July 22, 2014

Prince Harry back in Afghanistan as Apache helicopter pilot

By Sajad - Fri Sep 07, 2:56 pm

Prince Harry has arrived in Afghanistan to begin a four-month tour of duty as an Apache attack helicopter pilot, the Ministry of Defence has announced.

The prince, who is known as Captain Wales within the armed forces, flew into the conflict zone from RAF Brize Norton along with hundreds of other military personnel as part of the regular rotation of forces.

Having arrived in the war-torn country in the early hours today under the cover of darkness, Prince Harry spent his first morning at Camp Bastion checking over the state-of-the-art Army aircraft.

It is his second Afghanistan deployment – he spent 10 weeks in Helmand province in 2007-08 but was pulled out after media reported his secret deployment.

As a recently qualified co-pilot gunner with 662 Squadron, the 27-year-old royal will be in charge of one of the two-seater Apaches. The army has 67 of the aircraft in total, but the number being used in Afghanistan is a closely guarded secret.

Royal Navy Captain Jock Gordon, Commander of the Joint Aviation Group, said: “He will be in a difficult and demanding job. And I ask that he be left to get on with his duties and allowed to focus on delivering support to the coalition troops on the ground.”

Prince Harry is the first member of the Royal Family to see active combat since his uncle Prince Andrew fought in the Falklands war.

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