Category: Entertainment / January 23, 2013 6:03 PM EST
British royal Prince Harry touched down in the United Kingdom on Wednesday (January 23), returning to the country after a 20 week deployment as a soldier in Afghanistan.
The 28-year-old Apache co-pilot gunner, third-in-line to the throne, was on his second tour to war-torn nation after a shorter stint in 2007-2008.
Harry made headlines earlier this week for some frank admissions about his role in Afghanistan.
Speaking at Brize Norton Air base in Oxfordshire on his arrival home, the Prince was quick to defend his actions.
"For the thousands of guys who are on operations are the moment, we are continuing essentially to do a job. A job for ourselves, a job for the guys left and right of us, and from my point of view, especially for the guys on the ground. We are supporting the Afghan people, supporting the Afghan army," Harry said.
"The way that things are going are fantastic - I suppose that sounds a typical MoD/Army answer, but it's true. As I said, the difference between 2006 and now is absolutely fantastic. You get asked to do things that you would expect to do wearing this uniform, and it's a simple as that really."
Harry undertook limited royal duties ahead of his deployment last year but he has expressed a desire to give more time to that part of his life in 2013.
"Given the opportunity I'd like to take on more royal stuff, to the extent that pre-deployment has been very very busy. Hopefully there will be a few gaps that open up, and as long as I stay current flying and continue with the job, then I'll be able to pay some more attention to the charities and stuff like that. So that's the plan but no plan as far as contact."
While away, Harry learned he would become an uncle in 2013 with his brother, Prince William, expecting a child with his wife, the Duchess of Cambridge.
Harry has made no secret of how close he is to them so was looking forward to spending time with them, away from prying eyes.
"I'm longing to see my brother and sister-in-law, as any other soldier who has just coming off the plane after four and a half months away," he said.
"I really am longing to catch up with people, behind closed doors - you guys (media) aren't invited."