Chopper pilot Prince William in Falklands for 6-week tour

LONDON — Prince William arrived in the Falkland Islands on Thursday for a six-week deployment as a search and rescue helicopter pilot, British officials said, amid an escalating sovereignty dispute with Argentina over the territory.

The Ministry of Defense confirmed that William, known in the service as Flight Lt. Wales, landed on the British outpost as part of a four-member Royal Air Force crew.

It said William will assume his duties “shortly” following a period of briefings and a familiarization flight.

The prince’s visit has riled Argentina, which claims the islands 290 miles (460 kilometers) off its coast that it calls Las Malvinas. Britain’s defense ministry has insisted William’s deployment is routine, but Argentina’s foreign ministry likened the move to a conquistador’s arrival.

Britain and Argentina have been trading barbs in the run-up to the 30th anniversary of Argentina’s April 1982 invasion. The 10-week war that followed ended in British victory and killed 650 Argentine troops, more than 250 British personnel and three islanders.

Britain still maintains about 1,000 troops in the territory, whose 3,000 residents overwhelmingly wish to remain British.

Last month, Argentina persuaded Brazil, Uruguay and Chile to join a Mercosur trade group resolution to turn away any ship flying the Falklands’ flag — which depicts a sheep and a ship along with the United Kingdom’s red, white and blue Union Jack.

That action prompted British Prime Minister David Cameron to accuse Argentine President Cristina Fernandez of having “colonialist” aims on an island population that wants to remain a British dependency. She accused Cameron of “mediocrity bordering on stupidity.”

Argentina’s foreign ministry last week accused Britain of militarizing their sovereignty dispute by announcing that it is sending an advanced warship to the islands along with William “in the uniform of a conquistador.”

More in Local News

Food stuffs for a local chapter of A Simple Gesture at Fitness Evolution, the communal pick-up point, in Arlington on Jan. 12. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
There’s an easier way to donate to food banks

Grab a green bag, fill it gradually with grocery items — and someone will pick it up from your home.

Lake Stevens man shot by deputies reportedly was suicidal

The fatal shooting is the latest incident where someone apparently wanted police to fire.

Man suspected of robbing Rite Aids

Mill Creek police released a sketch Monday evening of the suspect.

Suspect: Marysville church fire ignited by burning shoelaces

The 21-year-old told police it was an accident, but he’s under investigation for second-degree arson.

Police seek witnesses to Marysville hit-and-run

A Seattle man suffered broken bones in the accident.

Tracking device leads police to bank robbery suspect

The man walked into a Wells Fargo around 3:15 Tuesday and told the teller he had a bomb.

Mayor, others break ground on low-barrier housing in Everett

Somers: The complex is expected to save lives and “really shows the heart of this community.”

Volunteers conduct annual count of homeless population

They worked througha standard set of questions to learn why people have ended up where they are.

Former Everett councilman also sued his employer, the county

Ron Gipson says he suffered racial discrimination related to an investigation into sexual harassment.

Most Read