Close
BRAND NEW ON E!
category header The Royals

News/ 

Post-Scandal Prince Harry Heads to Afghanistan for Helicopter Combat Tour

Prince Harry John Stillwell - Pool/Getty Images

Prince Harry has traded his notorious Vegas strip pad for a landing pad.

Two weeks after the randy royal's derrière-flashing Sin City vacay made headlines, Prince Harry reported for duty Friday morning in Afghanistan to begin his combat tour as co-pilot of an attack helicopter, according to published reports.

This will mark the 27-year-old's second tour of Afghanistan—he was stationed there for 10 weeks in late 2007 and early 2008.

Prince Harry makes first appearance since naked photos surfaced

His current tour of duty is expected to last for four months, and he'll take charge as co-pilot and gunner for an Apache attack helicopter covering Afghanistan's largest province, Helmand, located is the southwest region of the country.

A weary-looking Harry, decked out in fatigues, gave a thumbs-up to photographers after landing in Camp Bastion following a long flight from England, and he later made his way past several choppers before getting down to business.

"He's happy to be back out there," a source tells E! News exclusively. "He's been working towards this for a long time. He has been training to be an Apache gunner and finished his training earlier this year. He's happy to be able to be out in the field with his squadron and putting all his training to good use."

Naked truth alert: Prince Harry "never met" girl behind alleged Vegas kiss-and-tell

The source also added that "the timing of this has nothing to do with what happened in Vegas. He has known for many months, as have his family, that he would be returning to Afghanistan at this time. He is with his squadron—this has taken a lot of planning, and he wants to be able to help in any way he can."

The deployment comes on the heels of the prince's first public appearance since his naked photos scandal—and the media circus that erupted in its wake.

No doubt, palace handlers are resting easy that they don't have to impose a media blackout on images from this particular trip of Harry's!

—Reporting by Melanie Bromley

Check out all the pics from Prince Harry's wild weekend

FROM AROUND THE WEB
MORE ON EONLINE

RELATED VIDEOS:

Sex. Money. Drugs. Power. What more could you want?