Olympics minister: Extra troops reassure athletes

By ROB HARRIS | July 17, 2012 | 8:41 AM EDT

An army vehicle seen outside Tobacco Dock, in Wapping, east London, Monday, July 16, 2012. A total of 3,500 troops, many of whom will be billeted at Tobacco Dock near Wapping, east London, were brought in to boost the number of servicemen and women involved in Games security last week. (AP Photo/Dominic Lipinski/PA) UNITED KINGDOM OUT - NO SALES - NO ARCHIVES

LONDON (AP) — Britain's Olympics minister says the soldiers at the Olympic Park will give people "enormous reassurance" at the London Games.

About 3,500 more troops are being brought to Olympic venues to fill the void left by private security contractor G4S, which couldn't provide enough guards.

Asked if the army will help to ensure a safer Olympics, minister Hugh Robertson said Tuesday: "I've always felt this."

Soldiers who have been fighting in Afghanistan have switched their weapons for metal-detecting security wands at airport-style checkpoints to the Olympic Park.

Robertson, a former army major, says athletes are "incredibly reassured to see the armed forces on the gate."