The big news in Afghanistan lately has obviously been the reports of Prince Harry being secretly stationed here, and subsequently being removed. The most interesting thing about this story to us here at the ISAF Headquarters is that many of us didn't know either. Yes, there were obviously a few who knew - particularly his fellow Brits - whom posess a much higher pay grade than me. But for the most part, we had no idea. Once we got wind of the story, especially after learning that he was a FAC (Forward Air Controller) who called in close air support, we went back and looked up our past missions. We now knew his “call sign” that he used on the radio (which I can't say here for obvious reasons) and with it we were able to see just how much interaction we had with him. To our surprise, we had flown a number of missions with him, and in fact, there were a few missions that put some serious HURT on the bad guys down in the Southern provinces.
To us, we just deal in code names and call signs when we speak to the literally hundreds of different people out there, whether they be ground troops, pilots in the air, or other staff members, so flying missions for Harry was no big deal - no different than any other mission we fly a hundred times each day..... at least.... at the time. But the Brits who work with us in our ASOS (Air Support Operations Squadron) are particularly proud to have learned of their own royalty - the third in line to the throne - serving on the front lines with them. In fact, one of the Brits who works with us actually "trained" Harry last year on his duties as a FAC! He couldn't say anything at the time for obvious reasons, but once news of Harry hit the airwaves, he was finally able to share his story. Pretty fascinating stuff.
Anyway, the questions coming in asking, "Did you know Harry was there?"..... and "Did you work with him?"... were getting more frequent so I thought I would let you in on what little we did know. Honestly, in the grand scheme of things, he was just another call sign at the other end of the radio, but somehow, in the end, it "is" a little exciting that we got to be a part of it.