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Prince Harry Earns New Title of Apache Aircraft Commander!

Prince Harry AFP PHOTO / POOL / JOHN STILLWELL/Getty Images

Prince Harry has reached a career milestone.

The redheaded royal has now qualified as an Apache Aircraft Commander within the 3 Regiment Army Air Corps, Britain's defense ministry announced today.

The monumental event marks the culmination of Harry's time spent as a member of the Apache aircrew.

Harry, who is known as Capt. Wales in the army, completed a grueling 20-week deployment in Afghanistan earlier as a copilot gunner on an Apache and has since flown numerous missions in the U.K.

The 28-year-old previously was awarded a prize for the best Co-Pilot Gunner, a prestigious record given during training.

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Lt. Col. Tom de la Rue, his commander officer, said in a statement that Harry's qualification a "tremendous achievement," and said that Prince William's younger brother had passed the tests with "flying colors." (No pun intended.)

De la Rue also explained how the new title "places him at the very top of his profession."

The prince will continue with normal duties as an Apache Pilot based at Wattisham Airfeld. He'll remain a member of the 3 Regiment Army Air Corps, which is a part of 16 Air Assault Brigade's Attack Helicopter Force.

Capt. Wales had to undergo an intensive six-hour assessment which comprehensively tested his ability to perform an Aircraft Commander in a wide range of tactical and procedural scenarios.

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The defense ministry explained details about the young royal's testing process:

"He was required to plan and deliver patrol orders, navigate throughout, fly in a controlled airspace and conduct a simulated attack on RAF Spadeadam, in addition to managing a number of diversions and simulated aircraft emergencies."

Prince Harry traveled to Afghanistan as an Apache Pilot from September 2012 to January 2013, where he worked with the Joint Aviation Group. JAG provides helicopter support to the International Security and Assistance Force and Afghan forces.

Congratulations are in order for this wonderful achievement!

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