110/2012 - Top level thanks for Olympics servicemen and women

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Chief of the Defence Staff, General Sir David Richards, visited Armed Forces personnel based at Hainault, Essex, this morning to thank them for their ongoing efforts in support of delivering a safe and secure Olympic Games.

A guest on this morning’s visit was Lord Coe, Chair of the London 2012 Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG), who also took the opportunity to show his appreciation for the military’s contribution on behalf of Games organisers and the general public.

More than 3,000 servicemen and women are based in Hainault, drawn from the Royal Navy, the Army and the Royal Air Force to secure Olympic Games venues. These include the Olympic Park and other sites around London.

General Sir David Richards, said:

As a soldier myself, I know that Service demands often come before personal plans. Many sailors, soldiers, airmen and marines have delayed time with friends and family this summer to help support the London 2012 Games.

They are performing their various roles admirably and I am very proud of their professional approach to providing a safe and secure Games. Her Majesty’s Armed Forces are renowned for being the most professional in the world. Together with our athletes we have helped the UK showcase the best of Britain.

I also acknowledge the friends and families of the men and women deployed on the Olympics; their support is, indirectly, contributing to the magnificent success of London 2012.

Lord Coe, Chair of LOCOG, said:

Our heartfelt thanks go to the men and women who stepped up to work shoulder to shoulder with us to deliver an effective, seamless and well regarded security operation.

We have had great response from our spectators on the service provided by our Armed Forces and I want each and every one of you to know the nation is proud of you and grateful to you.


Notes to editors

For further information please contact the London 2012 Press Office on +44 (0)203 2012 100 or visit the website at

Photos and footage of the visit are available on a pool basis from BBC and PA.