SOLDIERS from Bicester are doing their bit to ensure the Olympic Games go without a hitch.

Up to 200 troops from 23 Pioneer Regiment are working behind the scenes at the 2012 Games in London for about three weeks.

The troops, usually based at St David’s Barracks, Bicester, have been working at the Army camps near the Olympic site that supply soldiers to the various venues for security work.

About 4,800 troops were drafted in during the weeks before the start of the Games after the G4S fiasco, where the security firm did not have enough staff to man events across the country.

But the Bicester soldiers were mostly volunteers and had known for months they would be working at the Games.

Colonel Nick Short could not confirm the number of soldiers from Bicester at the Games, but said: “We use them in blocks of 100 so there are between 100 and 200.

“23 Pioneer has been providing, enabling, setting up and running bases for the military.”

The regiment suffered a blow last month after the Ministry of Defence announced it would be disbanded after October 2015.

Asked if working at the Olympics was an insult to soldiers of the regiment after that announcement, Col Short said various organisations within the Army were being merged or disbanded as part of the cuts, due to be completed by 2016.

He said: “They are not going just yet – 23 Pioneer Regiment will be after October 2015, in three years’ time, so it’s slightly disingenuous to say they were given the chop and then sent off to guard the Olympics.

“They knew for months they were going to support the Olympics and were not picked at the last minute.

“These guys knew for a long time and were mostly volunteers.”

No details of how many 23 Pioneer Regiment troops will be made redundant or redeployed to other regiments have been announced, and a decision has yet to be made over the future of St David’s Barracks.