Tag Archives: missiles

Missiles

Sorry for the lack of posts. Holidays and work all at once. No excuse I know, and I was sad to miss the Race for Life.

Rachel writes:

I heard that on Tuesday last week (3 July) Blackheath councillors had a meeting with constituents attended by a representative from the Olympics police, to hear/answer their concerns about the Olympics. Could I ask please if this meeting was written up and reported anywhere in a newspaper or on the web? Did anyone tweet from the meeting?

The South African Times thinks that “middle class leafy Blackheath” is far less concerned about the missiles than Bow. I beg to differ.

I see that there’s till no advertising on the station’s new wobbly bridge. Yet…

UPDATE:
Councillor Kevin Bonavia replied:

In answer to Rachel’s question about what happened at the Blackheath Assembly meeting on 3 July, we had a return visit from the MOD and Metropolitan Police Olympics liaison officers, who gave a presentation and took questions from residents. I don’t have a full note of everything that was said, but we were given copies of the attached leaflet for Blackheath residents as prepared by the MOD. The leaflet gives much more detailed information than that contained in the earlier version circulated back in March. In particular, it provides a response to my commonly shared concern about security of the site, namely that it will be protected by armed police in addition to MOD personnel. Please also note the contact details if there any questions that fall outside the leaflet.

MOD Missiles Leaflet (pdf)

The Missile Hotline is 07879 603506. They say that you can leave a message and a representative of the Ministry of Defence will call you back. Alternatively, you can email LONDIST-MoDOlympicsEnquiries@mod.uk

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Transcript of missiles debate

The Hansard transcript of the missiles debate between Phillip Hammond and Heidi Alexander is now available:

http://www.theyworkforyou.com/debates/?id=2012-06-11a.8.0&s=speaker%3A24953#g8.1

 

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Missiles ‘a disgrace’

Missiles on Blakheath

The Press Association writes that:

A major military exercise in London to test security ahead of the Olympics “achieved its objectives” and final decisions on whether to deploy equipment including surface-to-air missiles will now be taken, Defence Secretary Philip Hammond has said.

Philip Hammond, the ‘defence’ Secretary also says that:

“The exercise achieved its objectives and I’m confident we are well placed to deliver this important role.”

The objectives of getting the BBC and ITV to point their cameras at a couple of authoratative army generals standing in front of missiles, comparing them to golf bags.

Local MP Heidi Alexander asked:

“It is my understanding a final ministerial decision has yet to be taken (on missiles at Blackheath).

“When will that decision be made and will the Ministry of Defence (MoD) be in direct contact with residents who live in close proximity to the proposed sites to inform them of the decision?”

Mr Hammond said: “You are right. We have now received the military advice on the outcome of the exercise that took place and ministers will now consider that advice and make a final decision about the deployment of ground-based air defence systems.

“As you would expect, when a decision is taken it will be made first to this House but I will ensure the Army then engages with residents who live in close proximity to the sites to make sure they are aware of all the ramifications of the decision, if the decision is indeed taken to go ahead and deploy.”

So with the Olympics starting next month, they still can’t decide whether putting missiles on the heath to blow up aeroplanes over London is a dumb idea.  Or perhaps they have already decided, but are deferring the decision until the last possible moment.

Interestingly, there’s no mention of whether the missile’s guards will be unarmed, as was suggested in one of the previous local leaflets.

By the way, the quotation marks in the headline are mine.  If they can editorialise through scare quotes, so can I…

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Blackheath missile videos


England prevails.

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Missiles demoed on Blackheath – BBC News

Missiles on BBC News
BBC News package about the missiles. No voxpops.

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Blackheath Missiles on ITV News

Blackheath missiles on ITV news
I don’t know about you, but I always feel far more informed after I’ve watched three voxpops. Thank goodness they didn’t interview anyone important.
Missiles on Blackheath Common – ITV News

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Army begins setting up missiles on the Heath

Army setting missiles up on the heath
Apparently there’s a (hopefully not too practical) demo for the media at 2pm? Photo by @alexbrooks on Twitter:

Councillor Kevin Bonavia has sent a copy of the MoD leaflet over. You can view it here.

Don’t forget – they haven’t taken a decision on whether to deploy missiles on the heath yet. I’m sure they’ll come to their senses after a short period of consultation. Because that’s what usually happens.

