Prince Harry has passed an extremely difficult milestone in his career with the Royal Air Force and now he’s officially a royal badass.
Prince Harry has earned his wings — or rotors, as the case may be. Our favorite hot ginger has officially qualified as an Apache Aircraft Commander after passing a grueling assessment, according to a military statement.
The spare heir has been training for this honor in the Royal Air Force for three years, including a stint in Arizona to hone his skills behind the controls of the attack aircraft.
“This is a tremendous achievement for Captain Wales, who passed with flying colors,” said Harry’s Commanding Officer, Lt. Col. Tom de la Rue. “I am delighted that his new status as a qualified Apache Aircraft Commander and Co-Pilot Gunner places him at the very top of his profession.”
The six-hour assessment took Harry on a tour of England, flying the Apache from Wattisham Airfield in Suffolk along the eastern side of the country to Newcastle, then across the country to the RAF base in Cumbria, then to Carlisle, then down the western side of the country all the way back to Wattisham through Manchester, Liverpool and Birmingham.
All the while, Harry conducted a simulated low-level attack on the base while dealing with multiple simulated aircraft emergencies and diversions.
Harry has also completed training as a tank commander and has served three tours of duty in Afghanistan, most recently a 20-week deployment ending in January 2013. It was recently revealed that during a tank training mission he saved a gay soldier from a hate crime attack.
Harry earned his original Apache Flying Badge in April 2011. After completing the second leg of his training, the Conversion to Role Course, he was awarded the prize for best co-pilot gunner. His most recent accomplishment gives him overall control of the two-man helicopter during military missions.
The accomplishment gives the family one more thing to celebrate as they await the birth of the royal baby!