Prince Harry kills Taliban insurgents, ending second tour of duty
Prince Harry will soon be returning back home after a five-month deployment in Afghanistan, the Ministry of Defense revealed on Monday, January 21, and the 28-year-old royal talked to reporters recently about his experience.
While in Afghanistan, where he served under the name Capt. Wales, the prince was an Apache helicopter pilot with the Army Air Corps. He said he fired at Taliban fighters on mission to support the ground troops.
"Yeah, so, lots of people have," the prince replied, according to Returers, when asked if he killed insurgents. "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."
"If there's people trying to do bad stuff to our guys, then we'll take them out of the game, I suppose," he added.
The prince was stationed at Camp Bastion and was a member of the air corps' 662 Squadron. He was part of a two-man crew whose duties included accompanying British and U.S. helicopters as they evacuated wounded soldiers.
The prince's first tour, in 2007-2008, was cut short after 10 weeks because several media outlets compromised his security by disclosing his whereabouts.
Harry also spoke about his experience with his fellow soldiers and being able to, if only temporarily, forget his royal responsibilities. He told reporters that he shared a basic room with another pilot and often passed the time playing video games and watching movies with his fellow officers. However, the reminder of his royal life was not far because he was accompanied by a security detail when he was not flying.
"My father's always trying to remind me about who I am and stuff like that," Harry said, according to the Associated Press. "But it's very easy to forget about who I am when I am in the army. Everyone's wearing the same uniform and doing the same kind of thing."
"It's as normal as it's going to get," Harry added. "I'm one of the guys. I don't get treated any differently."
Several of Harry's family members have served in the military, including his older brother Prince William, who is a Royal Air Force search-and-rescue pilot.
The prince also addressed his controversial trip to Las Vegas, which led to compromising photos of Harry being leaked to the press. The photos showed the prince playing pool in the nude inside a Las Vegas hotel suite. One picture showed him standing and covering his private parts while glancing at a television, while what appears to be a topless woman is seen next to him. A second photo showed him standing naked behind another nude person.
"It was probably a classic example of me probably being too much army, and not enough prince," he said.
"I probably let myself down, I let my family down, I let other people down," Harry added, according to the wire service. "But at the end of the day I was in a private area and there should be a certain amount of privacy that one should expect."
Up next for Harry is a charity race with a group of injured service men to the South Pole. He is also set to become an uncle when William's wife Kate Middleton, aka Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge gives birth to her first child in July.