Prince William to join RAF as flying bug takes hold

September 16th, 2008 - 12:07 am ICT by IANS  

Prince WilliamLondon, Sep 15 (DPA) Britain’s Prince William has fallen in love with flying and wants to become a full-time pilot with the Royal Air Force (RAF) Search and Rescue Force, switching his military career from the army to the air force.The prince, 26, said in a press statement released in London Monday that he was fulfilling an ambition by “serving operationally” in the armed forces, “especially because, for good reasons, I was not able to deploy to Afghanistan this year”.

William, an officer in the Household Cavalry Regiment, has spent time on attachment with the RAF and the Royal Navy. He will now transfer his service from the army to the air force, and will have the rank of flying officer in the RAF.

“The time I spent with the RAF earlier this year made me realise how much I love flying,” said William, who will begin his 18-month training course with the air force next January.

He could be flying operationally from 2010 in missions ranging from mountain rescue to disaster relief worldwide.

During his attachment with the RAF, William made headlines for landing a military helicopter in a field belonging to the family of his long-time girlfriend, Kate Middleton.

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