22-01-13

Female Secret Service agent protects the Obamas as she walks alongside The Beast during inaugural parade

A woman was in the ranks of the elite squad of Secret Service agents guarding President Obama’s vehicle this afternoon in the motorcade that passed down Pennsylvania Avenue.

The unknown woman, with her blonde hair slicked back into a ponytail, stood on the left side of Mr Obama’s Cadillac, walking in stride with the other agents.

The cavalcade slowly made it was way from Capitol Hill to the White House, with Mr Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama exiting at one point, waving to the hundreds of thousands of people along the mall.

Scroll down for video

 
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Guarding: Secret Security agents flocked the president and first lady as they made their way down Pennsylvania Avenue

 

 
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Boy's club: The agent was one of several women guarding high-profile politicians like the Obamas and the Bidens

 
 
 
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Girl power: President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama ride in the presidential limousine during the 57th Presidential Inauguration parade; center right, a blonde Secret Service agent guards The Beast

 

 
 
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More women: Five female secret service agents, circled in red, were front and center in today's motorcade

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Guarding: The woman seen alongside her male co-workers as the motorcade slowly made its way to the White House

Security lines today stretched more than a block to screen inauguration attendees for banned items such as lawn chairs, umbrellas, and firearms.

As the agents walked by the general public, the Secret Service agents carefully combed the crowds with their eyes, monitoring any suspicious activity.

 

 
 

The unknown woman flanked the first agent on the driver’s side of the car with her jacket open, despite the chill in Washington today, to reveal a white button-down shirt below. She, unlike the first lady, wore flats for the day's events.

The agents walked all the way down Pennsylvania Avenue to the White House, a tradition which dates back to the first inauguration of President George Washington.

The first organized parade happened in 1809, but it would be many decades until women were allowed to participate. It was at Woodrow Wilson’s second inauguration in 1917 that women were finally allowed to march.

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Romantic moment: President Obama kisses the first lady as their daughters Sasha, left, and Malia, second from left, look on; the female Secret Service agent looks on from the second row

 
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She wore a patriotic pin, small earrings and her earpiece

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Close eye: The agent kept a close eye on the first couple as Mr Obama kissed the first lady's hand

 
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Salute: The president saluted military servicemen as they marched in the inaugural parade

 

 
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Protected: The Obamas and the Secret Service agents watched the parade from behind a thick plate of bulletproof glass

 

 

Following last April’s Secret Service scandal in South America, where a dozen male agents were accused of being involved with a Columbian prostitute, there were cries from American media for more female agents.

Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney (D-New York) said at the time that the probability of the scandal happening ‘would have been reduced significantly’ if there were more women in the Cartagena detail, according to the Washington Post's Joe Davidson.

 
There is no word how long she has been protecting the First Family

There is no word how long she has been protecting the First Family

 

 
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Venue: A pavilion was set up in front of the White House where the Obamas could watch the parade

 

 
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Mounted cavalry: Mounted officials went by the Presidential Reviewing Stand as the sun set over Washington

 

 

 

The agents were guarding what they call ‘The Beast,’ the Cadillac limousine used to transport the president and first lady in today’s ceremonies.

The First Cadillac cost more than $300,000 to make, and is completely bulletproof. Presidential transportation was given a complete overhaul following President John F. Kennedy’s assassination in the back of a convertible.

Some of its specifications include a foam-sealed fuel tank which will absorb any impact from an explosion and won’t itself explode, as well as Kevlar-enforced and puncture-resistant tires. 

Unfortunately, because of all of its reinforcements, The Beast gets only eight miles to the gallon and peaks at a speed of 60mph.

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Four years ago: At the 2009 inauguration, all of the main Secret Service agents were male

03:29 Gepost door sarah miller | Permalink | Commentaren (0) |  Facebook |

'I want to take one more look... I'm not going to see this again': Beaming Obama savors his second inauguration as he takes Michelle on walkabout among hundreds of thousands in D.C.

President Barack Obama today savored the hundreds of thousands of supporters gathered to witness his second inauguration in Washington D.C., grinning as he waved enthusiastically to the crowds lining Pennsylvania Avenue.

And in a moving display of his appreciation as he left his public swearing-in ceremony at the Capitol building early this afternoon, he was seen pausing a moment to look back towards the crowds and reflect on the vast sea of people before him.

'I want to look out one more time because I'm not going to see this again,' he said quietly to someone next to him as he took in the spectacular view.

The president appeared just as grateful for the support as he walked hand-in-hand with his wife as part of the Inauguration Parade, which featured floats from 60 organizations, as it snaked through the city's streets.

The parade came after Obama was sworn into office by Chief Justice John G. Roberts as the president's proud wife Michelle and two daughters, 11-year-old Sasha and 14-year-old Malia, looked on.

