Since 1962 (when the McConnell plan was formulated with its league table in which NATO countries are ranked according to the strategic significance of their geographic location), Civil Emergency Planning (CEP) had been topmost in the minds of NATO planners. Following the success, in 1965, of the Parco dei Principe conference, NATO ministers approved a secret report on Civil Emergency Planning. Under the terms of this secret NATO agreement, all of the countries of the Alliance were to establish an organisation composed of trustworthy and able individuals endowed with the necessary means and capable of intervening effectively in case of an invasion. In Germany, Belgium and Britain these organisations were set up within the framework of the regular and reserve forces. In Italy this auxiliary force was made up of specialists recruited because of their anti-communist reliability. The function of these forces was to establish secret bases, arms dumps and equipment caches and to go into action within the framework of the current NATO survival plan in the event of external socialist aggression or internal political upheavals. In the Italian context it was this NATO report which led directly to the recruitment of fascist terrorists who could act with impunity and under official cover as part of a legitimate military back-up force. In May 1976 the Rome weekly L’Europeo (circulation over 100,000) revealed the existence of a special training camp (weapons, explosives, psychological warfare) established, presumably by the Italian General Staff, at Alghero in western Sardinia in 1968, where training was given to members of the Delle Chiaie organisation. La Maddalena, northern Sardinia, is also the HQ of NATO Southern Land Forces.
In the British context it is interesting to note that the details of the existence of this Third Force type of organisation Civil Assistance Unison only emerged in the early seventies following the miners strike of 1974, under the command of General Sir Walter Walker, ex-Commander in Chief of NATO Forces, North Europe. Although both the Home Office and the Ministry of Defence instructed members of the forces and civil servants not to join such groups in 1974, Walker claimed that although these directives made things awkward he still had an extensive intelligence network and he had been assured by retired and serving members of the security services and Special Branch that his organisation would have their fullest support if the chips were down. Walker claimed his organisation could call on 100,000 volunteers. In 1976 General Walker stated that Unison could call a national conference of at least 5,000 delegates. Another semi-secret Third Force organisation in Britain is the paramilitary Legion of Frontiersmen of the Commonwealth (address: Records Officer, 284, Broadway, Bexleyheath, Kent, tel: 01-303-6288). Founded in 1904 by Captain Roger Pocock, it was officially recognised as an auxiliary branch of British Military Intelligence in 1906. Frontiersmen have fought in a number of wars, transporting themselves to the front line under their own steam.
The first British casualties of the Second World War were Frontiersmen who had attached themselves to the Belgian Army. Training is similar to that of the Territorials and duties include guards of honour on civic occasions, mounted escorts and aid to the civil power duties. Among the mainly inoffensive aims of the LFC is the following: In times of war and national emergency, to seek to aid the armed forces of the Crown in all possible ways and in particular by encouraging members of the Command and others to enlist in the armed or supporting forces. The Legion is not a part of the Ministry of Defence but it is approved by them. The President (two years ago anyway) is General Sir Rodney Moore, ex-Defence Services Secretary at the Ministry of Defence and, since 1975, Chief Steward of Hampton Court Palace. Less savoury members include John Kingsley Read, John Tyndalls successor as chairman of the National Front, a sergeant in the Blackburn branch of the LFC who used it as a recruiting ground for the NF.
Another similar semi-official organisation is a covert group within the government-funded Reserve Forces Association (RFA) called the Resistance and Psychological Operations Committee (RPOC). The RFA is the representative body of British military reservists and the British component of the NATO-supported Confederation Inter Allies des Officiers de Reserve (CIOR). The RFA was formed in 1970 and is also, formally, independent of the Ministry of Defence, but its 214 individual and 90 corporate members represent all the reserve units of the armed forces and the government, according to Chapman Pincher (Daily Express, 18 July 1977), treats it as the spokesman for Britain's reserve forces.
According to Pincher, the RPOC has been preparing the nucleus of an underground resistance organisation since 1971. Close links have allegedly been formed with similar units in several European countries which are actively recruiting anti-communist resistance fighters. They are also said to have established an intelligence network which NATO chiefs regard as being of great value.
The importance given to these reservist organisations is reflected in the recognition and support given to both RFA and CIOR at both national and NATO levels. CIOR was given formal recognition by the NATO Military Committee in 1977 and steps were being taken (in 1977) to involve CIOR in NATO military activities.
More recently Admiral Lord Hill Norton, former Chief of the Defence Staff and Chairman of the Military Committee of NATO (19747), General Sir Anthony Farrar-Hockley, former C-in-C NATO for Northern Europe, Air Marshall Sir Frederick Sowrey, the UK Representative on the Permanent Military Deputies Group CENTO, 1977-9, together with assorted groups of right-wing financiers and semi-psychopaths such as Sir David Wills, have launched a campaign to create a similar auxiliary defence force. Called Defence Begins at Home, the campaign hopes to build up a force of 700,000 reservists capable of crushing “subversion from within”.