Prince Harry deployed to Afghanistan for four-month frontline stint

The Prince arrived at Camp Bastion in Helmand Province on Thursday night ahead of his tour of duty, which will involve flying an Apache helicopter in support of ground troops on missions against the Taliban.

It is the second time the 27-year-old has been deployed to Afghanistan, having originally been sent to Helmand Province in 2008.

However that tour of duty, which was kept private, was cut short after the media learned of the deployment amid concerns from the Ministry of Defence that the Prince's safety had been compromised as a result.
Royal Navy Captain Jock Gordon, Commander of the Joint Aviation Group, said that the Prince - known in the military as Captain Wales - would be undertaking a 'difficult and demanding' job.

He added: 'I ask that he be left alone to get on with his duties and allowed to focus on delivering support to the coalition troops on the ground.'

Harry's last tour in Afghanistan saw him take the role of Forward Air Controller, calling in air strikes - although since that deployment in 2008 he has qualified as an Apache helicopter pilot.

He will be the first royal to see active combat since Prince Andrew served in the Falklands War - although the former head of the army, General Sir Mike Jackson, told Sky News the royal was fulfilling the duties he signed up for.

The Prince will be flying an Apache helicopter on missions against the Taliban during his four-month stint (Picture: AFP/Getty Images)
'Let's be clear, Harry and William chose to join the armed forces,' he said.

'They both know what is involved, it comes with the job and both of these young men, I have no doubt, understand that fully.'

The deployment comes following the recent scandal in which naked photos of the Prince at a pool party in Las Vegas were made public.

The photos, which were originally published on the TMZ website and later appeared in The Sun newspaper, sparked nearly 4,000 complaints to the Press Complaints Commission.


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