Scroll down to watch videos and to read the President's full transcript

Taking a stroll: The Obamas wave to the crowds gathered along the parade route following the inauguration ceremony

Proud: President Obama and his wife Michelle wave to the thousands of supporters along the inauguration parade route after he was sworn into office on Monday

 
Joyous: The Obamas wave after emerging from the presidential limousine during the inaugural parade from the Capitol to the White House

Joyous: The Obamas wave after emerging from the presidential limousine during the inaugural parade from the Capitol to the White House

 

 
Thankful: Joe Biden and his wife Dr Jill Biden wave as they walk down Pennsylvania Avenue during the Inaugural parade

Thankful: Joe Biden and his wife Dr Jill Biden wave as they walk down Pennsylvania Avenue during the Inaugural parade

After he took the oath with two bibles - one belonging to Abraham Lincoln, the other to Martin Luther King Jr. - Obama addressed the crowd of supporters in an impassioned speech and urged the country to work together.

'Our individual freedoms requires collective action,' he said. 'We do not believe that in this country, freedom is reserved for the lucky, or happiness for the few... We must act together, as one nation and one people.'

 

'We, the people, still believe that every citizen deserves a basic measure of security and dignity... Let each of us now embrace, with solemn duty and awesome joy, what is our lasting birthright. With common effort and common purpose, with passion and dedication, let us answer the call of history, and carry into an uncertain future that precious light of freedom.'

He also announced his aims for his coming term, vowing to lead the fight against climate change and maintaining the country's strong alliances across the globe. And in a particularly progressive move, he became the first president to address gay rights in his inauguration speech.

 
 
Our President: A relaxed President Barack Obama is sworn into his second term in office at his inauguration, as his wife Michelle looks on

Our President: A relaxed President Barack Obama is sworn into his second term in office at his inauguration, as his wife Michelle looks on

 

 
Swearing in: Obama's family and members of the Senate look on as he is sworn into office by Chief Justice John G. Roberts

Swearing in: Obama's wife and daughters, Sasha and Malia, look on as he is sworn into office by Chief Justice John G. Roberts

 
 

 

 
 
 
 
 
Ceremony: Obama and Vice President Biden listen to an invocation by Myrlie Evers-Williams during the 57th Presidential Inauguration ceremonial swearing-in

Ceremony: Obama and Vice President Biden listen to an invocation by Myrlie Evers-Williams during the 57th Presidential Inauguration ceremonial swearing-in

 
 
Grinning: Sasha and Malia Obama look delighted to be at their father's second inauguration as they joked around in front of the cameras

Grinning: Sasha and Malia Obama look delighted to be at their father's second inauguration as they joked around in front of the cameras

 
Keeping the faith: Barack Obama is sworn in as President on two Bibles - one belonging to Abraham Lincoln and the 'traveling Bible' of Martin Luther King

Keeping the faith: Barack Obama is sworn in as President on two Bibles - one belonging to Abraham Lincoln and the 'traveling Bible' of Martin Luther King

'Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law,' he said. 'For if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well.'

And perhaps in a jab at his critics in the recent gun debate and wrangling over fiscal cliff bill, he added that 'name-calling is not reasoned debate' and lawmakers 'cannot substitute spectacle for politics'.

Under the Constitution the president officially begins his new term on January 20, but because the date fell on a Sunday this year, Obama and Vice President Joe Biden were sworn in at a mostly private ceremony yesterday and the nation will celebrate with the president today.

As many as 700,000 people gathered to watch the day's celebrations, brandishing flags and wearing patriotic hats and pins. Despite the enormous outpouring of support on display in the capital, there were one million fewer people in the crowds than at Obama's first inauguration in 2009.

 
Clowning around: The Obama girls dance while Michelle and Barack stay serious as they watch the parade from the presidential box

Clowning around: The Obama girls dance while Michelle and Barack stay serious as they watch the parade from the presidential box

 

 
Aloha! Barack and Michelle greet the Hawaii home state float on Monday with the shaka sign meaning 'hang ten'

Aloha! Barack and Michelle greet the Hawaii home state float on Monday with the shaka sign meaning 'hang ten'

 
Captivating: Beyonce sings the U.S. National Anthem as President Obama and Senator Charles Schumer listen during swearing-in ceremonies

Captivating: Beyonce sings the U.S. National Anthem as President Obama and Senator Charles Schumer listen during swearing-in ceremonies

 

 

 
Thankful: Singer and Obama supporter Beyonce is greeted by the president after her performance

Thankful: Singer and Obama supporter Beyonce is greeted by the president after her performance

 
Fans: The Obamas cheer and laugh with Beyonce after she finishes her spectacular performance at the inauguration ceremony

Fans: The Obamas cheer and laugh with Beyonce after she finishes her spectacular performance at the inauguration ceremony

 

 
Friends: First lady Michelle Obama greets singer Beyonce after she performs the National Anthem on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol

Friends: First lady Michelle Obama greets singer Beyonce after she performs the National Anthem on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol

WHAT'S ON THE MENU? THE 3,000 CALORIE INAUGURAL LUNCH

Obama, Biden, their families and the Senate will gorge on a 3,000 calorie feast.

