Eight-Day London 2012 Military Test to Begin Today

By Community | May 2, 2012

The armed forces have today begun a massive training exercise across London to test their responses to potential threats during the Olympic Games.

All forms of the military have begun an eight-day exercise called Olympic Guardian which is designed to test their response to potential threats that could arise during the Olympics.

As part of the exercise, therapy the Army, Navy and Air Force will be deploying Helicopters, Jet fighters, warships, ground based radar systems and surface-to-air missiles to allow the servicemen and women operating them to become familiar with working in the area.

Air Vice-Marshal Stuart Atha, air component commander for Olympics air security, said: “What we will have is a plan that has many levels to it which will allow us to deal at one end – which is that 9/11-type attack – perhaps down to the lower and the slower type of threat that we may face. 

“There is no specific threat and all we are doing is having in place what we would describe as prudent and appropriate measures in place, in order that we could react if required in a timely and appropriate fashion.”


Air Vice-Marshal Atha said he hoped the exercise would have “an effect on the mind” of any potential attackers, and added: “I would hope when they see how we are preparing they might be deterred from making any threats to the Games.”


The RAF warned that people in south-east England will notice an increase in air activity at certain times, in particular this weekend.


Other aircraft involved in the exercise include Royal Navy Sea King helicopters temporarily based at RAF Northolt, RAF Puma helicopters based at a Territorial Army centre in Ilford, east London, and Army and Royal Navy Lynx helicopters on HMS Ocean in the Thames.


Defence Secretary Phillip Hammond said: “Whilst there is no specific threat to the Games, we have to be ready to assist in delivering a safe and secure Olympics for all to enjoy.


“The fact that our state-of-the-art Typhoons will be stationed at RAF Northolt underlines the commitment of the Ministry of Defence and our armed forces to keeping the public safe at a time when the world will be watching us.”