Britain’s elite military and police teams joined forces in a combined exercise to give a glimpse of the sheer scale of the country’s biggest peacetime security operation yesterday.
Operation Woolwich Arsenal Pier saw the Royal Marines and Scotland Yard take command of the River Thames in a determined show of strength as part of a security exercise for the London Olympics.
The British muscle on show was designed to test the water for the joint operation, and to illustrate the country’s readiness against terrorism
Around 100 marines and 50 officers rehearsed a string of high-speed drills amid fears attackers could use the waterways to launch onslaughts on London landmarks.
About 50 marine police officers in rigid inflatables and fast response boats were joined by up to 100 military personnel and a Royal Navy Lynx helicopter for the exercises.
Assistant Commissioner Chris Allison, head of the force’s security operation for the Games, said a Mumbai-style terror attack was one of a host of potential threats to the games.
Speaking on the shores of the Thames, he said: ‘There is no specific threat from the river but we would be failing in our duty to ignore it at games time.
‘What you have seen today is the sort of things we can do.’
Despite a heavy military presence on show today, Mr Allison insisted the sporting event would remain a ‘blue games’.
The Thames runs directly past the O2 Arena, which will be known as the North Greenwich Arena for the purpose of the Games, when it will host events including gymnastics. The river will also be used to transport tourists between venues via water buses and a new cable car.
Typhoon jets and HMS Ocean, the largest ship in the Royal Navy’s fleet, will eventually be deployed to protect the London 2012 Games along with up to 13,500 military personnel.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2088986/Terror-Thames-Thankfully-just-exercise-armed-police-special-forces-prepare-protect-Olympics-Britains-biggest-peacetime-security-operation.html#ixzz1jyRpTew9
Olympic Tours – London 2012