HL Deb 21 March 1985 vol 461 c756WA
The Earl of Lindsey and Abingdon

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they will give details of the aims and scope of Exercise "Brave Defender".

Lord Trefgarne

"Brave Defender" is a national military home defence exercise. The aims of the exercise are to test plans and procedures for the ground defence of vital establishments; liaison between the military and civil authorities over military home defence matters; and to demonstrate the Government's commitment to Home Defence. It is planned that about 65,000 servicemen, both regular and reservist, who would have a home defence role on mobilisation will take part. The Territorial Army, including the Home Service Force, will have an important role to play in the exercise. There will also be some United States forces involved in the exercise.

The exercise, which comprises two phases and a preparatory period, is scheduled for 2nd-13th September 1985. It will take place in various locations around Great Britain, and will test the revised Home Defence Plans described in the Statement on the Defence Estimates 1984 (Cmnd. 9227, paragraph 413).

The first phase consists of practice mobilisation of Home Defence forces and their deployment to the installations they are to defend. A representative selection of installations will be chosen as key points for exercise purposes. The second phase will involve guarding a variety of installations, practising defending them against simulated attack and forming mobile reaction forces. The installations used in the exercise will not necessarily be actual key points, information about which is classified. Enemy forces will be drawn from units with roles outside the United kingdom and will include a small element from British Army of the Rhine.

Where possible and realistic, all exercise activity will be confined to Ministry of Defence land and training areas, but it will be necessary to use some private land. Appropriate arangements will be made with the landowners concerned. While inevitably there will be greater than average military movement during the exercise, every effort will be made to minimise inconvenience to the public.

Details of the locations to be used in the exercise have yet to be finalised.