First Course Steamed Lobster with New England Clam Chowder Sauce

Second Course Hickory Grilled Bison with Red Potato Horseradish Cake and Wild Huckleberry Reduction

Third Course Hudson Valley Apple Pie with Sour Cream Ice Cream, Aged Cheese and Honey

Wines Tierce Finger Lakes Dry Riesling (2010); Korbel Natural, Special Inaugural Cuvée California Champagne; Bedell Cellars Merlot (2009)

NBC reported each meal is worth a staggering 3,027 calories - minus the alcohol.

The crowd erupted into cheers as the grinning president took to the stage on Monday morning, following his wife Michelle, former presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Senators and other officials.

President Obama embraced members of the crowd and greeted his wife and daughters, Sasha and Malia, who were dressed smartly in brightly-coloured winter coats, before the ceremony got underway at 11.30 a.m.

Myrlie Evers-Williams, the widow of slain civil rights leader Medgar Evers, delivered the invocation at the opening of the ceremony, delivering a message of hope and unity for the country as Obama bowed his head in prayer.

'May all your people, especially the least of these, flourish in our blessed nation,' she said before the crowd.

'We celebrate the spirit of our ancestors, that has allowed us to move from a nation of unborn hopes and disenfranchised hopes to today's expression of a more perfect union.

'We are strong, fierce in our strength, and ever vigilante in our pursuit of freedom.'

Sonia Sotomayor, the first Hispanic woman to sit on the Supreme Court, then swore in Joe Biden as Vice President, using the Biden family bible.

After performances by musical stars Beyoncé, Kelly Clarkson and James Taylor, the ceremony concluded and the Obamas, Biden and his wife Jill, left for a congressional luncheon.

Former presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter were both at the Capitol, yet the Bushes were not in attendance.

VIDEO Beyonce sings the national anthem at Obama's second inauguration

VIDEO Kelly Clarkson performs 'My Country, 'Tis of Thee' at the inauguration

 

 
Passionate: Kelly Clarkson sings My Country 'Tis of Thee during swearing-in ceremonies on Monday morning in the nation's capital

Passionate: Kelly Clarkson sings My Country 'Tis of Thee during swearing-in ceremonies on Monday morning in the nation's capital

 

 
Starstruck: Kelly Clarkson is greeted by President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden following her performance

Starstruck: Kelly Clarkson is greeted by President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden following her performance

 
Photobomb! Bill Clinton is caught making a goofy face at Kelly Clarkson as she sings at the swearing-in ceremony in front of the U.S. Capitol today

Photobomb! Bill Clinton is caught making a goofy face at Kelly Clarkson as she sings at the swearing-in ceremony in front of the U.S. Capitol today

This afternoon, an inaugural parade featuring floats by 60 organisations took off at 2.30 p.m. to pass the Washington Memorial and the White House, before it concludes at 5.30 p.m. in time for the inaugural ball at 6 p.m.

Barack and Michelle Obama stepped from their motorcade as it drove along a jam-packed Pennsylvania Avenue and walked hand-in-hand as they waved to cheering supporters.

The trappings for today's ceremony were in place early this morning. The flag-draped stands were ready outside the Capitol, while tables have been set inside for the traditional lunch with lawmakers.

Across town, a specially made reviewing stand rested outside the White House gates for the president and guests to watch the traditional inauguration parade march down Pennsylvania Avenue.

 
Mass celebration: The Mall continues to fill with supporters to watch President Barack Obama be sworn in as the 45th U.S. President at the U.S. Capitol

Mass celebration: The Mall continues to fill with supporters to watch President Barack Obama be sworn in as the 45th U.S. President at the U.S. Capitol

 
Message of hope: Obama speaks after he was ceremonially sworn in for a second term as the 44th President of the United States

Message of hope: Obama speaks after he was ceremonially sworn in for a second term as the 44th President of the United States

 
Determined: Obama's speech called for the American people to work together to secure a future of equality for the entire country

Determined: Obama's speech called for the American people to work together to secure a future of equality for the entire country

 
Second term: Vice President Joe Biden takes his oath using the family bible as his wife Dr. Jill Biden and his son Beau Biden look on

Second term: Vice President Joe Biden takes his oath using the family bible as his wife Dr. Jill Biden and his son Beau Biden look on

 

The weather forecast was encouraging. High temperatures are predicted for the lower 40s during the day, with scattered snow showers during the evening, when two inaugural balls will conclude the official proceedings.

More than 2,000 police officers were drafted from across the country to patrol alongside the D.C. police, Secret Service, FBI and other agencies.

As the day dawned, Washington was in security lockdown, with thousands of police and National Guard troops across the city and Humvee military vehicles blocking major intersections.

