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Prince Harry to quit as helicopter pilot, take up army desk job

PTI | Last Updated: Friday, January 17, 2014 - 19:24

London: Prince Harry will quit his role as an ace Apache helicopter pilot to take up a desk job in the British Army, it was announced on Friday.

"The Prince will take the position of SO3 (Defence Engagement). His responsibilities will include helping to co-ordinate significant projects and commemorative events involving the Army in London," a Kensington Palace statement said.

"Prince Harry spent three and a half years in training and operational service with the Apache Force during his attachment to the Army Air Corps," it said.

Harry will be based in Horse Guards in Central London. The 29-year-old is not receiving a promotion and will remain as Captain Harry Wales in his new post, the Mirror reported.

"Captain Wales has reached the pinnacle of flying excellence as an Apache pilot, particularly in Afghanistan and, in the process, has proved to be a real inspiration to the many Army Air Corps officers and soldiers who have come to know him so well over the last two years," Lieutenant Colonel Tom de la Rue, who commanded Prince Harry in the Army Air Corps, was quoted as saying by the daily.

This comes only four months after his brother Prince William, 31, announced he was quitting the military for good to become a full-time royal.

At present Harry is based in Wattisham, Suffolk, with his unit 662 Squadron 3 Regiment Army Air Corps. He has completed two tours of Afghanistan and last summer qualified as an Apache aircraft commander.
The fourth in line to the throne has previously spoken of his frustration at being held back because of he is royalty.

He was prevented from serving alongside his comrades in Iraq in 2007, however just weeks later the Head of the British Army General Sir Richard Dannatt decided serious threats against the prince were too much of a risk.
Harry finally convinced military chiefs to change their minds a few months later and he was deployed to Afghanistan as a forward air controller.

Harry joined the Army in 2005, training at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst.

First Published: Friday, January 17, 2014 - 18:28

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