- (Reuters/Eddie Keogh)
Prince Harry, 27, will be reporting for military duty this week in the desert, but this time it will be at the Gila Bend Air Force Auxiliary Field in Arizona.
According to media reports, the Prince of Wales is expected to spend about two months in Gila Bend, while there, he is expected to complete training involving Apache helicopters. The prince will also get a chance to fire a live missile for the first time, according to ABC7.
This report to duty is a far cry, however, from the concern expressed by fans following the announcement that he would be sent to Afghanistan in 2008.
The announcement itself was seen as reckless, due to the fear that it could have jeopardized the safety of the then 23 year-old prince.
As was reported by CNN, the chief of Britain’s General Staff, Gen. Richard Dannatt, said: "I am very disappointed that foreign web sites have decided to run this story without consulting us, it was my judgment that with an understanding with the media not to broadcast his whereabouts, the risk in (deploying him to Afghanistan) was manageable."
Harry, for the most part, took the news of his deployment in stride, "As far as I'm concerned, I'm out here as a normal JTAC on the ground and not as Prince Harry," he said.
Harry would soon be pulled from his tour in Afghanistan, the British military explaining that the decision "has been taken primarily on the basis that the worldwide media coverage of Prince Harry in Afghanistan could impact on the security of those who are deployed there, as well as the risks to him as an individual soldier."
There has not been reported concerns of the press announcing this latest military mission.
Harry is the youngest son of Prince Charles and Princess Diana. He is the third in the line of succession to the British throne.
After training in Arizona, where Prince Harry is reportedly expected to arrive the first week of October, he will then head to California for further training.