Mixing with Royalty

F-15E aircrews from the 4th Fighter Wing at Seymour Johnson AFB, N.C., didn’t realize it at the time, but a close air support sortie they carried out in Afghanistan’s restive Helmand province late last year was called in by none other than Price Harry, third in line to the British throne. “It was just a standard troops-in-contact call, and we checked in with him,” said Capt. Ben Donberg, who led a pair of Strike Eagles that took out a trench line of anti-government forces in relief of the prince and his British compatriots. His accent didn’t give him away because the US pilots were used to working with the British. But the item that did stand out at the time was the “extraordinarily high” skill and proficiency of the person coordinating the attack at the other end, Donberg said. “In fact, everybody in that sortie, all four of us, once we got down, we all commented on the proficiency and the skill he was providing us,” he said. The strike took place on Dec. 30, a spokeswoman with the wing told the Daily Report yesterday. (Seymour Johnson report by Kenneth Fine)