11/10/2011

Prince William heading for tour of duty in Falklands

William helicopter

Prince William and his wife Kate are separating ... for six weeks, anyway.

The prince is heading for the Falkland Islands in February as part of his duties as an RAF search and rescue helicopter pilot.

The six-week posting to the politically-sensitive British territory off the coast of Argentina means Will and Kate will be enduring their longest separation since they were married. The posting also comes 30 years after Britain fought off military assault on the islands by Argentina, which continues to claim sovereignty over the Falklands.

RAF Mount Pleasant was opened by Prince Andrew -- a former Sea King pilot who fought in the Falklands war -- in 1985, and is home to about 1,000 British military personnel.

The prince is currently stationed in Wales, where he and Kate rent a home off the RAF Valley base. In the Falklands, he'll be staying in much more spartan quarters -- alone. Each room "has a minimum of a single bed, wardrobe with internal shelving, desk, and sink unit with mirror," according to the Ministry of Defence.

"The only thing that individuals may find useful to bring is an extra coat hook," it adds.

A tour of duty in the Falklands is considered routine for for search and rescue pilots. As in Wales, his duties will be to co-pilot a helicopter to any emergencies within range of the page.

"This deployment forms part of a normal squadron crew rotation and will form part of Flt Lt (Flight Lieutenant) Wales' training and career progression as a Search and Rescue pilot within the RAF," the MoD said in a statement.

The timing of the deployment means William will at least be around home for his wife's 30th birthday on Jan. 9.

 

 

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