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UK Royal Navy to bolster Olympic security

10 January 2012

The UK Royal Navy will play an integral role in security operation efforts around Weymouth for the 2012 London Games, UK Defence secretary Philip Hammond said.

The defence secretary added that HMS Ocean, HMS Bulwark, Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) fleet, Mounts Bay and a contingent of Royal Marines will assist in securing the area during the event. The two frigates will be berthed in the Thames at Greenwich and in Weymouth Bay to provide logistics support, maritime command and control, accommodation, helicopter and small-boat basing.

Meanwhile, airspace security will be provided by Royal Air Force (RAF) Typhoons stationed temporarily at RAF Northolt in London, while Puma and Lynx helicopters will operate alongside the warships. Although most of the security efforts will be led by the UK police, the defence forces' contribution to the Olympics will include specialist capabilities, including 13,500 military personnel, more than the total number of troops currently serving in Afghanistan.

The military contingent will consist of Special Forces and specialist bomb disposal units, as well as a 1,000-strong contingency force for deployment in the event of an Olympics-related civil emergency. Armed Forces support also includes building-search teams and specialist sniffer dogs, with troops supporting the police in providing security for 150 venues at peak times.

The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) has also approved deployment of ground-to-air missiles to provide additional protection against airborne attacks. Olympic and Paralympic Games security will begin at the end of July 2012.