UK — Major exercise tests Olympics security preparations

A major mil­i­tary and civil­ian exer­cise is tak­ing place this week to help make the Lon­don 2012 Olympic Games as safe and secure as pos­si­ble.

An RAF Puma fly­ing over the 2012 Olympic Sta­di­um (stock image) [Pic­ture: Senior Air­craft­man Phil Major, Crown Copyright/MOD 2011]
Source: Min­istry of Defence, UK
Click to enlarge

Exer­cise Olympic Guardian, which takes place on land, at sea and in the air in the Lon­don and Wey­mouth areas, will see a wide range of capa­bil­i­ties rehearsed in a delib­er­ate and orches­trat­ed man­ner over a nine-day period. 

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

“Sup­port for the Olympic Games will be an impor­tant task for Defence in 2012 and this exer­cise is about push­ing our peo­ple and our sys­tems to the lim­it to ensure that we are ready for the challenge. 

“The major­i­ty of this exer­cise will be played out in full view of the pub­lic and I hope that it will have a sec­ondary effect of reas­sur­ing the British peo­ple that every­thing pos­si­ble is being done to ensure this will be a safe and secure Olympic and Par­a­lympic Games.” 

Run­ning from 2 to 10 May, span­ning the bank hol­i­day week­end, most of the exer­cise will be played out in the pub­lic domain and the mil­i­tary aspects of it will result in a vis­i­ble pres­ence of Armed Forces per­son­nel, ships and aircraft.

This will include: 

  • the berthing of HMS Ocean at Green­wich, with a num­ber of Roy­al Navy Lynx heli­copters embarked
  • the deploy­ment of HMS Bul­wark and oth­er mar­itime assets to Wey­mouth Bay and Port­land Harbour
  • the bas­ing of RAF Typhoon fast jets and Roy­al Navy air­borne ear­ly warn­ing heli­copters at RAF Northolt, and RAF Puma heli­copters at a Ter­ri­to­r­i­al Army cen­tre in Ilford
  • the oper­a­tion of fast jets and heli­copters over Greater Lon­don and the Home Counties
  • the deploy­ment of ground-based air defence sys­tems, fit­ted with prac­tice drill mis­siles, along with air observ­er teams, to a num­ber of sites in London.

The exer­cise will be played out in three phas­es — the first cen­tred on Wey­mouth, the sec­ond in the air­space over Lon­don and sur­round­ing coun­ties, and the final phase on the Thames. 

For some time, com­mu­ni­ty engage­ment work has been ongo­ing in affect­ed areas to inform local res­i­dents of pos­si­ble dis­tur­bances and to explain the rea­sons for the activ­i­ty. In par­tic­u­lar, there will be min­i­mal low-fly­ing by var­i­ous mil­i­tary air­craft. This will be car­ried out at times which keep dis­tur­bances to the min­i­mum possible. 

Stand­ing Joint Com­man­der (UK), Gen­er­al Sir Nick Park­er, said: 

“I know that mem­bers of the Armed Forces are pleased to be able to make an appro­pri­ate con­tri­bu­tion to the once-in-a-life­time event that is Lon­don 2012. It’s entire­ly prop­er that, as nation­al insti­tu­tions which serve our coun­try, we are seen to be help­ing to make the Lon­don Olympics a resound­ing success.” 

Assis­tant Com­mis­sion­er Chris Alli­son, Nation­al Olympic Secu­ri­ty Coor­di­na­tor, said: 

“Test­ing and exer­cis­ing is vital to get­ting our safe­ty and secu­ri­ty oper­a­tion for the Games right. We need to be con­fi­dent that we have the right peo­ple in the right places, and that we under­stand how oth­ers operate. 

“This is a unique oppor­tu­ni­ty for us to deliv­er a world class oper­a­tion that keeps the Games, and the coun­try, safe and secure.” 

As part of the exer­cise, activ­i­ty can be expect­ed at a num­ber of sites in and around Lon­don which have been iden­ti­fied as poten­tial loca­tions for the deploy­ment of ground-based air defence systems. 

No final deci­sion has been tak­en by the Gov­ern­ment as to whether this capa­bil­i­ty will be deployed as part of Olympics secu­ri­ty arrange­ments but it does form part of Exer­cise Olympic Guardian. 

The fol­low­ing sites have been iden­ti­fied as poten­tial loca­tions for ground-based air defence sys­tems should the Gov­ern­ment decide to deploy them for the dura­tion of the Olympics: 

  • Lex­ing­ton Build­ing, Fair­field Road, Bow, Tow­er Ham­lets — high veloc­i­ty missiles
  • Fred Wigg Tow­er, Mon­tague Road Estate, Waltham For­est — high veloc­i­ty missiles
  • Black­heath Com­mon, Black­heath (Lewisham/Greenwich) — Rapier
  • William Girling Reser­voir, Lea Val­ley Reser­voir Chain, Enfield — Rapier
  • Oxleas Mead­ow, Shoot­ers Hill, Greenwich/Woolwich — Rapier
  • Barn Hill, Nether­house Farm, Epping For­est — Rapier.

Press release
Min­istry of Defence, UK 

Team GlobDef

Seit 2001 ist im Internet unterwegs, um mit eigenen Analysen, interessanten Kooperationen und umfassenden Informationen für einen spannenden Überblick der Weltlage zu sorgen. war dabei die erste deutschsprachige Internetseite, die mit dem Schwerpunkt Sicherheitspolitik außerhalb von Hochschulen oder Instituten aufgetreten ist.

Alle Beiträge ansehen von Team GlobDef →