Royal Air Force Typhoon jets based at RAF Northolt will be roaring across London and the home counties tomorrow and Saturday as part of Operation Exercise Olympic Guardian, which lasts until May 10.
It is the first time fighter jets have been stationed at the west London site since World War Two and marks a major escalation of the UK capitalist state’s militarisation this summer, under the guise of Olympic Games security.
Military chiefs warn that residents in south-east England will notice an increase in often loud air activity, especially on May 4th and 5th.
Defence Secretary Phillip Hammond claimed the deployment of the Typhoon jets, which can travel at 1,370 miles per hour, underlines the ‘commitment of the Ministry of Defence and our armed forces to keeping the public safe at a time when the world will be watching us’.
Air Vice-Marshal Stuart Atha, described as ‘air component commander for Olympics air security’, said: ‘What we have is just prudent precautionary measures in place in the unlikely event that a threat from the air does manifest itself.’
He claimed the operation ‘would not set a precedent for any sort of enduring military commitment’.
Exercise Olympic Guardian is taking place on land, sea and air in the London and Weymouth areas between May 2nd and May 10th.
Operations will also include:
• Royal Navy Sea King helicopters based at RAF Northolt
• RAF Puma helicopters and Royal Navy airborne early warning helicopters stationed at a Territorial Army centre in Ilford, east London
• The berthing of HMS Ocean at Greenwich, with a number of Royal Navy Lynx helicopters on board
• The deployment of HMS Bulwark and other ships to Weymouth Bay and Portland Harbour
• The operation of fast jets and helicopters over Greater London and the Home Counties
• 13,500 military personnel will be involved in protecting the games
• Surface-to-air missiles to be deployed at six sites in London.