Prince Harry completes training, Afghanistan beckons

2012-02-09 13:41

London – Britain’s Prince Harry has qualified as an Apache attack helicopter pilot in a move that is expected to bring him closer to being deployed in Afghanistan.

St James’s Palace said the prince (27) received his qualification at a ceremony late yesterday following 18 months of training on the attack helicopter, which included a spell in the United States.

The Apache is designed to hunt and destroy tanks. It can operate in all weather day and night, and is equipped with rockets, missiles and a machine gun.

It is used in Afghanistan and was deployed last year in the NATO-led mission in Libya.

Captain Wales, as he will be known in the Army Air Corps, has repeatedly said that he is keen to return to Afghanistan where he served for 10 weeks at the end of 2007 before the breach of a news blackout ended his tour.

It is expected that he will have to undergo further pre-deployment training in Britain before going to Afghanistan later this year.

St James’s Palace stressed that the issue of Harry deploying on operations is a “matter for the Ministry of Defence chain of command”.

At the ceremony at a Royal Air Force base near Ipswich, south-east England, Harry was also presented with the best co-pilot gunner award.

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