UK & World News
Prince Harry: I Killed Taliban In Afghanistan
Prince Harry has confirmed he killed Taliban insurgents during his latest tour of Afghanistan, saying: "We fire when we have to - take a life to save a life."
The third-in-line to the throne is on his way home after a five-month tour of the war-torn country as an Apache pilot gunner, where he said his unit took enemy fighters "out of the game".
The prince's job meant he was in the front seat of the attack helicopter, controlling an array of weapons including a 30mm cannon and Hellfire Missiles.
When asked if he had killed from the cockpit the 28-year-old replied: "Yeah, so lots of people have."
However Captain Wales, as he is known in the Army Air Corps, said the sight of an Apache was often enough to make Taliban fighters flee.
"They look at us and just go 'Right, that's an unfair fight, we're not going to go near them'.
"But occasionally we get taken on, even when we are overhead.
"Take a life to save a life. That's what we revolve around, I suppose. If there's people trying to do bad stuff to our guys, then we'll take them out of the game, I suppose."
The prince's duties included stints as part of the Very High Readiness (VHR) team at Camp Bastion in Helmand, which meant whiling away the hours playing board games and sleeping fully clothed awaiting a call 24 hours a day.
He said his crew got their response time down to just "six-and-a-half or seven minutes".
Once airborne the task could be anything from medical evacuation of a wounded soldier, to firing on the enemy who might have coalition troops pinned down.
"Every time you run the aircraft you get that adrenaline rush and then once you're in the aircraft you've got to try and slow yourself down because otherwise, if the adrenaline is pumping too much, if you're going too fast you're going to miss something."
For the most part 662 Squadron treated their Royal colleague as just one of the team, but when the prince had to mix with other soldiers at Camp Bastion in Helmand, he sometimes felt uncomfortable.
"I go to the cookhouse and everyone has a good gawp.
"That's one thing that I dislike about being here, because there's plenty of guys in here who've never met me and think of me as Prince Harry as opposed to Captain Wales, which is frustrating."
While he enjoyed Army life, the prince described a Taliban attack on the camp last September as a "reality check".
Insurgents broke into the heavily armed base, killing two US marines and wrecking equipment.
"This camp is in the middle of Afghanistan so you should expect to be attacked at any point.
"The guys dealt with it really well and it was on my birthday, so it was a bit of a reality check."
Harry's first tour of Afghanistan in 2008 was cut short when foreign media broke a news blackout, and he had to come home early.
He is bitter about being pulled out last time, and would have gone back to his old regiment - part of the Household Cavalry - if he could.
However, it was deemed to be too dangerous.
"My choice would have been out on the ground with my regiment. That sounds quite spoilt when I'm standing in front of this thing (an Apache helicopter)."
Harry and his squadron now plan to spend time "decompressing" - letting their hair down in Cyprus - before flying back home for a few weeks' leave.
After that, Harry's plans are less clear.
"I'll always be here for my grandmother and whoever needs to send me abroad for whatever reason," he said.
"I don't really have any plans. This was my main effort to get back out to Afghanistan - that's another tick in the box.
"As to how long I'm going to spend in the Army, who knows? I will continue to bounce between my Army job and the other job."
Hello, regular commenting on Orange News and Sport pages closes on Thursday 30 May 2013. We will continue to provide a commenting facility on major news and sport events on orangeworld.co.uk. Contact us via http://oran.ge/OWfeedback if you have any further questions. Thanks.
what do you think?
We do not need to know that Harry ,stop making your self a target you have the responsibly for the safety of your comrade`s. You should not answer those sort of questions.
Couldn't say it any better happymike!
Good for you Harry.you have to do what you can to protect your fellow soldiers
Alex Jones will most certainly have something to say about this...
Six thumbs down and no removal. I'm so chuffed with that, that I"ll help out by thumbing down my own comment
Yes, why tell everyone and make yourself more of a target? We shouldn't even know when he is and isn't out in Afghanistan, there's too much knowledge of that already. Just because they live in tents and make bombs out of whatever they can scavenge together, doesn't mean they can't monitor news websites to find out when a member of the royal family is on duty.
So would at least one of the 13 people who voted me down care to explain why they disagree with what I said? You think it's right that everything is so publicly broadcast about our status in Afghanistan? Even the fact that we intend to withdraw troops shouldn't be known publicly. That alone is enough for the Taliban to continue fighting, knowing that eventually there won't be anyone fighting back. Imagine if in WW2 we let the whole country know exactly what was going to happen in the press. The Germans would have taken full advantage and it could have been a different outcome.
Well done Captain Wales, you make me feel proud, I wish I could have helped you.....GSTQ
Bring on the republic, and down with the monarchy and all the freeloaders that take our taxes,and live a life we could never even dream of.
Well put m8....!!!
How does it compare to grouse shooting?
Unlike the taliban, Grouse haven't been known to stone women to death for dancing at weddings or shoot back when shot at. Although you never know one day it might just happen And when it does.. we.. are screwed!
Grouse insurgents obviously.
Good on ya lad......
All the posters saying he's making himself a target, he already is a target. He was simply answering a question.
Well said m8.......!!!
Hes gonna.be more of a target now than he already was for coming out with this information.
Good on ya harry.....he didnt ask to b born a prince.....so when hes willing to put himself on the front line for his country like every other hero out there he gets my backing.....and to those who disagree......ur wrong...
What a crock. The minute there is any chance of him being endangered, he will be pulled back to safety and have his nose wiped. Just like every other royal freeloader that has "gone to war". Andy being the best example. If you believe different, you are a mug.
There is only one mug on here Vlad,take a look in the mirror. I am no Royalist but i take my hat off to Harry,he is doing something you would never be able to and would never have the bottle for,you just stick to being a keyboard warrior my old mate.
So being fired on by the Taliban is perfectly safe is it Valdheinhaler? I think you're the mug here filled with envy and spite.
Royals shooting peasants?
You press /Media you have a unhealthy slant on life, twisted minds you exspect your readers to develope, Hes out there right with B..A..L..L..S.. more than youve got
what a brave man.1 mile high out of sight and mind.killing the taliban for trying to stop his lot from robbing the oil. i only hope he comes face to face with the freedom fighters he killed families one day.
Why announce something like this? Don't get it!
What was that, on "Call of Duty". I am proberbly in more danger when I am at home sleeping.
Which part of Afghanistan do you live in?
Sssh Harry! You'll have half the UK protesting now! :-D
I think people might care to watch the prog first and listen to the context of this statement before jumping one way or the other. Can not say I am comfortable with the comment but then is that just the way it has been reported - the fact is that he has a job to do and a job that many critics here would not have the guts to do.
At least he's got positive thoughts on the matter, unlike pigmy Cameron who seems to appease terrorists by giving them millitary and economic aid.