Royal Navy largest ship, HMS Ocean begins her Olympic deployment
One hundred and fifty sailors and aircrew recreated the Olympic Rings on the flight deck of the Royal Navy's largest ship to mark the start of her Olympic deployment for the 2012 London Games.
Amphibious assault ship HMS Ocean has arrived at Greenwich on the River Thames, where she will remain until after the end of the Paralympics, acting as a helicopter landing platform and logistics hub.
The 21,500 ton helicopter carrier will also be home for 400 military personnel providing security in Greenwich Park, where the equestrian events and modern pentathlon will take place.
A Navy spokesman said: “A mix of Royal Navy and Army Air Corps Lynx helicopters will be ready at short notice to launch from the ship's flight deck to support the police by providing airborne and maritime security for the Games.”
HMS Ocean first squeezed herself through the Thames Barrier in May on a trial run for her Olympic role.
A total of 17,000 servicemen and women will be involved in the Olympics, including 11,800 soldiers, 2,600 sailors and marines, and 2,600 airmen.
Some 11,000 of these will be involved in the security of more than 30 sporting venues and some 70 non-competition venues, including car parks and hotels, while others will carry out specialist support roles including air security, search teams, communications and logistics, among others.
Overall, a 23,700-strong security force for the Games will include a mix of military, private security guards and at least 3,000 unpaid London 2012 volunteers.
As well as HMS Ocean, RAF Typhoon jets will be stationed at RAF Northolt and Puma helicopters at a Territorial Army centre in Ilford.