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Prince Charles at Wattisham for Afghanistan war medals

Prince Charles has been at the army air base at Wattisham to present Afghanistan campaign medals.

He was there as colonel-in-chief of the Army Air Corps (AAC), which provides air support to soldiers on the ground.

Two squadrons from 4 Regiment AAC completed a four-month tour of duty in January operating Apache helicopters.

Prince Charles presented 35 operational service medals, three for long service and good conduct and one meritorious service medal.

He said: "Having visited Afghanistan last March and having seen something of [Camp] Bastion, I at least have a vague idea of the sort of conditions you're enduring and putting up with.

"I had to be shown how to strap myself in and get used to what goes on in the aircraft by my youngest son.

'Very proud'

"The trouble was that I found out very quickly that I'm past my sell-by date on the instrumentation and just about everything else, because I haven't had the advantage of being part of the Playstation generation which, I suspect, is a vital need as far as flying the Apache is concerned.

"But, I did at least discover just what an extraordinarily sophisticated and remarkable machine it is."

Warrant Officer Class 1 Martyn Leadbetter, who received a meritorious service medal and is about to leave the army, said: "You're nominated by your chain of command, you then go to the medals board and, if you're lucky enough, your name is listed in the Queen's honours list.

"I'm very proud indeed. It caps my career very nicely."

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