Last week we learned that Prince Harry was re-deployed to Afghanistan where he will serve in the British military as a trained helicopter pilot. Today we get to see new photos of Harry on duty in Afghanistan and we learn that he is now a prime target of a Taliban attack. According to reports, now that the Taliban knows that Harry is in Afghanistan, they are hoping to either kill or kidnap him. Yikes! Click below to check out the new photos of Harry on duty and read more about the rumored plans that might put the young prince in harm’s way.
Prince Harry spent yesterday signing forms to ensure he receives a £200-a-week bonus for flying combat missions against the Taliban in Afghanistan. The tax-free gratuity – awarded to all troops in the war zone – will be added to the £38,931 captain’s salary the Prince receives for piloting an Apache helicopter gunship. But there is little chance that Harry will be able to spend the extra cash on Christmas presents – the bonus is paid at the end of a tour of duty, and the Prince is not expected to return home until January. The so-called Operational Allowance is paid at a rate of £29.02 for every day served in the war zone. Harry, 27 – known as Captain Wales to his colleagues – arrived in Afghanistan on Thursday night as part of the 100-strong 662 Squadron, 3 Regiment, Army Air Corps. Another Apache pilot said: ‘Each time we serve in Afghanistan, it is for four months – and no holidays in Britain, or Las Vegas, while we’re there. We get a lot of stick from the soldiers on the ground because their tours last six months rather than four, but our jobs are more mentally demanding. Harry has the backing of everyone in the Army Air Corps. He performed very well in training and was too good in the Apache to be ordered to “fly a desk’’ – what we call office duties. ‘He’ll fly his first operational sorties with a pilot from the outgoing squadron, probably at the end of this week. 662 Squadron are taking over from 664 Squadron who have been in Helmand province since May.’ Harry is said to be popular with his colleagues – who were quick to test his sense of humour. He was mocked after winning an award for his skills on a course in Arizona. The pilot added: ‘Before his training out there, nobody had heard of an award for best gunner. So the joke ran that it was made up by the Americans just for him.’ Last night, Harry was completing his RSOI (Reception, Staging, Onward-Movement and Integration) training at Camp Bastion – the main British base in Helmand Province. Demonstrations included what to do if he finds a suspect package and if Bastion comes under rocket attack.
But, unlike any other military service person, Prince Harry is seen as a valuable target by the Taliban:
The Afghan Taliban said on Monday they were doing everything in their power to try to kidnap or kill Britain’s Prince Harry, who arrived in Afghanistan last week to fly attack helicopters. Queen Elizabeth’s grandson is in Afghanistan on a four-month tour, based in Camp Bastion in the volatile Helmand province, where he will be on the front line in the NATO-led war against Taliban insurgents. “We are using all our strength to get rid of him, either by killing or kidnapping,” Zabihullah Mujahid, a Taliban spokesman, told Reuters by phone from an undisclosed location. “We have informed our commanders in Helmand to do whatever they can to eliminate him,” Mujahid added, declining to go into detail on what he called the “Harry operations”. NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said he was not worried about the Taliban threat against Prince Harry. “That’s not a matter of concern,” Rasmussen told a news conference in Brussels on Monday. “I mean, we do everything we can to protect all our troops deployed to Afghanistan whatever might be their personal background.” Britain’s Ministry of Defense declined to comment on Mujahid’s statement. British authorities have given few details of Prince Harry’s stint in Afghanistan for security reasons.
Hmmm. No matter how much they try to protect Harry, he is in harm’s way no matter where he is stationed in Afghanistan. In fact, all of the soliders — British, American or otherwise — are in harm’s way each and every day. I can see why the Taliban would want to single out Harry for personal attack but truly, all of our brave women and men are in danger at any given time. Here’s hoping Harry and the rest of our forces serving in Afghanistan remain safe and that the conflict there can be ended soon and peacefully.