London, Apr 30: Prince William, second in line to the British throne, has secretly visited British troops deployed in Afghanistan.
According to The Sun, 25-year-old William landed a giant C-17 Globemaster jet at an under-fire coalition air base in Kandahar. He then spent 24 hours on the ground meeting RAF personnel. An officer at the base said it was brave of him to come, and everyone was pleased that he did. Prince William is said to have been adamant about experiencing a war zone so that he could at least "look soldiers in the face". He was determined to make the trip before he leads the City Salute pageant for Britain's war heroes in London on May 7.
It was the prince's first experience of a combat zone - and left him "fascinated and humbled," said an RAF officer who met him there.
William's visit to Kandahar follows his brother Prince Harry's ten-week stint earlier this year in nearby Helmand province, where he served as a forward air controller with the Household Cavalry.
During his trip, William - known as Flying Officer Wales - also saw how the RAF's massive air bridge works to supply and arm the 8,000 British troops.
Taliban fighters using rockets and mortars regularly attack the Kandahar air base where Wills landed his plane.