Sun, May 09, 2010
The Latest Royal Helicopter Pilot Chooses Close Air
In a move that is almost certain to
quickly return him to Afghanistan, Britain's Prince Harry, a
newly-minted helicopter pilot, has chosen to fly Apache attack
helicopters for the Royal Army.
Lt. Harry Wales had originally opted for Lynx helicopters, which
are used primarily in surveillance and transportation roles. But he
switched to Apaches after having a "last minute change of mind,"
according to Royal sources.
The Times of London reports that the move may raise
constitutional issues because the choice means Prince Harry will be
involved in combat situations. The Apaches are armed with 30mm
cannon, Hellfire ground attack missiles, and rocket pods used
against hard and soft targets in Afghanistan.
Prince Harry will next undertake a conversion course to bring
him up to speed on the Apache, which is the UK's most advanced
helo. Following completion of the Operational Training Phase, he
will be awarded provisional wings, also known as a "brevet."
Lt. Wales has expressed an interest in returning to Helmand
Province in Afghanistan, where he served as a forward air
controller for 10 weeks in 2008.
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