.[1]

On the morning of 30 May, Captain Tomas Fernandez's 2nd Assault Section from 602 Commando Company suffered two killed on Bluff Cove Peak, First Lieutenant Rubén Eduardo Márquez and Sergeant Oscar Humberto Blas,[2] in an action with Major Cedric Delves' Tactical Headquarters from the British 22nd Special Air Service during the Mount Kent Skirmish on the 30th May 1982. First Lieutenant Márquez and Sergeant Blas showed great personal courage and leadership in the action and were subsequently awarded the Argentine Nation to the Valour in Combat Medal.[3] During this contact the SAS suffered two casualties from grenades. The Argentine Commandos literally stumbled on a camp occupied by 15 SAS troopers.[4] That night, Captain Peter Babbington's K Company of 42 Commando, Royal Marines arrived nearby via helicopters. At about the same time, the 2nd Assault Section, having hidden all day, emerged from their hides intending to withdraw from the area but came under prompt and heavy fire from the SAS. That night, Captain Peter Babbington's K Company of 42 Commando, Royal Marines arrived nearby via helicopters. At about the same time, the 2nd Assault Section, having hidden all day, emerged from their hides intending to withdraw from the area but came under prompt and heavy fire from the SAS.[5]

The 1st Assault Section fought in the Battle of Top Malo House on 31 May 1982. In an action lasting 45 minutes, the section under Captain Jose A. Verseci was defeated and the survivors captured in the encounter with the British Mountain and Arctic Warfare Cadre, a Royal Marines unit, attached to the 3 Commando Brigade.[6]

Captain Andres Ferrero's 3rd Assault Section suffered one killed (Sergeant Mario Cisnero)[7] and Captain Miguel Santos' National Gendarmerie section suffered another dead (Sergeant Ramon Acosta) in a fierce action near Murrell River on 10 June, seizing much equipment and forcing the British Royal Marines platoon to withdraw, with Major Rico calling down fire support from Lieutenant-Colonel Martin Balza's 3rd Artillery Group.[8]

According to the British version of events, it was a hard-fought action:

Equipment captured by Argentine army commandos from a 42 Commando of Royal Marines Observation Post near Mount Wall, West of Stanley on 10 June 1982

"A constant series of patrols was undertaken at night to scout out and harass the enemy. Typical was the patrol sent out in the early hours of the morning of 10 June. Lieutenant David Stewart of X-Ray Company, 45 Commando, had briefed his men during the previous afternoon, and by midnight they were ready. Heavily armed, with two machine-guns per section plus 66 mm rocket launchers and 2-inch mortars, the Troop moved off stealthily into the moonlit night towards a ridge some 4 km away where Argentine movement had been observed. Keeping well spaced out because of the good visibility, they moved across the rocky ground using the numerous shell holes for cover, and by 04.00 [1 am local time] were set to cross the final stretch of open ground in front of the enemy positions. Using a shallow stream for cover, they moved up the slope and deployed into position among the rocks in front of the Argentine trenches. With the help of a light-intensifying night scope, they could see sentries moving about. Suddenly, an Argentine machine-gun opened fire and the Marines launched a couple of flares from their mortar, firing back with their own machine-guns and rifles. Within seconds three Argentine soldiers and two Marines were dead. Other figures could be seen running on the hill to the left, and four more Argentine soldiers fell to the accuracy of the Marines' fire. By this time, the Argentine troops further up the slope were wide awake, and a hail of fire forced the Marines to crouch in the shelter of the rocks. The situation was becoming decidedly unhealthy and Lieutenant Stewart decided to retire, with the objective of killing and harassing the enemy well and truly accomplished. However, a machine-gun to the Marines' right was pouring fire over their getaway route, and Stewart sent his veteran Sergeant, Jolly, with a couple of other men to take it out [They knew they were cut off with what looked a poor chance of escape. In these circumstances any panic or break in morale and the game was up]. After a difficult approach with little cover, there was a short burst of fire and the Argentine machine-gun fell silent. Leapfrogging by sections, the Troop retreated to the stream, by which time the Argentine fire was falling short and there were no further casualties."[9]

On the night of 12–13 June, Captain Andres Ferrero's 3rd Assault Section of 602 Commando Company took up ambush positions in the vicinity of Mount William, in support of the 5th Marine Infantry Battalion.[10]

21st century[edit]

The company is based in Córdoba Province and is under the command of the Rapid Deployment Force as part of the Special Operations Forces Group.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Ferrero's men advanced up the steep slopes, the thought of bumping into a British patrol or walking into an ambush keeping them alert. After about 500 metres Ferrero went forward with two men to investigate a noise. They had hardly covered 50 metres when they came under accurate machine gun and mortar fire from Air Troop, D Squadron. First-Sergeant Raimundo Viltes was badly wounded when a bullet shattered his heel." Van Der Bijl, Aldea, p. 63
  2. ^ Línea de fuego: historia oculta de una frustración, Héctor Rubén Simeoni & Eduardo Allegri, p. 55, Editorial Sudamericana, 1991
  3. ^ Conflicto Malvinas:Informe Oficial del Ejército Argentino, Circulo Militar, p. 56, Volume II, 1983
  4. ^ "At about 11am next day, the 30th, Captain Fernandez and his 2nd Assault Section, knowing that Ferrero had been in contact with British, emerged from their hide intending to occupy Bluff Cove Peak. With Sergeant Humberto Bias and First-Lieutenant Daniel Oneto, First Lieutenant Ruben Marquez scouting ahead, the section collided with the Special Air Service Tactical Headquarters and a firefight developed. Marquez threw some grenades but was still killed because he was wearing gloves and was unable to use his FAL rifle. Blas also died." Van Der Bijl, Aldea, p. 63
  5. ^ "Fernandez broke contact and in the scramble down the hill Sergeant Alfredo Flores, the section radio operator, fell and was knocked out. When he came to his senses he was the prisoner of a Special Air Service clearing patrol and was later interrogated at 'Hotel Galtieri' in the farmyard at San Carlos along with the Army commandos captured at Top Malo House." Van Der Bijl, Aldea, p. 65
  6. ^ Van Der Bijl, Nicholas: Argentine Forces in the Falklands. Osprey Publishing, 1992. page 20. ISBN 1-85532-227-7
  7. ^ Comandos en Accion: El Ejercito en Malvinas, Isidoro J. Ruiz Moreno, p. 353, Emece editores, 1986
  8. ^ Comandos en Accion: El Ejercito en Malvinas, Isidoro J. Ruiz Moreno, p. 358, Emece editores, 1986
  9. ^ Bruce Quarrie, The Worlds Elite Forces, pp.53-54, Octopus Books Limited, 1985
  10. ^ "In spite of the signals intelligence intercepts indicating an entire Gurkha battalion being no more than four kilometres to the west, the judo black belt engineer First-Lieutenant Horacio Lauria was eager to come to grips with the Gurkhas in the Pony Pass area to show the conscripts that the men from Nepal were human and that he could win a man-to-man contest." Van Der Bijl, Aldea, p. 188

External links[edit]