Top gun: Harry graduates head of his class

Friday, February 10, 2012
Top gun: Prince Harry graduates head of his class
Prince Harry and his brother Prince William in their RAF flight uniforms.

Prince Harry has graduated from 'Top Gun' flight school at the top of his class.

The 27-year-old royal maverick was presented with a special award for excellence at a dinner on Wednesday night.

In pictures: The evolution of Prince Harry

It was one of just two prizes awarded to Harry's class of more than 20 Apache attack helicopter pilots as they celebrated the end of their intensive 18-month training program.

The prince — who is known at Captain Wales by his colleagues — is now a fully-qualified pilot who is eligible for operational duties.

Harry served on the front line in Afghanistan's Helmand province for 10 weeks in 2008 and has frequently spoken of his desire to return to war.

He was furious when he was forced to leave Afghanistan after a media blackout protecting his whereabouts collapsed.

Harry will now be based at an army air field in Wattisham, eastern England. He will join 16 Air Assault Brigade but details of any future deployments are unknown.

In pictures: Brotherly love – William and Harry

Harry and his older brother William are both helicopter pilots in the RAF — but while William saves lives working for a Search and Rescue unit, Harry is likely to lead missions that kill people.

Video: Harry travels to California for the last two months of his Apache training

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