UK — Armed Forces train for Olympics air security

UK Armed Forces air assets and per­son­nel are this week train­ing for their vital role pro­vid­ing air secu­ri­ty for the Olympic Games.

An 11 Squadron Typhoon from RAF Con­ings­by accel­er­ates and climbs rapid­ly dur­ing a train­ing sor­tie (stock image) [Pic­ture: Senior Air­craft­man Andrew Sea­ward, Crown Copyright/MOD 2010]
Source: Min­istry of Defence, UK
Click to enlarge

Exer­cise Tau­rus Moun­tain 3 is putting air­men, sol­diers and sailors through their paces in the skies over North York­shire. The exer­cise takes place from 20 to 22 March and, over the three days, the forces will prac­tise detect­ing and inter­cept­ing an air­craft that intrudes into restrict­ed airspace. 

The Air Secu­ri­ty Plan for the Olympic Games builds on the Roy­al Air Force’s exist­ing defence of UK air­space, which includes round-the-clock radar sur­veil­lance and Typhoon fight­ers held at high readi­ness every day of the year. 

The exer­cise inte­grates the addi­tion­al forces being used to ensure the safe­ty of the Olympics, as part of the Min­istry of Defence’s role to ensure a safe and secure Games this sum­mer. These include RAF Puma air­craft — togeth­er with Roy­al Navy and Army Lynx heli­copters — car­ry­ing teams of RAF Reg­i­ment snipers to inter­cept air­craft in restrict­ed air­space, and air­borne sur­veil­lance air­craft includ­ing Roy­al Navy Sea King Air­borne Sur­veil­lance and Con­trol heli­copters and RAF E‑3D Sen­try aircraft. 

On the ground, the RAF is pro­vid­ing addi­tion­al mobile ground radar sys­tems, while the Army is deploy­ing air observers and Rapi­er and Starstreak mis­sile sys­tems, which also pro­vide addi­tion­al detec­tion capa­bil­i­ty, though a final deci­sion on their deploy­ment has yet to be taken. 

Armed forces per­son­nel will be joined by offi­cers from the Met­ro­pol­i­tan Police, who are lead­ing secu­ri­ty for the whole Games. Mil­i­tary activ­i­ty, includ­ing the Air Secu­ri­ty Plan, sup­ports the over­all police oper­a­tion, so the exer­cise is a chance for both the police and mil­i­tary to learn more about how the oth­er operates. 

Air Com­modore Gary Water­fall, the Deputy Air Com­po­nent Com­man­der, said: 

“Whilst there is no spe­cif­ic threat to the Games, we have to be ready for what­ev­er occurs and play our part in what will be a safe and secure Olympics for all to enjoy. 

“Our mul­ti-lay­ered secu­ri­ty plan means that we have a range of respons­es avail­able to us, ensur­ing we can deal appro­pri­ate­ly with any­thing from redi­rect­ing an air­craft that may have strayed into restrict­ed air­space, to pre­vent­ing an attack.” 

Press release
Min­istry of Defence, UK 

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