News story

Armed forces help flood relief efforts

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

More military personnel have been called on to support multi-agency flood relief operations.

As the floods continue to cause disruption across the UK, personnel from the Royal Marines, Royal Navy and Army Reserve have been working hard to provide flood relief assistance.

Today, 10 February, Prime Minister David Cameron visited Chesil Beach in Portland to see the work being done by the Environment Agency, the local authorities and 39 Engineer Regiment.

Adverse weather and high tides have resulted in a breach of the beach’s flood defences.

Reservist soldiers and members of the Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service
Reservist soldiers from 7th Battalion The Rifles help members of the Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service to dam a breach in the Kennet and Avon Canal [Picture: Corporal Richard Cave RLC, Crown copyright]

Engineers from 53 Field Squadron delivered military bulldozers, diggers and excavators to assist the Environment Agency in rebuilding the flood defences.

Troop commander Lieutenant Greg Vinall-Hough said:

We happened to be in the area on a routine exercise when we got the call yesterday afternoon. We are now using our equipment to enhance that of the Environment Agency and we are ready to assist when required.

Being from the south west myself, I am very happy to be down here, supporting local residents in any way that we can.

Royal Navy personnel and reservist soldiers in Windsor
Royal Navy personnel and reservist soldiers from 7th Battalion The Rifles work together to create a dam in Windsor [Picture: Corporal Richard Cave RLC, Crown copyright]

The weekend also saw reservist soldiers of 7th Battalion The Rifles join members of the Royal Navy from HMS Sultan and HMS Collingwood as they manhandled over 6,000 sandbags to dam a roadway in Windsor.

And in Reading, the reservists teamed up with members of Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service to dam a breach in the Kennet and Avon Canal that threatened an electrical substation.