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Come and consult with the missiles

As currently being reported on the Blackheath Society’s site, the MoD will be holding a touchy-feely “come and look at our missiles day” on May 4th.

As part of a National exercise for Olympic security from May 2nd – May 10th, a Ground Based Air Defence Unit will operate on Blackheath from 2nd May.    Residents are invited to meet the team on 4th May from 16.00 – 19.000.   These timings are subject to change.

See their very exciting website called Operation Olympics Defence Support to London 2012.  Not Operation Appease The US with a Frankly Unworkable Security Plan.  Yay for the Olympics.  What utter nonsense.

See other missile-madness related stories from this blog.

PS – Liked Ed’s comment on the Big Screen story:

Will the big screen show the missile launches too?

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The missiles will be armed, but the guards won’t…

Letter from local Lib Dem councillors:
Emphasis mine:

Dear Resident

Surface-to-air missiles on Blackheath

Many residents will be concerned to hear that a Rapier surface-to-air missile system might be deployed on Blackheath during the Olympics. Following on from a briefing by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) and the Metropolitan Police at last night’s Blackheath Assembly meeting, we can confirm that Blackheath is being considered as one of six potential missile bases.

Blackheath has been selected because of its height and vantage point over London and the Thames corridor. The actual site has been located as the area immediately outside Holly Hedge House (the TA centre). The defence system consists of a missile launcher, radar sensor and tracker and will be guarded by unarmed military police. An enclosure will be erected around the equipment, the size of which is currently being determined.

At present, information is being gathered by the MoD and fed to the Secretary of State for Defence, who will make the ultimate decision about what is sited where, by early summer. We have got a guarantee that there will be further consultation with residents before a decision on final deployment.

We have ascertained that the footprint used will be as small as possible and there will be no restrictions on using the heath or any road closures associated with this.

We felt that the liaison officers from the MoD and the Police were as open as possible within the constraints of national security and we will be pressing them to continue this process of consultation right through to the event.
If you have any specific concerns you wish us to raise with them please let us know.

Is it advisable to tell the public that the military police guarding the missiles will be unarmed?
My parody limit has been reached… I honestly can’t tell any more.

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Leaflet from the MoD on missiles

Councillor Chris Maines has forwarded the information leaflet from the MoD, explaining the test.

MoD leaflet about the Olympics Rapier missile testing (PDF)

Below is the text from the PDF.

How are the Armed Forces contributing to the Olympics?
When there is a significant event in the UK, the Civil Authorities seek assistance from the Armed Forces and the Olympics is no different.
As part of the Military Assistance to the Civil Authorities, the Armed Forces are assisting the Police with security for the Olympics

Why are we here?
We are running an exercise locally to test the sensors and communications on our Air Defence Systems which might be used to support the police-led security operation for the Olympics 2012.
As part of our ongoing planning, we are testing the equipment to make sure that, if it is used, it will work effectively in this environment and we will ensure any impact to the local community is noted and addressed.

Why is the military doing this?
The military is providing support to the police security plan for the Olympics, in London and across the UK. We need to make sure our equipment works.

Why has this location been chosen?
This site provides one of the best locations in London for this equipment, should it be decided to deploy it for the Olympics.

Does that mean we are a target?
No. It is not being considered for deployment in response to any specific threat. The equipment has a range of capabilities including its radar and it will represent a powerful deterrent.

Is the equipment safe?
There is no danger to the public from today’s testing.
Will it affect my mobile telephone or my TV network? We have carried out careful planning to make sure it should not interfere with your TV or mobile reception and are confident that this will not occur. Our testing today will confirm this.
What does HVM (the High Velocity Missile) do? HVM is a piece of equipment that we use to protect ourselves against hostile aircraft and helicopters.

What does Rapier do?
The Rapier system can track aircraft using its sensors and if necessary deter an attack from the air.

Why are you testing it without missiles?
We don’t need missiles when we test the sensors and communications systems.

How long will it be here for?
We will only be here for a few hours.

Will you be coming back?
It is probable that we will come back for some further testing or exercising. We will keep local Councils and landowners informed.

Remember, blowing things out of the sky is defence. Not a colossal waste of time and money. And nothing to worry your pretty heads about.

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