Olympics: Reserve troops called up for London 2012

Last Updated: Feb 20, 2012, 20:32 PM IST

London: Some 2,100 military reservists will be called up to be part of the London 2012 Olympics security force, Defence Secretary Philip Hammond said on Monday.

They will be among the 13,500-strong military force being deployed at the Games, which start on July 27.

By comparison, Britain has 9,500 troops stationed in Afghanistan -- of whom 600 are reservists.

The beefed-up overall Olympics security force of 23,700 includes a mixture of troops, private security guards and at least 3,000 unpaid volunteers.

"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," Hammond said.

An order was made in parliament under the Reserve Forces Act 1996 to allow reservists to be called out for permanent service as part of the Olympic security operation.

Some reservists will provide specialist capabilities and expertise but the majority will be deployed at Olympic venues.

Around 2,300 reservists have been called out annually for operations worldwide since 2008.

In December, the British government raised the Games` security budget from 282 million pounds to 553 million pounds (USD 877 million, 662 million euros).

The operation involves warplanes, two navy ships and surface-to-air missiles.

PTI