Operation Redfold Launched in Case of No-Deal Brexit
MOD Puts Military Phase of Operation Yellowhammer Into Effect
The Ministry of Defence has taken steps to ensure Britain’s stability in case of a no-deal Brexit. Codenamed ‘Operation Redfold,’ the MOD has activated an operations group in a nuclear bunker under the Ministry of Defence building in Whitehall, London.
3,500 troops at readiness to aid contingency plans.
As many as 3,500 military personnel could be called out, with around 10% of those being reservists.
Operation Redfold is the military planning arm of Operation Yellowhammer, the codename used by the British government to refer to cross-departmental, no-deal contingency planning.
With Op Redfold in effect, the MOD is stepping up plans to be ready to respond to any requests for military assistance that may come from other government departments in the event of a no-deal exit from the European Union next week.
Op Redfold is being directed from the Defence Crisis Management Centre, a nuclear-proof bunker called Pindar deep underground beneath the MOD’s main office building in Whitehall. It is the facility used by the armed forces at a time of war or national emergency.
Construction of Pindar took ten years and cost £126.3 million. Pindar became operational in 1992, two years before construction was complete. Pindar’s main function is as a crisis management and communications centre, principally between the MOD headquarters and the actual centre of military operations, the Permanent Joint Headquarters in Northwood.
The name Pindar comes from the ancient Greek poet, whose house was the only one left standing after the city of Thebes was razed in 335 BCE. The MOD’s Pindar has bunks for up to 100 military officers, politicians and civilians as well as communication facilities, a medical centre and maps.
The Op Redfold announcement follows confirmation earlier this year that reservists could be called out on operations if Britain leaves the European Union without a deal.
Military commanders would be able to send ‘call out’ notices to personnel if requested by government departments.
A number of military exercises have been conducted to help prepare commanders for dealing with a range of possible eventualities in the event of a no-deal Brexit.
An MOD spokesperson said that “We are always willing to support wider government planning for any scenario, and we have committed to holding 3,500 troops at readiness to aid contingency plans. We will consider any requests from other government departments if they feel defence capability could contribute to their no-deal planning.”
It is believed that the MOD has already spent at least £23m on stockpiling food, fuel, spare parts and ammunition at bases overseas and at home to counter the possibility of disruption to supply lines.
Image: MOD plaque by Harland Quarrington (Crown Copyright, 2013).