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Royal Marines Thames Exercise


The extent of the UK military contribution to the security for the 2012 Olympic Games was today announced. The MoD is expected to provide up to 13,500 MoD personnel in total. These include:

  • Explosive ordnance disposal teams

  • Military working dogs

  • A 1,000-strong 'unarmed contingency force' will be on standby to assist in any civil emergency

  • 7,500 military personnel who will help with security at Olympic venues, including searching spectators.

  • HMS Ocean, the UK's largest warship, affectionately nicknamed "the big O" will be moored in the Thames. It will be used as a helicopter platform, with RAF Puma and RN and AAC Lynx helicopters operating from it. The helicopters, with sniper units aboard, will patrol the skies above London, along with RAF Typhoon fighters. HMS Ocean is also home to 9 Assault Squadron Royal Marines (9 ASRM) who will be on alert, ready to back up Met police forces in the event of a major terrorist incident. Royal Marines will also help the Met Police patrol the Thames river network

  • HMS Bulwark, the Royal Navy's flag ship will be berthed off Weymouth and Portland, the location of many planned Olympic sailing events. HMS Bulwark, and Albion-class landing platform dock will act as a command and control base for security operations. A number of helicopters and small boats can operate from her.

  • Not officially announced but widely reported is the role of British special forces. The SAS will be deployed to London in strength in order to be able to response rapidly to any terrorist incident, while the SBS will be protecting the sailing events at Weymouth and Portland
HMS Ocean
HMS Ocean will be moored in the heart of the capital throughout the games.
U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Rafael Martie/Released

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