London: Prince Harry, known as Captain Wales in the British military, was moved under guard to a secure location during the recent attack by Taliban on Camp Bastion in Afghanistan in which two US marines were killed, according to Defence secretary Philip Hammond.
Speaking to BBC last night, he said “additional security arrangements” recognised that Harry “could be a target… specifically as a result of who he is”, but he faced the same risk in combat as any Apache helicopter pilot.
The US marines were killed in the attack launched in protest against the controversial film made by an American allegedly mocking Islam. Hammond said: “Once we knew on Friday night that the perimeter at Bastion had been breached he would have been moved to a secure position under effective guard.
“He is serving there as an ordinary officer but clearly there are additional security arrangements in place that recognise that he could be a target himself specifically as a result of who he is”.
Prince Harry, who turned 28 on Saturday, was reportedly about two kilometres away with other Apache crew members during the assault. Hammond added: “He is an Apache pilot and he faces the same risks that Apache pilots face as they go about their daily business.
“He’s no more or less exposed to risk than any other Apache pilot”. Before his deployment in Afghanistan, the Ministry of Defence said that Prince Harry will be working as part of the Joint Aviation Group (JAG) which provides helicopter support to the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) and Afghan forces operating throughout Regional Command (South West).
Captain Wales qualified as a co-pilot gunner in February this year and was posted to 3 Regiment Army Air Corps, part of 16 Air Assault Brigade, to gain further flying experience and to operate the aircraft on a number of exercises.