Even though the atmosphere lacked the buzz of Obama's first inauguration in 2009, many of his supporters celebrated through the night.

'Yes, I can sense the inauguration is not as big as last time, but there is nonetheless excitement,' Carrie Solages told the Chicago Tribune as she attended a pre-inaugural ball on Sunday. 'We are still here to be a part of history.'

Before heading to the festivities, President Obama attended a church service at St. John's Episcopal Church with wife Michelle and daughters Sasha and Malia for a moment of reflection.

VIDEO: President Obama: 'I want to look out one more time'

 

 

 

 
 

 

 

 

 
 

VIDEO Obama's inauguration speech at the Capitol in Washington D.C.

 
Celebrated: Former President Jimmy Carter arrives at the ceremony with his wife Rosalynn

Celebrated: Former President Jimmy Carter arrives at the ceremony with his wife Rosalynn to massive cheers from the crowds

 

 
Arrival: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is joined by her husband, former President Bill Clinton, as she arrives at the inauguration

Arrival: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is joined by her husband, former President Bill Clinton, as she arrives at the inauguration

 
 
First family: Malia and Sasha Obama arrive at the Capitol building followed closely by their maternal grandmother

First family: Malia and Sasha Obama arrive at the Capitol building followed closely by their maternal grandmother

 

 
Proud: The girls burst into giggles as the crowd cheered when their names were announced. They joined their mother Michelle on stage

Proud: The girls burst into giggles as the crowd cheered when their names were announced. They joined their mother Michelle on stage

While attending the service, Obama apparently took a moment to send a message to his supporters, tweeting: 'I'm honored and grateful that we have a chance to finish what we started. Our work begins today. Let's go. -bo.'

Vice President Joe Biden, sporting a pair of suave aviator sunglasses, also attended the service with his wife Jill.

On Sunday night, the Obamas attended a glitzy reception in Washington D.C. with Biden and wife Jill. The event at the National Building Museum to celebrate those who supported the campaign and benefactors of the Presidential Inaugural Committee.

Michelle looked glamorous in a sequined, black cocktail dress and statement earrings while Dr Biden wore a navy blue dress with a bold necklace.

Obama thanked his many donors for their support at the event and said his second inauguration is a celebration of the country and its citizens, not the election results.

 
Actress Eva Longoria
Jay-Z and Beyonce
 

Famous fans: High-profile Obama supporters actress Eva Longoria, left, and Jay-Z and Beyonce, right, arrive at the swearing in ceremony

 
All smiles: President Barack Obama grins as he arrives to cheers during the presidential inauguration on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC

All smiles: President Barack Obama grins as he arrives to cheers during the presidential inauguration on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC

 
Welcome: President Barack Obama arrives during the presidential inauguration and embraces supporters as Bill Clinton looks on

Welcome: President Barack Obama arrives during the presidential inauguration and embraces supporters as Bill Clinton looks on

 
Offering support: Former Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich and his wife Callista arrive for the 57th Presidential Inauguration

Offering support: Former Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich and his wife Callista arrive for the 57th Presidential Inauguration

 

 
Happy to be there: Chicago Mayor and Obama's former chief of staff Rahm Emanuel and his wife Amy Rule arrive at the event

Happy to be there: Chicago Mayor and Obama's former chief of staff Rahm Emanuel and his wife Amy Rule arrive at the event

 

 

He reminded the crowd that 'what we're doing is celebrating each other and celebrating this incredible nation that we call home'.

He encouraged the crowd to enjoy the inauguration and said he needs them to work as hard as they can on issues important to them.

Obama said the inauguration is a reminder that 'there is something bigger than ourselves'.

He kept his comments brief and quipped that he has to save some of his lines for his speech on Monday. He also gave his opinion on a much-debated matter his week - his wife's new haircut.

He said: 'I love her bangs. She looks good. She always looks good.'

First lady Michelle Obama unveiled her new haircut in a White House photo released last Thursday for her 49th birthday.

 
Signature: President Obama signs a proclamation to commemorate the inauguration, entitled a 'National Day of Hope and Resolve', flanked by Biden and House Speaker John Boehner

Signature: President Obama signs a proclamation to commemorate the inauguration, entitled a 'National Day of Hope and Resolve', flanked by Biden and House Speaker John Boehner

 
Watching over: From left, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Sen. Lamar Alexander, Sen. Charles Schumer, Vice President Joe Biden, House Speaker John Boehner, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi

Watching over: From left, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Sen. Lamar Alexander, Sen. Charles Schumer, Vice President Joe Biden, House Speaker John Boehner, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi

Extravagant: The President and guests gather for the Inaugural Luncheon in Statuary Hall following the swearing-in ceremony

Extravagant: The President and guests gather for the Inaugural Luncheon in Statuary Hall following the swearing-in ceremony

 

 
 
