Prince Harry to get medal today for Afghanistan campaign

May 5th, 2008 - 6:52 pm ICT by admin  

London, May 5 (ANI): Prince Harry and his 159 comrades from Afghanistan will march through the streets of Windsor today before they receive their campaign medals from the Princess Royal.
After the ceremony at Combermere Barracks they will parade to Windsors Garrison church for a service in which British forces killed during the units recent six-month tour of duty to Helmand Province will be remembered, The Sun reported.
The event is poignant given the death on Friday of a member of Household Cavalry.
Trooper Ratu Babakobau, 29, from Fiji, was killed by a mine strike in Nowzad, northern Helmand.
The regiment has a large Fijian component, several of whom served alongside Harry in Afghanistan earlier this year.
Harry secretly flew to Helmand Province in mid-December to work as a Forward Air Controller, having retrained after his earlier planned tour of duty to Iraq was cancelled because of the security risk generated by publicity.
But the intended four-month deployment was cut short after 10 weeks when a news blackout broke down at the end of February.
He qualifies for the Afghanistan Medal, having served well over the minimum four-week period required. It will be the second medal he is entitled to wear on regimental occasions, alongside the Golden Jubilee Medal, a gift from the Queen marking her 50-year reign in 2002.
During his time in Helmand he patrolled on foot 500m from Taliban lines, called in air strikes on enemy positions and commanded two Spartan light tank crews providing flank protection during an operation involving Afghan and US forces.
The Operational Service Medal (OSM) for Afghanistan is round and silver showing Harrys grandmother the Queen on one side and the Union Flag and compass on the reverse.
The ribbon has a red stripe down the centre with royal blue and light blue stripes on either side - to represent the three armed services - and a light brown line at each edge to reflect the desert landscape of Afghanistan. (ANI)

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