Thursday, March 25, 2010

Prince of Wales makes surprise visit to British troops in Afghanistan

Talking to soldiers at Task Force Helmand HQ who were preparing their kit before heading out on patrol.

HRH Prince Charles, The Prince of Wales, has made a surprise visit to British troops in Afghanistan. He is the most senior member of the royal family to visit Afghanistan and the only one in living memory to visit Kabul.

After spending the night at Camp Bastion, today the Prince visited Patrol Base Pimon, a forward Patrol Base in the Nad- e Ali district area of Helmand Province, operated by the Right Flank, The Scots Guards. The Nad-e Ali area was the focus of much of the UK effort as part of Operation Moshtarak.

He also visited Task Force Helmand Headquarters at Lashkar Gah to meet the troops and receive a brief from Brigadier James Cowan before meeting with Afghan District Governor Mangal and, together with British commander, took part in a shura with local elders.

He flew into the Afghan National Army brigade camp of Shorabak in an RAF Chinook, close to Camp Bastion, where he was greeted by an Afghan guard of honour before speaking with Afghan troops and their British mentors from 2nd Battalion, the Yorkshire Regiment. The Afghan and British soldiers gave a demonstration of instructional and training techniques, including identification of IEDs.

He later flew to Camp Bastion where he spoke with soldiers of the Joint Helicopter Force (Afghanistan), the UK Joint Force Medical Group, and the Joint Force EOD (Explosive Ordnance Disposal) teams.

The Prince laid a wreath at the Camp Bastion memorial, in memory of those British soldiers killed during the campaign.

The Prince’s visit to troops was part of a two day programme, which also included meeting with the Commander of ISAF, General McChrystal, diplomatic representatives and senior Afghan Government officials. He also visited the Turquoise Mountain Foundation in Kabul.

Brig James Cowan briefing the Prince of Wales on Operation Mostarak and the work of the Provincial Reconstruction Team.

HRH Prince Charles, The Prince of Wales, talking to Governor Mangal and the Chief of Police, Colonel Sherzad

A shura with Governor Mangal and local elders.

Making the most of the shade in the flower garden while talking to guardsmen at Task Force Helmand, Lashkar Gah

Walking from the RAF Chinook to Patrol Base Pimmon to visit the Right Flank, The Scots Guards.

Guardsman Paul Jackson on duty in one of the patrol base sangars talks to The Prince of Wales about life in Patrol Base Pimon.

HRH Prince Charles, The Prince of Wales at a briefing at Patrol Base Pimon

One of the guardsman makes some fresh home made bread for the Prince of Wales.

An RAF Chinook ready to take the Prince of Wales from PB Pimon to Camp Shorabak

Prince of Wales boarding an RAF Chinook outside PB Pimon

Prince of Wales at Camp Shorabak meeting Afghan Commanders and US Marines

HRH Prince Charles, The Prince of Wales talking to Afghan and British soldier while visiting Camp Shorabak

Counter IED training is vitail to all UK and Afghan soldiers. The prince tries the equipment at Camp Shorabak, home of the Afghan National Army in Helmand

The Prince of Wales in an RAF Chinook

Back at Camp Bastion

GSM Gary Lester from Bristol presents the wreath the The Prince of Wales at the Camp Bastion Memorial

The Prince of Wales laid a wreath at the Camp Bastion Memorial

Brigadier Fay (left) the Prince of Wales and Colonel Angus Mathie at the memorial

Pictures by Major Paul Smyth

For more pictures from the visit clcik here for Flickr


  1. Good for him!!! x

  2. First heard about this visit on the news tonight and was extremely pleased especially as there would be no 'political motive' behind it. I am sure too that our troops appreciated it: Take Care All - Proud of You. x

  3. Agreed, but his timing could have been better.
    This visit will have taken resources that should be deployed on the troop changeover.

  4. Well done and thank you Prince Charles

    And great pictures btw

  5. Great pictures!

    Here's wishing the best to HRH Prince Charles and all the royal family. I'm sure all of you serving in Afghanistan (and elsewhere) are in the royal family's prayers, as you and they are in ours here in your former colonies. ;)

  6. I was really happy to read this because he really does take a lot of responsibility and does definitely support the troops and his regiment and much more. I have a lot of respect for that man and would like to see him as the King.

  7. have a look here and let me know if it's okay with you that I've used the pic!

  8. This is what i like most about the Monarchy. The royals are above and beyond politics and the Prince doesn't have to do this because well, he is the Prince, but he still does and that goes to show how he really value the troops.