WILSHIRE, UK (Reuters) - Soldiers from the British Army's Fifth Battalion, the rifles, and the King's Royal Hussars are collaborating with the Environment Agency in a training exercise focused on flood defense at Alford Barracks in Wilshire, officials said on [Date].
With heavy rain and flash floods becoming more frequent, the need for rapid response and temporary defenses, especially in areas not traditionally protected, has increased. "Around the countryside, there's a vast infrastructure of flood defenses like berms and walls. But with unexpected heavy rains leading to flash floods, we often find sites that wouldn't typically get protection requiring it," Lt Col Rod Small, Joint Regional Liaison Officer, told Reuters.
"This is where temporary mobile barriers come into play, allowing flexibility and a rapid response to these out-of-the-ordinary events."
The Environment Agency revealed they have over 40 kilometers of these temporary barriers. However, deployment at a large scale requires manpower, emphasizing the need for army involvement.
"Following events like Storm Angus, we realized the magnitude of such situations. We have the barriers, but deploying them at short notice requires a significant workforce, and that's where the army's involvement becomes crucial,"
said Robbie Williams from the Environment Agency.
Sgt Daniel Summer of the King's Royal Hussars highlighted the human side of the mission. "It's about community. If my house was at risk and people stepped up to help, the gratitude would be immense. That's the spirit we carry into these exercises, ensuring we can safeguard properties, valuables, and life savings," he said.
The Ministry of Defence aims to streamline the collaboration process between the military and authorities like the Environment Agency, ensuring a quicker and more efficient response during emergencies.