Prince Harry wants to return to Afghanistan

Prince Harry: "You train for a reason and you want to be there"

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Prince Harry has said he wants to return to Afghanistan to serve on the front line.

He told ABC's Good Morning America he would love to be allowed to go back but he understood there could be military and political issues preventing this.

He said he wished to "serve his country" with "his brothers in arms".

The prince spent 10 weeks serving in Helmand province in 2007-08 but was pulled out of action after news of his secret deployment leaked out.

The prince, an officer with the Household Cavalry Regiment, is soon to begin training as an Apache helicopter pilot.

He paid tribute to the forces in Afghanistan and said: "I would love to go back, I really would.

'Buddies'

"As long as my military career allows it and politically it's allowed, then I will serve my country as any other soldier."

He continued: "At the end of the day you train for war, it's as simple as that.

"If we could be at peace then fantastic but if we're at war then you want to be with your brothers in arms.

"You train for a reason and you want to be there, you want to help your buddies left and right of you."

The prince worked as a forward air controller directing air strikes during his time in Afghanistan and has spoken previously of his desire to return.

He is set to start his eight-month Apache helicopter training course in July at the Army Air Corps flying school at Middle Wallop in Hampshire.

The 25-year-old will then undertake further training with an Apache regiment based at Wattisham Airfield in Suffolk.

Start Quote

I love the people and I love everything about [Africa]”

End Quote Prince Harry

The helicopter is used by UK forces in Afghanistan to search for the Taliban, intelligence gathering and to provide support to other helicopters.

During the interview, the prince spoke about his mother's charitable efforts and success in changing public attitude to people with HIV by spending lots of time in close contact with those who have contracted the virus.

He said: "That is something that William and I hope to carry on in her name or as much as we can anyway, but sometimes it takes something like that to really bring it home to people about what is going on out there."

He spoke fondly of Africa and said the continent was very "close to my heart".

He said: "I love the people and I love everything about it. My mother had a very soft spot for Africa as well."

Closer links

He said he and his brother "adored" Africa as the continent gave them the opportunity for "freedom" and the chance to commune with nature.

The prince's interview came as part of his attempts to promote closer links between transatlantic armed forces charities.

During his weekend in New York, he attended many events marking the efforts of wounded US servicemen who were trying to rebuild their lives.

The prince told the US broadcaster it was important for him to help"cement the bond" between the US and UK armed forces and for the two sides to learn from each other.

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