Feb 12, 2012

Prince Harry in Afghanistan: PR dream or logistical nightmare?

Prince Harry in an Apache helicopter in California
Prince Harry in an Apache helicopter in California. Photograph: Sgt Russ Nolan Rlc/AFP/Getty Images

The conclusion of Prince Harry's training as a fully qualified Apache pilot gives the army another specialist to fly an attack helicopter, and several headaches about how, where and when to deploy him.

The prince, or Captain Wales as he is known in the military, has consistently made clear he wants to go back to Afghanistan, and there is every chance he will return, possibly this year.

And though it is in some ways a potential PR dream for the Ministry of Defence, those tasked with ensuring he remains away from the spotlight during what will be his second tour may not see it that way.

Four years ago, all of the UK's major media groups, including the Guardian, agreed not to publicise the prince's deployment to Afghanistan with the Household Cavalry regiment.

The request was underpinned by fear that drawing attention to his presence would make him, and his colleagues, high priority targets for the Taliban.

Ten weeks into his tour, the secret was out – in the foreign press, at least.

Once details started appearing on websites, the MoD withdrew the prince immediately, with the then chief of the defence staff, Air Chief Marshal Sir Jock Stirrup, arguing the "worldwide media attention … could impact on the security of those who are deployed there, as well as the risks to him as an individual soldier". Read more on the Guardian

2 comments:

Shuanaustin said...

It is in some ways a potential PR dream for the Ministry of Defence, those tasked with ensuring he remains away from the spotlight during what will be his second tour may not see it that way.

Maihan Nijat said...

This is not his first time doing neglect in Afghanistan .