Prince William undertook a 30-hour trip to RAF Detachments in theatre at Kandahar Air Base, Afghanistan and Al Udeid, Qatar as the culmination of his attachment to the RAF.
The visit, which aimed to put into context his training over the last four months, took place on Sunday 27th April and Monday 28th April.
The Prince flew as part of the Air Crew of a RAF C17, departing on Sunday morning from RAF Brize Norton, returning 30 hours later. The Prince flew the plane for a short period, taking control of the aircraft under supervision.
Prince William joining a flight into operational theatre was under consideration last year, when plans were first being developed for his RAF attachment. Confirmation and detailed planning for the flights began at the beginning of April.
The visit allowed Prince William to get a feel for out-of-area operations; in terms of both the airbridge from the UK to theatre and the opportunity to familiarise himself with RAF operations in Afghanistan (Harrier, Chinook, UAV, C130, RAF Regiment) and Al Udeid (visiting the Combined Air Operations Centre as well as Tornado, VC10 and C130 detachments). He met personnel from a number of units, giving them the opportunity to explain their experiences on operations.
Prince William accompanied Air Officer Commanding (AOC) 22 Group, Air Vice Marshal Dick Garwood, who was visiting personnel in theatre. This gave Prince William the opportunity to see and understand the relationship between the UK chain of command and the deployed units on the ground.
During the last few weeks of Prince William’s attachment, he has had the opportunity to familiarise himself with the structures, capabilities and working conditions of the RAF. He has met RAF personnel of all ranks and specialisations, learnt about the diversity of roles undertaken by the Service and, of course, has realised a lifetime ambition to learn to fly. Notes to Editors:
Prince William leaves the RAF at the end of this week and begins a 2-month attachment with the Royal Navy in June.