Image: AP / Clarence House
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"All the guys love him..."
He's known to the members of his Apache helicopter squad as "Big H" and to the citizens of the British Monarchy as Prince Harry. However, it might be time to add the word "hero" to Harry's various titles.
According to reports from the Sun, the prince opened fire and killed a Taliban leader in October.
"We were on patrol and the Apache helicopters were called in," a source told the outlet. "We heard this posh voice come over the radio and knew it was Big H. They were tracking a Taliban leader — he was commander level."
That "posh voice" did belong to Prince Harry, a co-pilot on one of the high-tech Apache helicopters armed with Hellfire missiles and 30mm cannons currently in use by British forces in Afghanistan. During the October mission, Harry gets credit for pulling the trigger that lit up the Taliban chief with some Hellfire missiles and 30mm artillery shells.
However, now that the story has gone public, there could be increased threats to the prince's safety.
"There is no doubt that chatter between jihadists in Afghanistan will increase in relation to intensifying attempts to harm the prince. The trouble is any increased threat against a member of UK forces directly threatens all those on the front line," a Western intelligence source told the Mirror.
"It is not helpful that the prince has been singled out in this way,” a senior aide added, mentioning later: “To say he personally did this could jeopardise future operations for the Apache team.”
Harry's military service follows in the long-standing tradition of other members of the monarchy. His father, Prince Charles, served five years in the Royal Air Force and Royal Navy. And Fergie's ex-husband - Harry's uncle - Prince Andrew was also a much-decorated pilot (helicopters and jets) with the Royal Navy.
In his early days with the British Royal forces, Harry served alongside ground troops. His deployment dates were highly guarded secrets in order to keep Harry and his company from becoming the focus of enemy attacks. The Prince showed an aptitude for flying and earned his wings to fly the Apache helicopter. His current position as co-pilot puts Harry in the front seat of the chopper and in charge of firing the main weapons.
The daily combat missions flown by the Apache helicopters are in support of the men (both British and Afghan security forces) on the ground in the very dangerous Helmand province. The UK's Sun also reports that Harry is a popular figure among the other service personnel.
"Big H is a legend, he's been out in Afghan and he's doing the business. All the guys love him — he's Big H," another source said of the prince. "He likes a drink and a laugh and he's one of the lads."
(H/T: Weasel Zippers)
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