Prince William to serve in RAF and Navy

November 14th, 2007 - 2:01 am ICT by admin  
The Prince of Wales will follow his father’s footsteps and learn to fly with the Royal Air Force (RAF) next year, and will also be deployed on a short tour of duty with the Royal Navy.

Buckingham Palace has confirmed that William will be quitting his duties with the Army’s elite Household Cavalry and undergo training to fly helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft as part of a four-month tour with the RAF, starting in January.

The palace also announced that the 25-year-old prince will spend time learning about the military’s submarines, its surface ships, and the Royal Navy’s Fleet Air units.

However, the programme will not equip William for a frontline posting and confirms the widely-held view that he will never see active service.

While the prince, an officer in the Blues and Royals, has always insisted he wants to be treated like any other soldier, Ministry of Defence officials have made it clear that his presence in a war zone such as Iraq or Afghanistan would prove too much of a danger to both himself and his men.

William’s temporary assignments follow a year of training as a specialist armoured reconnaissance troop leader in the Blues and Royals, where his younger brother Prince Harry, also serves.

The decision for William to spend time in the Royal Navy and the RAF would provide the prince with a practical grounding for when he becomes head of the armed forces.

“The attachments are primarily designed to familiarise Prince William with the structures, capabilities and ethos of the RAF and the Royal Navy,” the Daily Mail quoted William’s spokesman, as saying.

“He will be able to share the working lives of airmen and sailors, and to make comparisons with his own experience to date as an Army officer with a view to him becoming a future head of the armed forces. His time with the RAF will also allow him to realize a lifetime ambition to learn to fly,” he added.

William will be the first modern Royal to serve in all three branches of the military in preparation for his role as King when he will become the head of the armed forces. (ANI)

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