From scandal to service: Harry sent to Afghanistan

Sep 08, 2012, 04:40 IST | Agencies

Prince Harry has returned to Afghanistan to fly attack helicopters in the fight against the Taliban.

The 27-year-old Army captain, who spent 10 weeks on the front line five years ago, will be in the hot seat of a fearsome Apache during his four-month deployment. Having arrived in the war-torn country in the early hours on Friday, Harry spent his first morning at Camp Bastion.

Top Gun: Prince Harry gives a thumbs-up upon his arrival at Camp Bastion, Afghanistan. Pic/AFP.

And while he is there Prince Harry will celebrate his birthday on tour, turning 28 next Saturday. After about 10 days of acclimatisation and training to hone his skills, Captain Harry Wales — as he is known in the Army — will be set to go out on operations in his role as co-pilot gunner.

The Queen and Prince of Wales were both fully briefed about his return to operations and Charles is ‘immensely proud of his son’, St James’s Palace said.

Harry has made no secret of his desire to return to active service, and has spent the past three years changing the direction of his military career from an armoured reconnaissance troop leader to an Army helicopter pilot in order to be posted back to Afghanistan.

A St James’s Palace spokesman said, “He’s approached the deployment with a range of emotions like any other soldier and feels both pride and anticipation as he deploys for a job he’s trained for, for so long. Prince Harry, like any soldier, considers it a great honour to represent his country in Her Majesty’s armed forces wherever it chooses to deploy him.”

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