Excitement is building across the Atlantic ahead of Prince Harry”s arrival this weekend, when the third in line will fly in to continue his helicopter training.
Prince Charles” younger son will complete a two-month Apache helicopter flying course.
And he will stay for some time at the facility where Eighties classic Top Gun was filmed – the Naval Air Facility at El Centro in the remote California desert near the Mexican border.
Harry will be one of 20 British Army students who will divide their time between that base and Gila Bend Air Force Auxiliary Field in southern Arizona.
The 27-year-old – known as Captain Wales while he is in training – will “be treated like any other British pilot”, says the commanding officer of El Centro.
That means he will be able to go off site during his free time if he wishes. And a trip to Las Vegas – which lies between the two bases – could very well be on the cards for the party-loving Prince.
“If they want to fund it themselves and that”s what floats their boat, then yes, they can go to Las Vegas,” says the exercise director of the training session British Lt Col Peter Bullen.
But trips to Mexico won”t be allowed – Harry and his brothers-in-arms will be banned from crossing the border.
The trainees will fire missiles, rockets and cannons from the Apache helicopters during the course.
It”s the last phase of a 16-month training programme to prepare the recruits for combat.
Conditions in the desert will be similar to those experienced by pilots in Afghanistan, where Harry served in 2008.
He reportedly has his heart set on going back next year after he”s completed his training.
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