London 2012 Olympics: Security Ramps Up As Over 2000 Military Reservists Called Out To Work
The London 2012 Olympics will see more than two thousand military personnel called out to work as part of the security force for the Games, Defence Secretary Philip Hammond has announced.
Reservists, who are members of the military but have normal jobs during peace time (members of a military reserve), will be part of the 13,500-strong military force present at the 2012 Olympic Games.
The number of military personnel present at the London Olympics is now more than the 10,000 that were deployed to Afghanistan.
Some reservists will provide a range of specialist capabilities and expertise but the majority will be used to support the Olympic venue security operations.
The 2,100 personnel in line to work at the Games are just shy of the 2,300 reservists who have been called out annually for operations around the world since 2008.
At the peak in 2004, reservists made up 20% of our forces in Iraq and 12% in Afghanistan.
There are currently almost 600 reservists in Afghanistan, representing 6% of the deployed force.
They back up the regular units and supply vital skills such as medical or niche logistical and communication expertise.
The overall 23,700-strong security force for the Games will include a mix of military, private security guards and at least 3,000 unpaid London 2012 volunteers who will be used at the start of the security process.
An order was made in Parliament under section 56(1A) of the Reserve Forces Act 1996 to enable reservists to be called out for permanent service as part of defence's contribution to the safety and security of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
In a written ministerial statement Mr Hammond said that call-out notices can then be issued to reservists, who have the necessary training, skills and availability, and employers, with the aim of giving 60 days notice to report for service.
The statement notes: "Both the reservist and overall defence contribution is on a similar scale to that deployed by other nations at recent Olympic Games and will contribute to ensuring a safe, secure and enjoyable 2012 Olympics."
The order is effective from February 16 to September 20 2012.
The London 2012 Games will be a focal event for the nation in 2012 but the operation in Afghanistan will remain the main effort for defence, department officials said.
Reservists will continue to be "a key contributor to that and other ongoing overseas operations".
Financial help is available to those reservists and employers who could suffer financial loss and applications for deferrals or exemptions for valid personal or work reasons can be made.