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Training (Internal Security)

Volume 892: debated on Friday 23 May 1975

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asked the Secretary of State for Defence (1) if it is a regular feature of army training for exercises in counter-revolutionary operations to be arranged; and if the recent joint Anglo-American training operation in Great Britai-n was organised as a routine exercise;(2) what was the estimated cost to Her Majesty's Government of the recent joint Anglo-American training exercise in counter-revolutionary operations.

The Army regularly trains for its actual and potential internal security commitments. The particular training operation referred to was a routine one-day exercise designed to allow young officers at the Junion Division of the Staff College Warminster, as part of their syllabus, to practice the tactical use of helicopters with the assistance of soldiers of the Demonstration Battalion at Warminster. On this occasion a number of American soldiers who happened to be on a reciprocal visit to the United Kingdom were given the opportunity of taking part in place of some of the soldiers in the Demonstration Battalion. No extra costs were, therefore, incurred.

asked the Secretary of State for Defence what training is given in Her Majesty's Armed Forces in counterrevolutionary techniques and operations: and whether any such training is provided in order to deal with contingencies which could arise in Great Britain.

The Armed Forces are given the necessary training in the skills needed to assist the civil authority in countering threats to internal security. The emphasis given to any particular area will depend on circumstances, including, for example, the problems in Northern Ireland, or, in the case of Great Britain, recent terrorist threats.