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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

'I've taken a life to save a life': Prince Harry reveals he has killed Taliban on Afghan front line as he flies home from 2nd tour of duty

By HARRIET ARKELL

-Revealing interview as Prince, 28, prepares to fly home to Britain from 20-week tour of war-ravaged Afghanistan
- 'Captain Wales', as he's known in the British Army, confirms he's had to kill on duty and says 'lots of people have'
- He says he always wanted to be an 'Ugly' flying Apache attack helicopters but missed being on the frontline
- Says his older brother Prince William envies his job flying helicopters in desert, saying 'he'd love to be out here'
- Harry's commander says there's 'nothing safe' about job, and Harry's admits 'exhaustion' after seven-hour missions

Prepared to kill: Prince Harry at Camp Bastion in southern Afghanistan where he has been since September

Prince Harry returns from Afghanistan tonight after his latest four-month tour of duty in the country.
He has spoken for the first time about how he killed enemy fighters from his Apache helicopter during his latest tour of Afghanistan.
As the 28-year-old Prince prepared to return home to the UK after a 20-week posting to the war-torn country, he confirmed his role in taking Taliban insurgents 'out of the game', saying 'take a life to save a life'.

'Everyone's fired a certain amount': Captain Wales, as he is known in Helmand, says he has had to kill from the cockpit of his Apache helicopter in Afghanistan

In his role as a gunner in Apache attack helicopters, the Prince - known as Captain Wales in the army - had to fly on scores of daring missions with his finger on the triggers of deadly rockets, missiles, and a 30mm cannon.
Asked if he had killed from the cockpit, the third-in-line to the throne said matter-of-factly: 'Yeah, so lots of people have.

'It's a pretty complex job for everyone involved': Prince Harry says he mostly worked on escorting Chinooks on daring evacuation raids

'The squadron's been out here. Everyone's fired a certain amount.'
In a revealing series of interviews given to the Press at the end of Prince Harry's second tour of Afghanistan, he also said that his older brother was 'jealous' of his job flying helicopters in the desert.

Captain Wales as he is known in the British Army, races out from the VHR (very high ready-ness) tent to scramble his Apache with fellow Pilots, during his 12 hour shift at the British controlled flight-line in Camp Bastion southern Afghanistan

Prince Harry was sent on deadly sorties all over Helmand Province, helping allied troops fighting the Taliban at close quarters and accompanying British Chinook and US Black Hawk helicopters on casualty evacuation (CASEVAC) missions.
In his first deployment to Afghanistan, the Prince had to call in air strikes on enemy positions, which he watched on a monitor nicknamed 'Kill TV'.
But this time round he was in the hot seat.
He shrugged: 'Take a life to save a life, that's what we revolve around, I suppose.

Go Ugly Early: Prince Harry says he has always dreamt of having the 'Ugly' call sign of the Apache helicopters he flew on his second tour of Afghanistan. He had a vast firepower at his disposal when he was flying, as illustrated by this t-shirt worn by an Apache ground crew member

'If there's people trying to do bad stuff to our guys then we'll take them out of the game, I suppose.'
In his job as a co-pilot gunner (CPG), he flew on missions both planned and unplanned, often for hours on end over the barren desert, supporting the International Security Assistance Force (Isaf), the Afghan National Army (ANA), and Afghan National Police.
The Prince said killing the enemy was not what motivated him to take the job, the most important part of which involved accompanying Chinook helicopters on CASEVAC tasks, known by the call sign Tricky.
He said: 'It used to be very much: front seat, you're firing the whole time.

Prince Harry has spoken for the first time about how he killed enemy fighters from his Apache helicopter during his latest tour of Afghanistan

'Now, yes, we fire when we have to - take a life to save a life - but essentially we're more of a deterrent than anything else.
'We're a hugely reliable asset and the main thing for us is the Tricky escorts.
'If guys get injured we come straight into the overhead, box off any possibility of an insurgent attack because they just look at us and go "Right, that's an unfair fight, we're not going to go near them".

In his job as a co-pilot gunner (CPG), he flew on missions both planned and unplanned, often for hours on end over the barren desert, supporting the International Security Assistance Force (Isaf), the Afghan National Army (ANA), and Afghan National Police

Captain Simon Beattie, the commander of Prince Harry's flight of four men, said: 'It's easy to put aside the fact that he's third-in-line to the throne.
'He's a normal guy. He's someone I consider a friend and someone I enjoy working with, so it's not something you notice.'
The 30-year-old from Bath, who is also a CPG and has known the Prince for over a year, said he did not think twice before ribbing his royal colleague.
'Not at all, because he's pretty forward on the banter as well,' he said.

Downtime: Prince Harry claims he beats most of his co-fighters at Fifa on the PlayStation. Here he is seen celebrating a goal in a match against Pilot Captain Simon Beattie (left)

source: dailymail



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