Prince Harry says he killed insurgents
While on military deployment, Prince Harry reveals he killed Afghan insurgents as a gunner in Apache attack helicopters.PT2M54S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-2d3x8 620 349 January 22, 2013
LONDON: Prince Harry says he killed Taliban fighters during his stint as a helicopter gunner in Afghanistan, in comments that can be reported after he completed his tour of duty.
Harry, third in line to the throne, spent a 20-week posting flying missions over the restive southern Helmand Province in an Apache attack chopper.
The 28-year-old said Islamist insurgents were put ''out of the game'' and described life in Britain's sprawling Camp Bastion base, where he slept in a tent and a shipping container.
Prince Harry ... admitted killing in Afghanistan. Photo: Getty Images
Asked by Britain's Press Association if he had killed from the cockpit, Harry said: ''Yeah, so lots of people have.
''The squadron's been out here. Everyone's fired a certain amount.
''Take a life to save a life,'' he shrugged. ''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.
Pilot ... Prince Harry sits in the front seat of his cockpit. Photo: Getty Images
''As soon as we're outside the fence, we're in the thick of it. We fire when we have to … but essentially we're more of a deterrent than anything else.''
Harry spoke to reporters on three occasions during his time in Afghanistan under an agreement which only allowed the interviews to be released once he left the war zone.
The prince supported allied troops fighting the Taliban at close quarters and accompanied British and US helicopters on missions to evacuate casualties.
'Too much army, not enough prince' ... The young royal plays video games at Camp Bastion in Helmand Province, right, and dons a Santa hat while showing a TV crew around his sleeping quarters, left. Photo: AFP and Reuters
As co-pilot, Harry was in charge of the weapons systems in the cockpit, firing Hellfire air-to-surface missiles, rockets and a 30-millimetre gun.
''It's a joy for me because I'm one of those people who loves playing PlayStation and Xbox, so with my thumbs I like to think I'm probably quite useful,'' he said.
When on a shift requiring a high level of readiness, Harry and the other three members of his squadron sprinted to their helicopters in less than 45 seconds and were airborne within five minutes of an alert.
Prince Harry races to scramble his Apache helicopter at Camp Bastion. Photo: Reuters
They did not know their missions until they were inside their £45 million ($68 million) aircraft.
Of the major royal event in his absence Harry said he ''can't wait to be an uncle''.