London: Prince Harry, who returned home when the news of his deployment in Afghanistan broke in media in 2008, may have to go back to the front line before the end of the year.
Addressing the Queen at the Diamond Jubilee Parade and Muster military tribute in Windsor, Gen Richards, Chief of the Defence Staff, said that the 27-year-old is likely to resume operational duties, raising the prospect he will soon be flying Apache helicopters in Helmand.
Prince Harry’s success in flying training means it is likely he will serve operationally again, the Daily Mail quoted Richards as saying.
It is the first time that a senior military figure has given such a clear indication of Harry’s future deployment.
Harry’s return to the war zone will again raise fears that he would be a trophy target for the Taliban.
Harry has been on limited combat ready status since February, which means he could be sent to Afghanistan with 662 Squadron.
Prince Harry qualified as an Apache helicopter pilot in February this year after 18 months of training in the UK and US.
He was a high-flyer during his Apache training, qualifying top of his class - which is a huge achievement given how notoriously difficult these airborne tanks are to master.