Prince Harry has become a fully operational Apache Attack Helicopter Pilot after successfully completing 18 months of intensive training. The Prince was last night (Wednesday) awarded the prize for being best Co-Pilot Gunner during a dinner to mark the end of the course.
The Prince has now attained Limited Combat Ready status, and will be assigned to 662 Squadron, 3 Regiment Army Air Corps within 16 Air Assault Brigade, where he will gain wider experience flying Apaches and take part in exercises in the United Kingdom.
Over the last 18 months, Prince Harry has been assessed continuously to ensure that he is capable of flying and fighting the Apache Attack Helicopter. The Apache training is split in two parts between the Conversion to Type Course (CTT), which teaches students to fly the aircraft, and the Conversion to Role (CTR) Course, which teaches them to fight the aircraft.
Prince Harry recently completed a two month exercise in the United States, known as Exercise Crimson Eagle, which is a major part of his CTR course. The exercise included Environmental Training, where students had to prove their proficiency in handling the aircraft in mountainous and desert conditions, including dust landings and limited power training during both day and night. It also included a period of Judgemental Training in the use of weapon systems in challenging tactical situations. Towards the end of the Exercise, students took part in a live firing phase, which involved firing all the aircraft weapons systems in realistic tactical scenarios.
Colonel Neale Moss, Commander of the Attack Helicopter Force at RAF Wattisham, said:
“The Apache course is extremely challenging teaching and testing students in their flying skills, decision making and mental agility on exercise all over the country and abroad. They are assessed continually to ensure that they are up to the challenge of operating one of the most sophisticated attack helicopters in the world.
“This requires composure, dedication and hard work and I congratulate all of the students as they go forward to join an operational squadron and continue to learn more in their aviation careers.”