Prince Harry has just began serving as a chopper pilot in Afghanistan. During this fourth-month tour, Prince Harry will participate in combat missions against the Taliban.
Nonetheless, it’s not his first experience of this kind, but the second. The first Afghanistan deployment lasted 10 weeks and took place in Helmand province between 2007-2008. Prince Harry was pulled out after media discovered and reported his secret deployment.
Harry is known in the military as Captain Wales and is the first member of the Royal Family to see active combat since Prince Andrew, his uncle, who fought in the Falklands war.
Prince Harry will have many difficult tasks and he will be at higher risks during this experience. Jock Gordon, the Royal Navy Captain, Commander of the Joint Aviation Group, declared: “Captain Wales, with his previous experience as a Forward Air Controller on operations, will be a useful asset. 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.”
The prince is qualified as an Apache helicopter pilot, after training 18 months in the UK and the US. Recently, a Taliban spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid said that the terror group will do anything to kidnap or kill Prince Harry: “We are using all our strength to get rid of him, either by killing or kidnapping. We have informed our commanders in Helmand to do whatever they can to eliminate him.”
The British government didn’t comment on these threats against Prince Harry. Nevertheless, NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said: “That’s not a matter of concern. We do everything we can to protect all our troops deployed to Afghanistan, whatever might be their personal background.” For the moment, Prince Harry is stationed at Camp Bastion in Helmand province, on the front line.