Prince Harry returns from deployment in Afghanistan
By The Associated Press
Published: Monday, Jan. 21, 2013, 8:58 p.m.
LONDON — Capt. Wales is coming home to be Prince Harry once again.
The Ministry of Defense revealed on Monday that the 28-year-old prince is returning from a five-month deployment in Afghanistan, where he served as an Apache helicopter pilot with the Army Air Corps. It did not immediately divulge his exact whereabouts.
In interviews conducted in Afghanistan, the third in line to the British throne described feeling boredom, frustration and satisfaction during a tour that saw him fire at Taliban fighters on missions in support of ground troops.
When asked whether he had killed from the cockpit, he said: “Yeah, so lots of people have.”
He also spoke of his struggle to balance his job as an army officer with his royal role — and his relief at the chance to be “one of the guys.”
“My father's always trying to remind me about who I am and stuff like that,” said Harry, the younger son of Prince Charles and the late Princess Diana. “But it's very easy to forget about who I am when I am in the army. ”
Stationed at Camp Bastion, a sprawling British base in the southern Afghan desert, the prince — known as Capt. Wales in the military — flew scores of missions as a co-pilot gunner, sometimes firing rockets and missiles at Taliban fighters.
“Take a life to save a life. That's what we revolve around, I suppose,” he said. “If there's people trying to do bad stuff to our guys, then we'll take them out of the game.”
Harry's second tour in Afghanistan went more smoothly than the first, in 2007-08, which was cut short after 10 weeks when a magazine and websites disclosed details of his whereabouts. British media had agreed to a news blackout on security grounds.
This time, the media were allowed limited access to the prince in return for not reporting operational details.
A member of the air corps' 662 Squadron, the prince was part of a two-man crew whose duties ranged from supporting ground troops in firefights with the Taliban to accompanying British Chinook and U.S. Black Hawk helicopters as they evacuated wounded soldiers.
He said that while it was necessary to fire on insurgents, the formidable helicopter — equipped with wing-mounted rockets, Hellfire laser-guided missiles and a 30mm machine gun — was usually an effective deterrent.
Ever since Harry graduated from the Sandhurst military academy in 2006, his desire for a military career has collided with his royal role. After his curtailed first Afghan deployment, he retrained as a helicopter pilot in order to have the chance of being sent back.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Eastern European military officers say security, economic ties blunt Russia’s war threat in Ukraine
- Egypt decrees protection for election commission
- Guardsmen in Caracas block food-shortage protest march
- Syrian military seizes rebel town near Lebanon border
- Cuba allows phone access to some email
- Oil slicks spotted in hunt for jet with 239 aboard
- Terrorists attack Pakistan court, killing 11
- Progress reported on tenuous Ukraine
- Malaysia loses contact with plane carrying 239; 4 from U.S. aboard
- 28 dead, 113 injured in knife attack at Chinese train station
- Egypt military chief a near lock to run for president