Conflict & Justice

Prince Harry may redeploy to Afghanistan (VIDEO)


Prince Harry, known as Captain Wales on base, has the blessing of Queen Elizabeth II to return with the Royal Air Force to Afghanistan as an Apache helicopter pilot next year.


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Prince Harry may be redeployed to Afghanistan with his Army unit next year.  

A British army captain, Harry — an Apache helicopter pilot — served 10 weeks in Afghanistan in 2008, but his tour of duty was cut short for safety reasons when his location was leaked to the press. 

Britain's Chief of Defence Staff at the time, Air Chief Marshal Sir Jock Stirrup, said any future deployments by the Prince would depend on ensuring there was no additional risk to fellow military personnel, Sky News reports.

Known on base as Captain Wales, the 26-year-old is currently undergoing "conversion to role" training at the Royal Air Force Wattisham.

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He was quoted in 2008 saying he wanted to go back to Afghanistan "very, very soon."

A former commander of the British forces in Bosnia, Bob Stewart, now a conservative lawmaker, told the Telegraph: 

"Let's get this clear, Prince Harry wants to return to Afghanistan, the army would like him to go back to Afghanistan." 

"The only problem is what sort of risk might he be at and might he put other people in and it seems likely take he can go back to Afghanistan, which is great."

Britain's Ministry of Defense and royal spokespeople declined to comment on the report.

And a spokesman for Clarence House — Prince Harry's family home, in that it's the official residence of Prince Charles, his father and the current heir to the throne — told Sky News that Harry's deployment would be a matter for the Army when his final training ended.

"Harry is an Army pilot and will deploy wherever the Army chooses to send him. His course finishes in 2012 and after that his deployment will be a matter for the Army chain of command."

The Queen has reportedly given the go-ahead for Harry to return. His uncle, Prince Andrew, also flew a helicopter in a combat role, carrying out multiple missions during the Falklands War in 1982.

Harry was most recently in the news for organizing the recent royal wedding after-party for his brother, Prince William — also a military helicopter pilot — and his bride Kate Middleton.