LONDON - Prince Harry has returned to Afghanistan to fly attack helicopters on the frontline just two weeks after he was photographed frolicking naked in Las Vegas.
The Ministry of Defence (MoD) said on Friday that the Queen's grandson would serve a four-month tour, based out of Camp Bastion in Helmand Province - one of the most volatile regions in the country where Britain has been fighting alongside the United States against the local Taliban since 2001.
"Working alongside his colleagues in the squadron, he will be in a difficult and demanding job," said Lieutenant Colonel Tom de la Rue in a statement.
The prince, known in the military as Captain Wales, first served in Afghanistan in 2008 as an on-ground air controller, but his tour was cut short after foreign media broke a news blackout requested to protect him while on the front line.
The MoD said the danger was less severe in helicopters.
"Captain Wales's deployment has been long planned and the threat to him and others around him thoroughly assessed," the ministry said.
The 27-year-old, who is regularly in the headlines due to his penchant for partying, has spoken out about his desire to return to active service.
"I would love to go back, I really would," he told ABC's "Good Morning America" TV programme in 2010.
"At the end of the day you train for war, it's as simple as that. If we could be at peace then fantastic, but if we're at war then you want to be with your brothers in arms."
Prince Harry is the first member of the Royal Family to see active combat since his uncle Prince Andrew fought in the Falklands war.
Thousands of fellow soldiers as well as members of the public posted naked photos of themselves on Facebook to show their support for the prince after naked pictures of him with a young woman in Las Vegas made news around the world in August.
Prince Charles, Harry's father and heir-to-the-throne, is "immensely proud" of his son's return to the front line, his spokesman said.