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Prince William to Go On Six-Week Deployment to Falkland Islands Next Year

Prince William Flight Tests

This image released by the British Ministry of Defense on Friday Sept. 17, 2010 shows Prince William at the controls of his Sea King helicopter in Bangor, Wales. (AP)

LONDON -- Prince William will be deployed on a six-week tour of duty to the Falkland Islands early next year, in what will be the 30th anniversary of the Falklands war between Britain and Argentina.

The prince, who is currently based in Anglesey, Wales, as an RAF search and rescue pilot, will be about 8,000 miles away from his new wife Catherine during the deployment, where his duties will include responding to natural disasters or carrying out rescues within range.

The transfer -- part of the prince's military training as a pilot -- was planned for a while, but the exact date was kept under wraps due to security and political concerns.

It is believed the prince will fly out to the islands -- a British sovereign territory located in the South Atlantic that has long been disputed by Argentina -- in January after spending Christmas with his wife and the rest of the royal family.

The 29-year-old royal will be stationed at RAF Mount Pleasant air base, which was opened in 1985 by William's uncle the Duke of York, who was a pilot in the 1982 Falklands conflict.

Royal officials and the Ministry of Defence were expected to give more details on the deployment later Thursday.

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