Olympic security training continues with military aviation exercise

Roy­al Air Force and Roy­al Navy air­craft are in oper­a­tion over the skies of York­shire as part of a major train­ing exer­cise to pre­pare for this year’s Olympic Games.

A 3 Squadron Typhoon air­craft from RAF Con­ings­by takaing part in Exer­cise Tau­rus Moun­tain 1 [Pic­ture: Senior Air­craft­man Gra­ham Tay­lor, Crown Copyright/MOD 2012]
Source: Min­istry of Defence, UK
Click to enlarge

In the lat­est famil­iari­sa­tion drill, aimed at ensur­ing the British Armed Forces play an effec­tive sup­port­ing role in the police-led secu­ri­ty effort, mil­i­tary pilots will prac­tise their skills and drills over a three-day period. 

Code­named Exer­cise Tau­rus Moun­tain 1, and tak­ing place from 24 to 26 Jan­u­ary 2012, it will see fast jet and heli­copter pilots put through their paces as they prac­tise oper­at­ing along­side one anoth­er. Oth­er mil­i­tary air­craft will also take part in the exer­cise in sup­port­ing roles. 

The Sec­re­tary of State for Defence, Philip Ham­mond, said: 

“Peo­ple should be reas­sured by these exer­cis­es. Our mil­i­tary per­son­nel are already trained to incred­i­bly high stan­dards but, with these spe­cial exer­cis­es, are hon­ing their skills yet fur­ther to ensure a safe and secure Olympic Games for the UK this year.” 

Wing Com­man­der Paul God­frey, in charge of oper­a­tions at RAF Con­ings­by, said: 

“Of course, polic­ing the UK skies is some­thing that the Typhoon Force does 24-hours-a-day, every day of the year, so this week’s exer­cise is busi­ness as nor­mal for us. 

“That said, we take great pride in the fact that we have a key role to play in pro­vid­ing air­space secu­ri­ty for the Olympics, and these train­ing flights are part of our train­ing for that impor­tant task as we pre­pare to for­ward deploy to RAF Northolt lat­er in the year. 

“Typhoon is a very potent fight­er air­craft — among the most mod­ern and capa­ble of any air force any­where in the world. 

“I know that the Typhoon Force — many of whom have recent­ly returned from com­bat oper­a­tions over Libya — will dis­charge their duties with great pro­fes­sion­al­ism as part of Defence’s over­all mis­sion to pro­vide a safe and secure Olympic and Par­a­lympic Games.” 

The range of air­craft involved in the exer­cise includes: 

  • two Typhoon jets from RAF Coningsby
  • two Puma heli­copters from RAF Benson
  • two Lynx heli­copters from Roy­al Naval Air Sta­tion (RNAS) Yeovilton
  • one Sea King Air­borne Sur­veil­lance and Con­trol heli­copter from RNAS Culdrose
  • two Grob Tutor air­craft from RAF Leeming
  • one Sen­try E‑3D air­craft from RAF Waddington.

As announced to Par­lia­ment last year, the air secu­ri­ty plan for the Olympic Games is mul­ti­lay­ered and will see Typhoon air­craft for­ward-based at London’s RAF Northolt, heli­copters oper­at­ing from HMS Ocean on the Riv­er Thames, and appro­pri­ate ground-based air defence sys­tems across London. 

Train­ing car­ried out already this year includes a Roy­al Navy and Roy­al Marines exer­cise on the Thames, which also involved the Met­ro­pol­i­tan Police Service’s Marine Polic­ing Unit, the Port of Lon­don Author­i­ty and the UK Bor­der Agency. 

Mean­while, the RAF has recent­ly had Typhoon pilots oper­at­ing in Lon­don air­space refin­ing their pro­ce­dures with the Nation­al Air Traf­fic Services. 

Press release
Min­istry of Defence, UK 

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