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Prince Harry to return to Afghan war frontline as gunship pilot

June 16, 2011 - London

Prince Harry is likely to return to Afghanistan as an Apache attack helicopter pilot after completing his training next year.

He has completed a ten-month training course to learn how to pilot the 46 million pound gunships and is now undergoing 'conversion to role' training, the Daily Mail reports.

Harry is said to have astonished his instructors with his aptitude for flying helicopters and his determination to succeed in the role.

"Only the top two per cent of military helicopter pilots make it to the Apaches and Harry has had to work extremely hard. There is no way his status as a royal could have got him this far," said a source from Ministry of Defence.

The further 'intensive' training is designed to ensure he is fit to fly perilous battlefield missions in the aircraft. This includes advanced mountain flying, as much of the fighting in Afghanistan takes place at high altitude.

Harry was secretly deployed to the war-torn country's Helmand province for ten weeks in 2007-08, directing air strikes against the Taliban.

But his time there was cut short when he was brought back to Britain after news of his presence leaked out.

Harry has often expressed the desire to return to the front line. He said last year he would love to return to Afghanistan with 'his brothers in arms'.


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