Paying their respects: First Lady Michelle Obama, President Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and Dr Jill Biden pause to pay their respects at the Martin Luther King, Jr. statue in the Capitol rotunda as they leave the Inaugural Luncheon

Paying their respects: First Lady Michelle Obama, President Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and Dr Jill Biden pause to pay their respects at the Martin Luther King, Jr. statue in the Capitol rotunda as they leave the Inaugural Luncheon

Together: President Obama and Michelle sit beside Speaker of the House John Boehner and his wife Deborah Gunlack at the luncheon

Together: President Obama and Michelle sit beside Speaker of the House John Boehner and his wife Deborah Gunlack at the luncheon

 

 
 
Good humoured: Vice President Biden shares a joke with Senator Lamar Alexander as his wife Dr. Jill Biden stands to his left

Good humoured: Vice President Biden shares a joke with Senator Lamar Alexander as his wife Dr. Jill Biden stands to his left

 
Friendly: Bill Clinton greets singer John Legend and his fiance Christine Teigen at the Inaugural Luncheon in Statuary Hall

Friendly: Bill Clinton greets singer John Legend and his fiance Christine Teigen at the Inaugural Luncheon in Statuary Hall

 

 
 
High spirits: Bill Clinton puts his fists up as he jokes around at the inaugural lunch inside the Capitol building on Monday afternoon

High spirits: Bill Clinton puts his fists up as he jokes around at the inaugural lunch inside the Capitol building on Monday afternoon

 

 
Got your back: Obama and Clinton, who was key to his re-election campaign, hug during the inaugural lunch

Got your back: Obama and Clinton, who was key to his re-election campaign, hug during the inaugural lunch

Route: A map shows the route of the inauguration parade taking place on Monday afternoon following Obama's swearing in

Route: A map shows the route of the inauguration parade taking place on Monday afternoon following Obama's swearing in

 

Obama was sworn in for four more years earlier on Sunday in a simple ceremony at the White House, embarking on a second-term quest to restore a still-shaky economy and combat terrorists overseas while swearing an age-old oath to 'preserve, protect and defend' the Constitution.

'I did it,' a smiling president said to his daughter Sasha seconds after following Chief Justice John Roberts in reciting the oath of office. First Lady Michelle and the couple's other daughter, Malia, were among relatives who bore witness.

The quiet moments were prelude to today's public inaugural events when Obama and Biden will be sworn in on the steps of the U.S. Capitol before a television audience counted in the millions.

The 44th chief executive is only the 17th to win re-election, and his second-term goals are ambitious for a country where sharp political differences have produced gridlocked government in recent years.

 
 
 
Celebratory: Kennedi Franklin, 8, cheers as she sits on the shoulders of her father Edward Franklin, of Mobile, Alabama, as they wait on National Mall

Celebratory: Kennedi Franklin, 8, cheers as she sits on the shoulders of her father Edward Franklin, of Mobile, Alabama, as they wait on National Mall

 
Fans: Rickita Glass (left) and Kelly Grimes and others gather near the U.S. Capitol building on the National Mall for the Inauguration ceremony

Fans: Rickita Glass (left) and Kelly Grimes and others gather near the U.S. Capitol building on the National Mall for the Inauguration ceremony

 

 

 

 
Celebration: People cheer as they enter the National Mall before the ceremonial swearing-in ceremonies

Celebration: People cheer as they enter the National Mall before the ceremonial swearing-in ceremonies

 
Patriotic: Obama supporters wait on the National Mall for the start of the ceremonial swearing in on Monday morning

Patriotic: Obama supporters wait on the National Mall for the start of the ceremonial swearing in on Monday morning

 
 

Cheers: People wave at President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden as their limousine passes on the way to the Capitol building on Monday

Cheers: People wave at President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden as their limousine passes on the way to the Capitol building on Monday

 

Restoration of the economy to full strength and pressing the worldwide campaign against terrorists sit atop the agenda. He also wants to reduce federal deficits and win immigration and gun control legislation from Congress, where Republicans control the House.

If he needed a reminder of the challenges he faces, he got one from half-way around the globe. An Algerian security official disclosed the discovery of 25 additional bodies at a gas plant where radical Islamists last week took dozens of foreign workers hostage.

In Washington on Sunday, tourists strolled leisurely on an unseasonably warm day.

'I'm very proud of him and what he's trying to do for immigration, women's rights, what they call Obamacare and concerns for the middle class,' said Patricia Merritt, a retired educator from San Antonio, in town with her daughter and granddaughter to see the inauguration and parade. 'I think he's more disrespected than any other president,' she added, referring to his critics.

Sean Payton, an operations analyst from Highland Ranch, Colorado, said he hoped to hear 'a nice eloquent speech that makes people feel good about being an American'.

