601 Commando Company

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601 Commando Company
Compañía de Comandos 601
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 Campo de Mayo, Buenos Aires
Motto(s) "Pugna usque ad mortem pro veritatem"
Engagements Operativo Independencia
Falklands War
Tablada
Commanders
Notable
commanders
Lt.Col. Mohamed Alí Seineldín
Maj. Mario Castagneto


The 601 Commando Company (Spanish: Compañía de Comandos 601) is a special operations unit of the Argentine Army.

History[edit]

Created on 5 January 1982. It was based on the original "Equipo Especial Halcón 8" created by Lt. Colonel Mohamed Alí Seineldín in 1978.

Falkland War[edit]

The commander of this unit in the Falklands War (Spanish: Guerra de las Malvinas) was 34-year-old Major Mario Castagneto. The Company was divided in three assault sections. The 1st Assault Section under Lieutenant Sergio Fernández shot down a RAF Harrier GR3 piloted by Lieutenant William Glover at Port Howard and damaged a RN Sea Harrier FRS2 piloted by Lieutenant Steve Thomas, with shoulder-launched Blowpipe surface-to-air missiles on 21 May 1982.

On the night of 6/7 June, Captain Rubén Teófilo Figueroa's 3rd Assault Section attacked the British patrol base near Murrell Bridge, northwest of Stanley, which was manned by Sergeant Ian Addle's patrol from Captain Matthew Selfridge's D Company of the 3rd Battalion of the Parachute Regiment, at the approximated position 51°39′25″S 57°55′11″W / 51.65694°S 57.91972°W / -51.65694; -57.91972. After a gun-battle lasting some 40 minutes,[1] the British abandoned the outpost under heavy mortar fire, leaving behind much of their equipment. The outcome of this engagement compelled the British to set patrol bases closer to their own lines.[2]

According to the British version of events:

On 6 June two patrols under Corporals Brown and Haddon rendezvoused 200 yards north of the Murrell Bridge and observed an enemy patrol crossing the skyline to the east of the river (...) They were forced to evacuate their position rapidly, leaving behind their packs and radio, but succeeded in withdrawing without suffering any casualties. The location was checked on the evening of 8 June by another patrol, but there was no sign of the packs or radio, which meant the battalion's radio net could have been compromised.[3]

Private Colin Charlton from Corporal Peter Higg's patrol recalls:

We nearly got hit by their mortars. All we heard was 'pop, pop, pop'. The mortar shells landed either side of Colin and Paul’s patrol, close enough to kill or injure the men in other circumstances. We saw the shells land but the peat absorbed the impact. Had it been concrete, there would have been a lot of debris.[4]

On 10 June, a patrol under Lieutenant José Martiniano Duarte from the 1st Assault Section bumped into part of Captain Gavin Hamilton's 19 Mountain Troop, D Squadron, 22nd Special Air Service Regiment. The SAS observation post on Many Branch Ridge on West Falkland split into two pairs. Captain Hamilton and his signaller, Corporal Charlie Fonseca, covered the escape of the second pair, but Hamilton was killed and Fonseca captured.

Battle of La Tablada Barracks[edit]

In late January 1989, heavily armed leftist guerrillas from the All For The Fatherland Movement (Movimiento Todos Por La Patria or MTP) captured the 3rd Mechanized Infantry Regiment Barracks in the La Tablada suburb of Buenos Aires. In the ensuing 1989 attack on La Tablada barracks, 601 Commando Company helped recover the barracks in Close quarters combat, but lost two killed, Lieutenant Ricardo Alberto Rolón and Sergeant Ramón Wladimir Orué in the process.

21st century[edit]

The company is based on Campo de Mayo, Buenos Aires Province and is under the command of the Rapid Deployment Force as part of the Special Operations Forces Group.

Unit insignia[edit]

The members of the unit wear green berets with unit badges.

Equipment[edit]

Comando armed with Colt submachine gun
Name Origin Type
Browning Hi-Power  Belgium Pistol
FMK-3  Argentina Submachine gun
Colt 9mm SMG  United States Submachine gun
M4 carbine  United States Assault rifle
Steyr AUG  Austria Assault rifle
FN FAL  Belgium Assault rifle
Mossberg 500  United States Shotgun
FN MAG  Belgium Machine gun
M24 Sniper Weapon System  United States Sniper rifle
CZ 750 S1 M1  Czech Republic Sniper rifle
Steyr HS .50 M1  Austria Sniper rifle
M203  United States Grenade launcher
AT4  Sweden Rocket launcher

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Malvinas: La Defensa de Puerto Argentino, Oscar L. Jofre & Felix R. Aguiar, p. 189, Editorial Sudamericana, 1987 (in Spanish)
  2. ^ Murrel Bridge
  3. ^ Task force: the illustrated history of the Falklands War, David Reynolds, p. 179, Sutton, 2002
  4. ^ Sunderland Falklands veterans remember the Battle of Mount Longdon

External links[edit]