Wearing their green flying suits, Both Prince’s Prince Harry and Prince William held a press conference to give an update on their progress at the Defence Helicopter Flying School.
“I’m really enjoying it and as everyone knows it’s my easiest way of getting back to the front line. Maybe safer, maybe not, I don’t know,” said Harry, who is six months into a course to become an army chopper pilot.
24-year-old continued, “To get out to Afghanistan again would be fantastic and my best chance is to do it from a helicopter. I love flying helicopters. I just hope I can be better than the best, that’s what I’ve always strived to be – spot on.”
Elder brother Prince William, who is training to become a search and rescue pilot in the Royal Air Force, also said he had not given up hope of serving in Afghanistan, despite heightened security concerns surrounding military royals.
Asked if he thought a frontline operational role was impossible, the prince, who turns 27 on Sunday, replied, “In my mind, of course. You talk to everyone else and it’s impossible. (But) I still remain hopeful there’s a chance. I think as a future leader of the armed forces, it’s really important you at least get the opportunity to be credible and to do the job I signed up for, as best I can. That’s all I want to do.”
“The search and rescue role is now slightly different to obviously being able to go to Afghanistan, but it’s still doing an important job.”
William began his search and rescue training in January. He is expected to become an operational pilot in 2011 and to complete at least one three-year search and rescue tour of duty.
If Harry completes his training, he will be awarded his wings in March before he is assigned to either the Lynx, Gazelle or Apache helicopters for final instructions.
The prince said the Lynx was his favourite but added: “I’ll fly whatever I’m told to fly and I’ll fly wherever I’m told to fly.”
Prince Harry has served with the British army for 10 weeks in Afghanistan last year, before a media blackout broke down and palace officials decided it would be too dangerous for him to remain on the ground. At the moment both brothers are army officers training to be military helicopter pilots at the RAF Shawbury airbase in west central England.