 

 

 
First family: The Obamas were all smiles as they arrived at the church ahead of the inauguration

First family: President Obama, his wife Michelle and daughters Sasha and Malia were smartly dressed as they arrived at the church ahead of the inauguration

 

 
How do I look? Mrs Obama gives her daughter Sasha some tips ahead of the church service

How do I look? Mrs Obama gives her youngest daughter Sasha some tips ahead of the church service in Washington D.C. on Monday

 

 

 

 
Welcome: The Obamas are greeted by Rev. Luis Leon as they arrive at St. John's Church on Monday

Welcome: The Obama family was greeted by Rev. Luis Leon as they arrived at St. John's Church on Monday for a service

 

 
Suave: Vice President Joe Biden arrives at St. John's Church shortly after the Obama family

Suave: Vice President Joe Biden arrived at St. John's Church - sporting a pair of aviators - shortly after the Obama family

 
Heading to church: Biden and his wife, Dr. Jill Biden, follow Reverand Luis Leon into St. John's Church

Heading to church: Biden and his wife, Dr. Jill Biden, follow Reverand Luis Leon into St. John's Church

 
Looking for something to do? As he attended the church service, Obama apparently tweeted this message to his Twitter followers

Looking for something to do? As he attended the church service, Obama apparently tweeted this message to his Twitter followers

Republicans lent a touch of bipartisanship to the weekend.

'We always want any president to succeed, to do well, that means America does well and Americans do well,' Senator John Barrasso of Wyoming said on CNN's State of the Union.

Obama took the oath in the White House Blue Room where portraits of Presidents John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and John Tyler grace the walls. He placed a hand on a Bible held by his wife. His daughters stood nearby.

The nation's political divisions seemed scarcely to intrude as Obama, a Democrat, shook hands with Roberts, a Republican appointee, in a rite that renews American democracy every four years. Unlike four years ago, when Roberts stumbled verbally, the chief justice recited the oath without error.

 

 

 
Excitement: One supporter, perhaps from Chicago, stands in the National Mall ahead of the events on Monday

Excitement: One supporter, perhaps from Chicago, stands in the National Mall ahead of the events on Monday

 
US singers John Mayer (L) and Katy Perry
Supporter: Rev. Jesse Jackson waits for the start of the presidential inauguration early on Monday
 

Supporters: Singers John Mayer and Katy Perry, left, attend the event while Rev. Jesse Jackson, right, waits for the start of the presidential inauguration

 

 
Family: Michelle Obama's brother Craig Robinson, head coach of Oregon State, left, and their mother Marian Robinson watch the Inaugural Parade

Family: Michelle Obama's brother Craig Robinson, head coach of Oregon State, left, and their mother Marian Robinson watch the Inaugural Parade

 
Senators: Sen. John McCain, R-Az., and Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., arrive for the ceremony on MOnday morning

Senators: Sen. John McCain, R-Az., and Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., arrive for the ceremony on MOnday morning

Gearing up: People begin to gather along Pennsylvania Ave. before the inauguration at the U.S. Capitol

Gearing up: People begin to gather along Pennsylvania Ave. before the inauguration at the U.S. Capitol

 

 

 

 

 
Preparation: US navy sailors stand at the West Front of the US Capitol hours before the ceremony

Preparation: US navy sailors stand at the West Front of the US Capitol hours before the ceremony

 

 

 
Anticipation: People await the start of the inauguration ceremony as the sun begins to rise over D.C.

Anticipation: People await the start of the inauguration ceremony as the sun begins to rise over D.C.

 

 

Before the swearing-in, the president listened from a second-row pew at the 175-year-old Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal Church as the Rev. Jonathan V. Newman asked God's blessing for the him and his family. 'But also prepare him for battle ... because sometimes enemies insist on doing it the hard way,' he said.

Like Obama, Biden began his day early on Sunday. He attended Catholic Mass at his official residence at the U.S. Naval Observatory a few miles from the White House.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor, the first Hispanic justice and an Obama appointee, administered the oath of office.

Biden joined Obama at the cemetery, where the two men placed a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns and observed a moment of silence as a bugler sounded Taps.

 
It's official: Obama is sworn in on Sunday as Michelle, Sasha and Malia look on at the White House

It's official: Obama is sworn in as president on Sunday as his wife Michelle and daughters Sasha and Malia look on at the White House

Pride: The First Lady kisses her husband hours after she watched him being sworn in for a second term as President

 

Pride: The First Lady kisses her husband hours after she watched him being sworn in for a second term as President on Sunday

 

 
Glittering event: President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle arrive to speak to supporters and donors at a reception for the 57th Presidential Inauguration at The National Building Museum in Washington tonight
First lady of fashion: Michelle Obama wore a glamorous black sequined dress to the event with a collection of bracelets and statement earrings
 

Glittering event: President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle arrive to speak to supporters and donors at a reception for the 57th Presidential Inauguration at The National Building Museum in Washington tonight

 
 

'WE MUST ACT TOGETHER': TRANSCRIPT OF PRESIDENT OBAMA'S PASSIONATE INAUGURAL ADDRESS

Vice President Biden, Mr. Chief Justice, Members of the United States Congress, distinguished guests, and fellow citizens: 

Each time we gather to inaugurate a president, we bear witness to the enduring strength of our Constitution. We affirm the promise of our democracy. We recall that what binds this nation together is not the colors of our skin or the tenets of our faith or the origins of our names. What makes us exceptional – what makes us American – is our allegiance to an idea, articulated in a declaration made more than two centuries ago:

'We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.' 

