Prince Harry Qualifies As Apache Helos Commander
Prince Harry has qualified as an Apache Aircraft Commander, giving him overall control of the two-man helicopter during missions, Kensington Palace has said.
The 28-year-old, who earlier this year completed a tour of Afghanistan as an Apache Co-Pilot Gunner, qualified in his new role this week.
His commanding officer, Lieutenant Colonel Tom de la Rue said: "This is a tremendous achievement for Captain Wales, who passed with flying colours.
"I am delighted that his new status as a qualified Apache Aircraft Commander and Co-Pilot Gunner places him at the very top of his profession."
Harry's new qualification is the culmination of three years of training which has seen him learn how to fly the Apache and use its deadly firepower, and conduct missions in Afghanistan.
Harry returned from his Afghan deployment in January after first being posted to the country last September.
A few weeks before flying out to the Middle East the royal was pictured naked during a weekend break in Las Vegas.
Interviewed on his return the prince said killing the Taliban was a job "you would expect to do" as a soldier.
A Ministry of Defence spokesman said Harry went through months of training ahead of a six-hour assessment for the new post.
He said: "Since coming back from Afghanistan he has been flying, doing lots missions by day and night - this is the culmination of that."
The assessment comprehensively tested his ability to perform as an aircraft commander across a wide range of tactical and procedural scenarios.
The spokesman said the prince had to plan and deliver patrol orders navigating throughout, fly in a controlled airspace and conduct a simulated attack on RAF Spadeadam in Cumbria, and at the same time manage a number of diversions and simulated aircraft emergencies.
Prince Harry , known as Captain Wales in the Army, serves in 3 Regiment Army Air Corps, which is part of 16 Air Assault Brigade's Attack Helicopter Force.
A Kensington Palace spokesman said: "Prince Harry will continue with normal duties as an Apache pilot based at Wattisham Airfield."
Source: The Huffington Post UK News – 5 July 2013
Photo: Prince Harry went through months of training ahead of a six-hour assessment for the new post (Photo by bilder.bild.de)