| 16 July 2012
Members of HMS Ocean's ship's company form Olympic Rings on her deck as she passes the O2 Arena on the Thames at North Greenwich Source: MOD 2012.
Vigilance can report that Armed Forces equipment which will support the security effort for the London 2012 Olympic Games has been deployed during the course of this week – with the operation continuing into the weekend.
Last week saw the arrival of HMS Ocean in the River Thames and Saturday the introduction of new airspace restrictions which will help safeguard the security of the Games.
As part of the Armed Forces’ wide-ranging support to the civilian and police-led Olympics security effort, the assets on standby to enforce new air movement restrictions over London – including Typhoon fast jets - will be fully in place by the weekend when the new temporary restrictions come into force.
The deployment of this kit and associated personnel follows a military exercise – “Olympic Guardian” - in early May during which unarmed equipment was put into place for a period of nine days over which the air security plan was tested.
Secretary of State for Defence, Philip Hammond MP said: “Whilst there is no reported threat to the London Olympics, the public expects that we put in place a range of measures aimed at ensuring the safety and security of this once-in-a-generation event. I am pleased to be able to confirm that the equipment necessary to operate our comprehensive, layered air security plan is now in place. I believe this will provide reassurance to residents of, and visitors to, London and a powerful deterrent.”
Secretary Hammond added: There are now 17,000 military personnel involved in the Olympic security effort, every one of whom will play a part in ensuring the Games go smoothly and are the national sporting celebration they should be. They deserve everyone’s gratitude.”
Vigilance gathered reliably that by last week, Typhoon fast jets and Royal Navy helicopters had arrived at RAF Northolt, Puma helicopters at Ilford, the installation of Rapier ground based air defence systems at four sites in and around London had taken place alongside the arrival of Starstreak High Velocity Missile at two sites in London.
A source at the MoD told Vigilance Helicopter carrier HMS Ocean, the Royal Navy’s largest ship, would provide maritime command and control, accommodation, as well as helicopter and small boat basing, adding it was due to pass through the Thames Barrier at around 8pm and arrive at Greenwich, where it would moor, by around 9pm.