Prince Harry: I Killed Taliban Fighters

British royal returns from duty in Afghanistan

By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff

Posted Jan 21, 2013 2:44 PM CST

(Newser) – Leaving Afghanistan after a five-month tour of duty, Prince Harry acknowledged killing Taliban fighters and described his job on board an Apache helicopter, CNN reports. "It used to be very much: front seat, you're firing the whole time," he said, comparing this tour to deployments in 2007 and 2008. "Now, yes we fire when we have to but essentially we're more of a deterrent than anything else." The prince said his job was to fire on anyone endangering "the guys ... on the ground" in southern Helmand province, a center of Taliban activity.

He summed it up as "take a life to save a life. That's what we revolve around, I suppose." Harry also described life on the base, where he was just "one of the guys" in the 130-member squadron, eating in the canteen and playing video games. But people did stop and stare in more public places, he said: "Because there's plenty of guys in there that have never met me, therefore look at me as Prince Harry and not as Captain Wales, which is frustrating." That's one reason he preferred going on missions, he added, "away from it all."

Prince Harry smiles as he plays computer games with his fellow Apache Helicopter crew in Afghanistan.
Prince Harry smiles as he plays computer games with his fellow Apache Helicopter crew in Afghanistan.   (AP Photo/ John Stillwell, Pool)
Prince Harry wears his monocle gun sight as he sits in the front seat of his cockpit at the British controlled flight-line in Camp Bastion southern Afghanistan.
Prince Harry wears his monocle gun sight as he sits in the front seat of his cockpit at the British controlled flight-line in Camp Bastion southern Afghanistan.   (AP Photo/ John Stillwell, Pool)
In this photo taken Nov. 3 2012, Britain's Prince Harry races out from the VHR (very high ready-ness) tent to scramble his Apache with fellow Pilots in Afghanistan.
In this photo taken Nov. 3 2012, Britain's Prince Harry races out from the VHR (very high ready-ness) tent to scramble his Apache with fellow Pilots in Afghanistan.   (AP Photo/ John Stillwell, Pool)
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