William to work with MoD on secondment

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The Independent Online

Prince William is to complete a series of military secondments later this year, Clarence House today confirmed.

The Prince's tasks will include working with the Ministry of Defence (MoD), carrying out non-operational visits to Special Forces and a non operational attachment to the Army Air Corps.

This final series of secondments will take place in the autumn.

The Prince has already completed attachments with the Royal Air Force and the Royal Navy.

He has also served as a regimental officer in the British army.

The Prince has been undertaking the series of secondments as part of a familiarisation process with the workings of the British Armed Forces.

As part of this final process William, who is an officer in the Household Cavalry regiment, will work closely with The Central Staff at the MoD enabling the Prince to see how the product of the three branches of the Armed Forces is harnessed and directed.

He will also visit Special Forces in a non operational environment. The locations of these visits have not been released.

The Prince will then serve an attachment with the Army Air Corps where he will learn about helicopter capabilities and tactics.

During this period, the Prince will be encouraged to broaden his flying experience by piloting various aircraft.

Recently William completed a two month attachment with the Royal Navy.

He underwent basic seamanship training and completed secondments with a wide range of Royal Navy units at sea and on shore.

The Prince undertook a five week stint on serving on board HMS Iron Duke on her Atlantic Patrol Task.

Earlier this month the Prince joined a Royal Navy rescue team on a hurricane disaster exercise in the Caribbean.

The Prince flew ashore by helicopter as the Navy tested its preparedness should a giant category five storm hit the volcanic island of Montserrat.

Prior to his secondment with the Royal Navy, the Prince spent four months with the RAF.

A highlight of this attachment was when the young royal was awarded his "wings" by his father the Prince of Wales.

William was the latest in a long line of members of the monarchy to learn to fly with the airforce and be awarded the insignia.

He had followed in the footsteps of Charles and his grandfather the Duke of Edinburgh, who both earned the RAF flying badge.

But in April this year the MoD was forced to defend the actions of the Prince who used a helicopter training exercise to fly himself and his brother to a stag do.

William piloted a Chinook to London, picked up his sibling Prince Harry, and then travelled to the Isle of Wight for the social event.

The MoD stressed that the sortie was always planned as part of William's training and included all the elements being tested - flying in busy air traffic, crossing water and landing in an enclosed helicopter pad.

The RAF attachment also involved the Prince taking part in an operational flight to Kandahar, Afghanistan where he met frontline troops.