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UK Operations

The UK Government has developed, and significantly improved, the Nation’s civil response capability after a series of challenging resilience events during the early 21st Century.  In accordance with the Civil Contingencies Act 2004, civil authorities take the lead in reviewing risks, planning for and responding to UK emergencies.


Under military aid to the civil authority (MACA) protocols, Defence plays a supporting role.  Defence can provide niche capabilities or more generalist support when the civil authorities’ capacity/capability is overwhelmed by an incident, or when directed to do so, or when preparing for major national events.

There are several recent diverse examples of incidents, emergencies and events where Defence has provided support. These have included mobilising personnel and capabilities to provide support during storms and flooding and the more discreet support to the response and recovery operation at Didcot power station. Defence has also been pivotal in providing security for large-scale, pre-planned events of international and national significance, including the London Olympics 2012 and Commonwealth Games 2014.

The increasingly interdependent nature of technology and infrastructure creates the potential for complex scenarios that will likely challenge the capabilities of conventional emergency responders. Resilience challenges, whether rapid onset or rising tide in nature can easily present risk to life and property as well as compromise the delivery of essential services.  As a result, Defence is constantly assessing how best to prepare to respond adaptively and with agility to a range of circumstances.

Commander Headquarters 11 Infantry Brigade & Headquarters South East will act as the Joint Military Commander for UK Operations and will support civil authorities in accordance with MACA  policies by co-ordinating the delivery of Defence support as  required.

Environment Agency Flood Barrier Training

HQ 11th Infantry Brigade recently took part in a training exercise with  the Environment Agency (EA) designed to increase preparedness for collaborative working during adverse weather situations which the UK is likely to face in the future. Training was provided by the EA on the new flood barrier assets they have at their disposal to counter the threat of flooding which would potentially be deployed by troops from within the 11th Infantry Brigade area of responsibility. Inter-operability between Defence and other partner agencies involved in UK Resilience is key to providing the most rapid and efficient response in the event of an emergency threatening the UK.