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Prince Harry qualifies as Apache chopper commander

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Photo released Friday July 5, 2013 shows Britain's Prince Harry posing in front of an Apache helicopter in an undisclosed location. Prince Harry has this week qualified as an Apache Aircraft Commander, the culmination of his training over the last three years. (AP)

Britain's defense ministry says Prince Harry has qualified to command an Apache attack helicopter -- the culmination of his training over the last three years.

Harry, known as Capt. Wales in the army, earlier this year completed a 20-week deployment in Afghanistan as a co-pilot gunner on an Apache and since then has flown missions in the U.K.

His commanding officer, Lt. Col. Tom de la Rue, called the qualification a "tremendous achievement," saying in a statement Friday that 28-year-old Harry had passed with "flying colors."

The military said Harry had undergone months of training to prepare for the test, which involved a "grueling" six-hour flying assessment which took him all over the U.K. and required him perform a variety of tasks including simulating a low-level attack.