Bloomberg News

U.K. to Deploy Up to 13,500 Military Personnel for Olympics

December 15, 2011

(Updates with breakdown starting in second paragraph.)

Dec. 15 (Bloomberg) -- The U.K. military will provide 13,500 personnel to assist with security at next year’s London Olympic Games, Defense Secretary Philip Hammond said.

The police and civil authorities will be helped by staff with specialist skills, including bomb-disposal teams and dog handlers, with 1,000 on standby in case of an “Olympics-related civil emergency,” Hammond said in an e-mailed statement today. HMS Ocean, the Royal Navy’s biggest ship, will be moored at Greenwich in the River Thames to provide support, accommodation and a helicopter landing site.

“The Royal Navy, Army and Royal Air Force between them will provide up to 13,500 personnel,” Hammond said. “Up to 7,500 of them will support the smooth running of Olympic sites, while the remainder will use their specialist capabilities and equipment to contribute to the delivery of Olympic security.”

Typhoon jets will be stationed at the RAF’s Northolt base in northwest London to assist with airspace security along with helicopters from HMS Ocean, the ministry said. Hammond told lawmakers last month that the government will station ground-to- air missiles in London if necessary to protect the games.

“The 13,500 is the maximum number we can provide without having an impact on other operations,” Hammond told Sky News television. “This is the biggest security challenge this country has faced for decades.”

--Editors: Eddie Buckle, Andrew Atkinson.

To contact the reporter on this story: Thomas Penny in London at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Hertling at

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