— Prince Harry’s training in the U.S. has paid off. The third-in-line to the throne has been named best in class — for his work as a co-pilot gunner — after completing his 18-month Apache helicopter training.
He was one of two pilots commended for their performance at a dinner on Wednesday night, where he was given a trophy — a polished 30 mm round from an Apache cannon mounted on a stand.
With this tough course now behind him, Captain Wales, as he’s known in the military, is set to return to Afghanistan, the Telegraph reported.
The prince, 27, has made no secret of his desire to return to combat since his last tour in 2007 was cut short when a journalist broke a media blackout and reported on his presence there.
A palace spokesman wouldn’t confirm if the report is true, but did tell TODAY.com that a tour in Afghanistan is very much what the prince has been working towards.
If he is posted to Afghanistan, it likely won’t be for several months. At the beginning of March, Harry will travel to Belize, the Bahamas and Jamaica as part of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, marking her 60 years on the throne.
During his training, which took place in California, Arizona and Britain, Harry perfected flying in mountainous and desert conditions, similar those in Afghanistan. He will now be stationed at a Royal Air Force base in Suffolk from which he will continue to fly Apaches in training exercises around the U.K.
His brother, Prince William, is currently deployed in the Falklands as an RAF Search and Rescue pilot.