The British government raced to resolve a major security blunder on Friday, two weeks before the London Olympics.
Private firm G4S, which won a 340 million euro security contract for the 2012 games, admitted it only has around a third of the required 14,000 guards in place.
An extra 3,000 military personnel could be deployed to deal with the shortfall. Around 13,500 troops had already been pledged to be stationed at key locations during the games.
Several guards who have already been hired claimed the recruiting process had been chaotic.
“I don’t know what I am gonna be doing, where I am gonna be working, nothing,” said one security manager who asked to remain anonymous.
“There are hundreds of managers sat at home in exactly the same position as me, waiting to hear from G4S,” she told Britain’s ITV News.
London Mayor Boris Johnson was quick to rebuke accusations that Britain’s biggest peacetime security operation has failed before it has even begun.
“We’ve always planned to have substantial numbers of military helping out and if you go to somewhere like Wimbledon where you see the army, they are very spruce people, it adds to the tone of the occasion,” said Johnson.
Critics said the security operation for the Olympics, which includes surface-to-air missiles to prevent terrorist attacks, has become a farce. They blamed poor organisation and claim officials knew of the problems back in April.