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Prince Harry to train in US as chopper pilot

By IANS/RIA Novosti,

Washington : Prince Harry, who is an accomplished combat helicopter pilot, will undergo training at two US military bases for an Apache attack helicopter course.

Michelle Dee, base spokeswoman at the Naval Air Facility in El Centro, California, said the prince would start training at the base in October and later continue at the Air Force Auxiliary Air Field in Gila Bend, Arizona.

Harry, who is a captain with the Blues and Royals squadron attached to Army Air Corps, was awarded his Apache Flying Badge in April.

But the prince needs to go through a more rigorous training before he could see real action fighting Taliban in Afghanistan, officials say.

The US training programme involves live firing of Apache’s formidable weaponry, tactical exercises and survival in combat.

The third in succession to the throne, Harry served for 10 weeks as a forward air controller in Helmand province of Afghanistan in 2008 but he was pulled out after a leak to press revealed his location making him a target for the Taliban.

Harry wants to return to combat action in Afghanistan. He wants to become a skillful Apache pilot, and knows he would never be allowed to fight Taliban on the ground again.