Wattisham: Prince Harry almost ready for move to Suffolk
WHILE his brother is getting ready to star in the “wedding of the year” next spring, Prince Harry will be packing his flying suit and heading over to Suffolk.
The Prince, whose brother William is to marry long-term partner Kate Middleton, is set to move to a Suffolk air base in the New Year for the next stage of his helicopter pilot training.
Since May the 26-year-old has been based in Hampshire, honing his skills as a pilot in preparation for joining the Army Air Corps’ Apache helicopter squadron, based at Wattisham Flying Station.
An MoD spokesman said he could not confirm exactly when the Prince - known as Lieutenant Harry Wales in the military – would be heading to Suffolk, but it would be in the first few months of next year.
He said: “Prince Harry is currently undergoing training to fly the Apache Attack Helicopter at the Army Aviation Centre in Middle Wallop, Hampshire.
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“The training, known as Conversion To Type (CTT), lasts approximately one year. That training is due to finish in the spring. If successful, Prince Harry will then begin his Conversion To Role training at Wattisham Flying Station.”
The Prince successfully passed the previous stage of his training earlier this year, which made him eligible to specialise in flying either Lynx or Apache helicopters.
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It was agreed that his skills were best suited to piloting an Apaches, the army’s elite attack helicopter.
The Apache is based with 3 and 4 Regiments Army Air Corps at Wattisham Airfield, near Stowmarket.
When it was confirmed earlier this year that he would be learning to fly the attack helicopters, which have been used prominently in Afghanistan, the Prince described it as “a seriously daunting prospect” but said he could not wait to get started.
He said: “It is a huge honour to have the chance to train on the Apache, which is an awesome helicopter. To be honest, I think it will be one of the biggest challenges in my life so far. I am very determined, though, as I do not want to let down people who have shown faith in my ability to fly this aircraft on operations.”