Royal Marines practise Olympic security on Thames

Roy­al Marines have joined police on the Thames in Lon­don today for a week-long secu­ri­ty exer­cise in prepa­ra­tion for the 2012 Olympics.

Roy­al Marines demon­strate some of their inven­to­ry of raid­ing craft. From front to back: a jet ski, a Zodi­ac raider, a rigid raider, a 22-foot (6.7m) rigid inflat­able boat, and an off­shore raid­ing craft [Pic­ture: Crown Copyright/MOD 2012]
Source: Min­istry of Defence, UK
Click to enlarge

The Green Berets have joined the Met­ro­pol­i­tan Police’s Marine Polic­ing Unit for a series of train­ing exer­cis­es on the capital’s great artery which involve more than a dozen craft on the water, plus helicopters. 

Upwards of 140 com­man­dos and police per­son­nel are involved in the five-day exer­cise which is designed to ensure that civil­ians and the mil­i­tary can work hand-in-hand dur­ing the large-scale oper­a­tion this July and August. 

To ensure the smooth run­ning of the secu­ri­ty mis­sion, it’s impor­tant all involved under­stand the Thames and under­stand each other’s tactics: 

“This will be a sum­mer like no oth­er in Lon­don,” explained the Met’s Assis­tant Com­mis­sion­er Chris Alli­son, who is the Nation­al Olympic Secu­ri­ty Coordinator. 

“The Thames runs through the very heart of our cap­i­tal and will be a pop­u­lar place for peo­ple who want to be part of the Olympic spir­it. This is all part of our plan­ning to ensure this summer’s events take place safe­ly and securely.” 

Mr Alli­son said the week-long police-marines exer­cise was ’not in response to any spe­cif­ic threat’, rather ‘part of our plan­ning to pre-deploy cer­tain spe­cial­ist assets to bol­ster our operation’. 

“We are leav­ing noth­ing to chance to ensure we deliv­er a safe and secure Games that Lon­don, the UK and the world can enjoy.”
James Brokenshire

He continued: 

“All of our plan­ning is designed to mit­i­gate against poten­tial risks dur­ing the sum­mer of 2012, and this is an exam­ple of where we will be using spe­cial­ist mil­i­tary capa­bil­i­ty to sup­port us.” 

Upwards of 13,500 Ser­vice per­son­nel will be involved in the over­all Olympics secu­ri­ty mis­sion this sum­mer. As well as the Roy­al Marines’ pres­ence on the Thames, Britain’s biggest war­ship, HMS Ocean, will be moored on the riv­er at Green­wich as a base for per­son­nel and for heli­copters, includ­ing the Fleet Air Arm’s Lynx. 

The scale of this week’s exer­cise on the Thames means some of it will be vis­i­ble to the pub­lic. Also keep­ing a close eye on pro­ceed­ings is the Home Office, in over­all charge of the Olympic secu­ri­ty mission. 

James Bro­ken­shire, Min­is­ter for Crime and Secu­ri­ty, said: 

“This exer­cise forms part of the com­pre­hen­sive test­ing and exer­cise pro­gramme that is cru­cial in secur­ing the games. 

“We are leav­ing noth­ing to chance to ensure we deliv­er a safe and secure Games that Lon­don, the UK and the world can enjoy.” 

Press release
Min­istry of Defence, UK 

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