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Central African Rep
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Cover Media | Fri, 07 Sep 2012
Britain’s Prince Harry has arrived in Afghanistan to complete a four-month deployment.
The 27-year-old royal arrived at Camp Bastion in Helmand in the early hours of Friday morning, while it was still dark.
He has been getting to grips with the Apache aircraft he will be flying during his stint in the country as part of the 662 Squadron, 3 Regiment Army Air Corps.
The royal flew out from Brize Norton in Oxfordshire and appeared relaxed at Camp Bastion, even giving a thumbs up gesture to photographers as he paced around in his army uniform.
Harry’s father Prince Charles is said to be very proud of his son. His brother Prince William met up with him earlier this week to say goodbye, with all the royal family aware he was heading to Afghanistan before it was officially announced.
“He is very proud to be given the opportunity to serve his country in the job for which he has been trained. He is going through the same range of emotions as any soldier before deployment; pride and anticipation,” a palace spokesperson said.
"His commander's assessment is that he is fully ready and trained. He will be treated exactly the same as any other pilot while he is there.
"The queen and the Prince of Wales have been kept informed all the way along and have known for a long time the window in which he would most likely deploy.”
Harry will be given ten days to acclimatise to his surroundings, after which he will start co-piloting the helicopters. It has been claimed he is there to “kill insurgents”.
The unit he is posted with has one of the highest kill rates of any in Afghanistan.
Harry spent ten weeks in the country between 2007 and 2008 but was pulled out due to safety fears. At that time there was a media blackout on reporting his whereabouts, but this time around the Ministry of Defence has decided it is safe for people to know about Harry’s work.
It was previously feared the Taliban might target Harry if they knew where he was, meaning other soldiers could be put at risk. As the prince will be in an aircraft this time, the threat is minimal.
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