02/09/2012

Top Gun Harry right on target for return to Afghanistan

Harry apache
A handout image obtained from Britain's Ministry of Defence shows EX Crimson Eagle Captain Wales (Britain's Prince Harry) preparing to go out on an Apache helicopter training mission at the Naval Air Facility (NAF) El Centro in California. (Getty Images)

Just call him The Deadeye Prince.

Prince Harry has moved one step closer to the heading back to  Afghanistan with his official graduation from the Apache attack helicopter course that elevated him to "combat-ready status."

Britian's Ministry of Defence put their seal of approval on "Captain Wales" and about 20 other classmates who completed the 18-month-long training this week (SEE VIDEO BELOW) by holding a graduation ceremony.

Special recognition was given to Harry, who earned the best co-pilot gunner award, given to the student "whose overall performance during the course is assessed as the best amongst their peer group." The award was a 30mm round from an Apache cannon mounted on a stand.

Part of 27-year-old prince's training took him to California and Arizona, where the conditions mirrored some of the environment of Afghanistan. The MoD will not be telling anyone when Harry will be deployed, but typically it would eight to 12 months.

In the meantime, he will be will be attached to 662 Squadron, 3 Regiment Army Air Corps,for further training in Britain. The unit has the distinction of the highest "kill rate" of any unit serving in Afghanistan, averaging two Taliban deaths a week.

Harry served in Afghanistan for 10 weeks in 2007-8 as a forward air controller.

 

The Apache AD-64D is the most advanced combat helicopter in the world. Scroll over the picture and click on some of its features.

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