Announcement

Reservists to be called up for Olympics duties

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

Defence Secretary Philip Hammond today informed Parliament that a call-out order has been made under the Reserve Forces Act and that call-out…

Defence Secretary Philip Hammond today informed Parliament that a call-out order has been made under the Reserve Forces Act and that call-out notices will soon be issued to reservists and their employers.

In providing support to the police, and other civil and olympic authorities, Defence will contribute up to 13,500 military personnel at the busiest part of the Games, of which up to 2,100, around 15 per cent, will come from the Reserve Forces.

Some reservists will provide a range of specialist capabilities and expertise while the majority will form part of the support to olympic venue security operations.

Reservists and employers will be given 60 days’ notice and the MOD will apply its policy of ‘intelligent selection’, designed to identify, in good time, those willing reservists with supportive employers with the requisite training, skills and availability.

The dialogue with a reservist’s employer is an important part of intelligent selection and is undertaken by the reservist and their local unit, supported by central and regional organisations.

Since 2008, around 2,300 reservists per year have been called out for operations around the world, to support and strengthen the Defence effort, while at a peak in 2004, reservists made up 20 per cent of our forces in Iraq and 12 per cent in Afghanistan.

The Reserves will be taking on an enhanced role, following the decision to invest £1.8bn in equipment and training as we move to a more integrated force by 2020.

There are currently almost 600 reservists in Afghanistan, representing some six per cent of the deployed force. As well as augmenting regular units, reservists supply vital skills, in particular medical and niche logistical and communication expertise.

Both the reservist and the overall Defence contribution are on a similar scale to the resources that were deployed by other nations at recent Olympic Games and will contribute to ensuring a safe, secure and enjoyable 2012 Olympics.

The call-out order takes effect from 16 February 2012 and ceases to have effect on 20 September 2012.