Jan 24, 2013 No Comments ›› Spit Stixx
Excerpted from The Telegraph: The Prince, 28, has made it clear in interviews that he would love to get the chance of a third tour of duty, but his Apache squadron is not due to return before the scheduled pull-out of combat troops at the end of 2014.
It is almost inconceivable that the Prince would be allowed to return as a foot soldier, his preferred option, meaning that unless the Nato withdrawal deadline overruns, he will not be going back to Helmand.
The Prince is currently enjoying a month-long break from his Army duties following the end of his 20-week posting to Camp Bastion, after which he will return to Wattisham airfield in Suffolk, where his Army Air Corps squadron is based, to train for promotion from co-pilot to pilot.
He holds the rank of Captain, meaning he could apply for staff jobs based in the UK, but he may choose to remain a pilot for another 10 years or more.
That would mean that he could still see front-line service, but only if Britain goes to war on a new front.
A military source said: “There are five Apache squadrons and because Prince Harry’s squadron has just returned, it would not be due to go back for another 20 months, by which time combat troops will have pulled out.
“It’s highly unlikely that he will return for any other reason, though it is theoretically possible that he could be asked to go back if another co-pilot falls ill or due to other unforeseen circumstances. You can never say never.
“He might decide to transfer back to the Household Cavalry, but that’s entirely a decision for him.
“If he did decide to do that, we would have to look at the risk involved, but clearly being on the ground in an environment where you might be recognised and become a target, it’s unlikely [he would be allowed to go].”