Friday, July 27, 2012 | | By: Febi

Germany: Extra troops travel to Olympics 25.07.12

300 troops from Germany have spent the day travelling to London for the second emergency Olympic security deployment.

Among them are soldiers from 1st UK Armoured Division Headquarters and Signal Regiment.

British Forces News saw them off from Hammersmith Barracks in Herford early this morning.

The one hundred and two Royal Signals troops only got their marching orders late last night.

They have been on standby since Friday and since yesterday morning on four hours notice to move. Now on the orders of the Cabinet Olympic Committee, they are finally on their way.

For soldiers who only a week ago had not expected to be on duty at the Olympics their mood waiting for a bus at 3am seemed surprisingly upbeat.

Although nobody here was allowed to speak publicly private conversations revealed some disappointment but mostly an understanding of the importance of the task.

Nearly half the 1 Div signallers were in Afghanistan as recently as May but all have managed to take their post operational tour leave.

They will have been buoyed by reports from fellow soldiers already in London of a show of public support for the military -- a feeling echoed by the Games organisers.

Families of the Herford troops are said to be resilient.

Operational tours, redundancies and regiments disbanding no longer surprise -- as one Army wife put it: "We're getting used to uncertainty."

Many feel that this second emergency Olympic deployment could have been worse.

These latest troops to leave for London are being told they will be home in a fortnight.

Quite what their duties will be remains unclear.

Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt has indicated they may not even be used at all.

The only certainty is their immediate destination: Feltham near Heathrow.

Once there the 1 Div signallers should have a clearer picture of their exact responsibilities in the coming days.

But they seem to be taking it in their stride -- all part of the "on the bus off the bus" nature of military life.


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