Having his own Top Gun moment, Prince Charles arrived in California on Friday for his helicopter gunship training, according to a United Kingdom Ministry of Defense statement.
The younger son of Prince Charles and brother of Prince William will spend his time at both the Naval Air Facility El Centro and Gila Bend Air Force Auxiliary Air Field in Arizona. Both locations are used for training because their dry climates are similar to those in Afghanistan and other parts of the Middle East.
The El Centro base, which is the winter location for the Blue Angels, was also where Tom Cruise’s Top Gun was filmed, U.S. Navy Capt. Devon Jones told CNN.
The training in the next couple months will include live-fire training and “environment and judgment training.” While in California, he will fly Apache helicopters in the desert near the Mexican border.
The prince, who is a British Army captain, is among 20 students in the British Army participating in the training. If Prince Harry passes the training, he’ll be one step closer to being combat ready.
Prince Harry first entered the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in May 2005. In October 2008, Prince Harry revealed that he would enter training fly military helicopters.