LONDON — Buckingham Palace said Friday that Prince Harry has arrived in the United States for a two-month military helicopter training course.
The prince, a British Army captain, will start his training at the Naval Air Facility at El Centro, California where he will fly Apache helicopters in the desert near the Mexican border. The facility hosts allied troops throughout the year because its hot, dusty conditions replicate Afghanistan's harsh environment and the clear weather allows for constant flying.
Harry is among 20 students in the British Army participating in the training that ends at an Air Force station in Gila Bend, Arizona where they will fire missiles, rockets and cannons from the Apache helicopters.Story: Prince Harry to train at U.S. military bases
- Back to the Future's Claudia Wells: 'It's Like No Years Have Gone By'
- Jam Tarts and Earl Gray: Inside Princess Charlotte's Downton Abbey Christening Tea
- Fancy Meeting You Here: Camilla and Carole Middleton Catch Up at Wimbledon Ahead of Princess Charlotte's Christening
- WATCH: Channing Tatum in His 2002 Modeling Days: 'I Would Love to Go into Acting' and Meet Kate Moss
- Ali Larter: It's 'Totally Impossible' to Be the Perfect Mom
"He will be Capt. Wales when he is here," said Capt. Devon Jones, the U.S. commanding officer at the facility. "He will be treated like any other British pilot."
The prince will be among 20 students in the British Army participating in the training that ends at an Air Force station in Gila Bend, Ariz., where they will fire missiles, rockets and cannons from the Apache helicopters.
The course is the final phase of a 16-month training British Army pilots undergo to prepare for deployment.
British Army Lt. Col. Peter Bullen said those who succeed still have a few final steps to complete in Great Britain before they are ready to be sent into combat.
He said the majority of troops who pass the training go on to be deployed to places like Afghanistan, where they will work alongside U.S. troops and coalition forces.Slideshow: The life of Prince Harry (on this page)
The prince and the other students will not be restricted from going off the bases during their free time, except like U.S. troops, they are barred from crossing the border into Mexico, Bullen said.
Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.