Prince Harry's Brief Tour of Duty


Feb. 29 2008, Published 1:43 p.m. ET

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Only a day after it was revealed that Prince Harry of England had been secretly serving in Afghanistan with the British military, the UK's Ministry of Defence has confirmed that the youngest son of Prince Charles and Lady Diana is returning home.

Without being known publicly, the 23-year-old Prince had been fighting the Taliban in Helmand province as a battlefield air controller and Spartan light tank commander for the past 10 weeks. But after news of Harry's not-so-secret operations were made public, he is now on his way back to England, amid concerns over both his safety and the safety of his fellow soldiers.

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In a statement released Friday morning, the Ministry of Defence said: “Following a detailed assessment of the risks by the operational chain of command, the decision has been taken by Air Chief Marshal Sir Jock Stirrup, Chief of Defence Staff, in consultation with General Sir Richard Dannatt, Chief of the General Staff, to withdraw Prince Harry from Afghanistan immediately.

“This 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.”

Prince Harry

General Dannatt may be a name familiar to those who follow the Royals closely, as he had the dubious honor last year of announcing a U-turn on plans to deploy the Prince to Iraq after military intelligence picked up a series of specific threats to Harry and his comrades in Iraq.

No details are available on when he will arrive home.


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