Harry finishes initial training

Prince Harry will finish the first phase of his initial training at Camp Bastion before he takes the controls of Apache attack helicopters.

The 27-year-old Army captain arrived in Afghanistan for his second tour of duty on Friday, but he will not be sent out to take on the Taliban for at least another seven days.

Once he completes his two-day RSOI (reception, staging, onward-movement and integration) course in first aid, shooting and IED (improvised explosive device) awareness later today, he will be set to start his Apache-specific preparation.

During this phase of training, which starts on Monday, he will climb into the cockpit and begin to familiarise himself with the way the deadly aircraft is configured for the war-torn country.

Captain Harry Wales, as he is known in the Army, will hone his flying skills and get to grips with the fearsome Apache armoury before going out on operations in his role as co-pilot gunner.

Having spent his third night in the Helmand province base, the Prince will be getting used to the heat, dust and way of life at Bastion. At around 35C during the day and 20C at night, the climate is far more comfortable than at the height of summer, but as Harry's four-month tour goes on, temperatures will plummet.

The royal has made no secret of his desire to return to active service, and has spent the past three years changing the direction of his military career from an armoured reconnaissance troop leader to an Army helicopter pilot, to be posted back to Afghanistan. He can put his naked Las Vegas romp behind him, and his antics may be seen as letting off steam ahead of a taxing deployment.

Harry was a second lieutenant with his regiment, the Household Cavalry, for his first deployment and worked as a forward air controller co-ordinating air strikes on Taliban positions.

During his current posting, he could carry out similar tasks to those he co-ordinated in 2007-08. That tour of duty was abruptly ended when foreign websites broke a media blackout on reporting details of his service.

This time the Ministry of Defence has chosen to confirm his deployment as a threat assessment said acknowledging his presence in Afghanistan would not put the royal or his colleagues at further risk.