Today we continue a never-ending journey, to bridge the meaning of those words with the realities of our time. For history tells us that while these truths may be self-evident, they have never been self-executing; that while freedom is a gift from God, it must be secured by His people here on Earth. The patriots of 1776 did not fight to replace the tyranny of a king with the privileges of a few or the rule of a mob. They gave to us a Republic, a government of, and by, and for the people, entrusting each generation to keep safe our founding creed. 

For more than two hundred years, we have. 

Through blood drawn by lash and blood drawn by sword, we learned that no union founded on the principles of liberty and equality could survive half-slave and half-free. We made ourselves anew, and vowed to move forward together. 

Together, we determined that a modern economy requires railroads and highways to speed travel and commerce; schools and colleges to train our workers.

Together, we discovered that a free market only thrives when there are rules to ensure competition and fair play. 

Together, we resolved that a great nation must care for the vulnerable, and protect its people from life’s worst hazards and misfortune.

Through it all, we have never relinquished our skepticism of central authority, nor have we succumbed to the fiction that all society’s ills can be cured through government alone.

Our celebration of initiative and enterprise; our insistence on hard work and personal responsibility, are constants in our character.

But we have always understood that when times change, so must we; that fidelity to our founding principles requires new responses to new challenges; that preserving our individual freedoms ultimately requires collective action. For the American people can no more meet the demands of today’s world by acting alone than American soldiers could have met the forces of fascism or communism with muskets and militias. No single person can train all the math and science teachers we’ll need to equip our children for the future, or build the roads and networks and research labs that will bring new jobs and businesses to our shores. Now, more than ever, we must do these things together, as one nation, and one people. 

This generation of Americans has been tested by crises that steeled our resolve and proved our resilience. A decade of war is now ending.  An economic recovery has begun.  America’s possibilities are limitless, for we possess all the qualities that this world without boundaries demands:  youth and drive; diversity and openness; an endless capacity for risk and a gift for reinvention. My fellow Americans, we are made for this moment, and we will seize it – so long as we seize it together. 

For we, the people, understand that our country cannot succeed when a shrinking few do very well and a growing many barely make it. We believe that America’s prosperity must rest upon the broad shoulders of a rising middle class. We know that America thrives when every person can find independence and pride in their work; when the wages of honest labor liberate families from the brink of hardship. We are true to our creed when a little girl born into the bleakest poverty knows that she has the same chance to succeed as anybody else, because she is an American, she is free, and she is equal, not just in the eyes of God but also in our own. 

We understand that outworn programs are inadequate to the needs of our time.  We must harness new ideas and technology to remake our government, revamp our tax code, reform our schools, and empower our citizens with the skills they need to work harder, learn more, and reach higher.

But while the means will change, our purpose endures:  a nation that rewards the effort and determination of every single American. That is what this moment requires. That is what will give real meaning to our creed.  

We, the people, still believe that every citizen deserves a basic measure of security and dignity. We must make the hard choices to reduce the cost of health care and the size of our deficit. But we reject the belief that America must choose between caring for the generation that built this country and investing in the generation that will build its future. For we remember the lessons of our past, when twilight years were spent in poverty, and parents of a child with a disability had nowhere to turn.  We do not believe that in this country, freedom is reserved for the lucky, or happiness for the few. We recognize that no matter how responsibly we live our lives, any one of us, at any time, may face a job loss, or a sudden illness, or a home swept away in a terrible storm. The commitments we make to each other – through Medicare, and Medicaid, and Social Security – these things do not sap our initiative; they strengthen us. They do not make us a nation of takers; they free us to take the risks that make this country great. 

We, the people, still believe that our obligations as Americans are not just to ourselves, but to all posterity. We will respond to the threat of climate change, knowing that the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations. Some may still deny the overwhelming judgment of science, but none can avoid the devastating impact of raging fires, and crippling drought, and more powerful storms. The path towards sustainable energy sources will be long and sometimes difficult.

But America cannot resist this transition; we must lead it.  We cannot cede to other nations the technology that will power new jobs and new industries – we must claim its promise. That is how we will maintain our economic vitality and our national treasure – our forests and waterways; our croplands and snowcapped peaks.  That is how we will preserve our planet, commanded to our care by God. That’s what will lend meaning to the creed our fathers once declared.

