13:18 08 September 2012
The Ministry of Defence has confirmed that Prince Harry has been deployed in Afghanistan on a four-month tour of duty as an Apache attack helicopter pilot.
The 27-year-old Captain arrived in Camp Bastion in Helmand. This will form his base for the duration of his tour with 622 Squadron, 3 Regiment Army Air Corps.
The royal will be operating the devastating aircraft's weapon systems which include a 30mm chain gun and a series of Hellfire missiles to kill insurgents.
Known in the Army as Captain Wales, Royal sources claim that the Prince is brimming with "pride and anticipation" as he returns to active duty four and a half years since his last tour. His previous tour of duty was previously cut short when a media blackout was broken. He was pulled when it became apparent that insurgents would concentrate their efforts trying to kill or capture the prized target, putting more troops at risk.
Taking the other approach this time, a reporter and photographer has accompanied the Prince on his tour to inform the public about his presence in Afghanistan.
Following a little over a week of acclimatisation and training, the Prince will be ready to go out on operations in his role as co-pilot gunner.
A spokesman for the Prince said: "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.
"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."
A defence source for The Telegraph put it bluntly: "Killing insurgents is what the machine Prince Harry flies is there for; you cannot put it any other way."
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