We, the people, still believe that enduring security and lasting peace do not require perpetual war. Our brave men and women in uniform, tempered by the flames of battle, are unmatched in skill and courage.  Our citizens, seared by the memory of those we have lost, know too well the price that is paid for liberty.  The knowledge of their sacrifice will keep us forever vigilant against those who would do us harm.  But we are also heirs to those who won the peace and not just the war, who turned sworn enemies into the surest of friends, and we must carry those lessons into this time as well.

We will defend our people and uphold our values through strength of arms and rule of law.  We will show the courage to try and resolve our differences with other nations peacefully – not because we are naïve about the dangers we face, but because engagement can more durably lift suspicion and fear. America will remain the anchor of strong alliances in every corner of the globe; and we will renew those institutions that extend our capacity to manage crisis abroad, for no one has a greater stake in a peaceful world than its most powerful nation. We will support democracy from Asia to Africa; from the Americas to the Middle East, because our interests and our conscience compel us to act on behalf of those who long for freedom. And we must be a source of hope to the poor, the sick, the marginalized, the victims of prejudice – not out of mere charity, but because peace in our time requires the constant advance of those principles that our common creed describes:  tolerance and opportunity; human dignity and justice. 

We, the people, declare today that the most evident of truths – that all of us are created equal – is the star that guides us still; just as it guided our forebears through Seneca Falls, and Selma, and Stonewall; just as it guided all those men and women, sung and unsung, who left footprints along this great Mall, to hear a preacher say that we cannot walk alone; to hear a King proclaim that our individual freedom is inextricably bound to the freedom of every soul on Earth. 

It is now our generation’s task to carry on what those pioneers began. For our journey is not complete until our wives, our mothers, and daughters can earn a living equal to their efforts. Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law – for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well. Our journey is not complete until no citizen is forced to wait for hours to exercise the right to vote. Our journey is not complete until we find a better way to welcome the striving, hopeful immigrants who still see America as a land of opportunity; until bright young students and engineers are enlisted in our workforce rather than expelled from our country.  Our journey is not complete until all our children, from the streets of Detroit to the hills of Appalachia to the quiet lanes of Newtown, know that they are cared for, and cherished, and always safe from harm. 

That is our generation’s task – to make these words, these rights, these values – of Life, and Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness – real for every American. Being true to our founding documents does not require us to agree on every contour of life; it does not mean we will all define liberty in exactly the same way, or follow the same precise path to happiness. Progress does not compel us to settle centuries-long debates about the role of government for all time – but it does require us to act in our time. 

For now decisions are upon us, and we cannot afford delay  We cannot mistake absolutism for principle, or substitute spectacle for politics, or treat name-calling as reasoned debate. We must act, knowing that our work will be imperfect. We must act, knowing that today’s victories will be only partial, and that it will be up to those who stand here in four years, and forty years, and four hundred years hence to advance the timeless spirit once conferred to us in a spare Philadelphia hall.

My fellow Americans, the oath I have sworn before you today, like the one recited by others who serve in this Capitol, was an oath to God and country, not party or faction – and we must faithfully execute that pledge during the duration of our service. But the words I spoke today are not so different from the oath that is taken each time a soldier signs up for duty, or an immigrant realizes her dream. My oath is not so different from the pledge we all make to the flag that waves above and that fills our hearts with pride. 

They are the words of citizens, and they represent our greatest hope. 

You and I, as citizens, have the power to set this country’s course. 

You and I, as citizens, have the obligation to shape the debates of our time – not only with the votes we cast, but with the voices we lift in defense of our most ancient values and enduring ideals. 

Let each of us now embrace, with solemn duty and awesome joy, what is our lasting birthright. With common effort and common purpose, with passion and dedication, let us answer the call of history, and carry into an uncertain future that precious light of freedom. 

Thank you, God Bless you, and may He forever bless these United States of America.



03:17 Gepost door sarah miller | Permalink | Commentaren (0) |  Facebook |

I have killed: Prince Harry reveals he's 'taken a life to save a life' on the Afghan front line as he flies home from second tour of duty

Prince Harry flew out of Afghanistan tonight and admitted he had killed for the first time.

Thoughtful but unrepentant, he said soldiers sometimes had to ‘take a life to save a life’.

In an interview to mark the end of his four-month tour of duty as an Apache attack helicopter pilot, the third in line to the throne confirmed he had been directly responsible for the deaths of one or more insurgents as a co-pilot gunner.

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'Everyone's fired a certain amount': Captain Wales, as he is known in Helmand, was involved in daring missions in his Apache helicopter

'Everyone's fired a certain amount': Captain Wales, as he is known in Helmand, says he has had to kill from the cockpit of his Apache helicopter in Afghanistan

 
'Pretty complex job': Prince Harry says he mostly worked on escorting Chinooks on daring evacuation raids

'It's a pretty complex job for everyone involved': Prince Harry says he mostly worked on escorting Chinooks on daring evacuation raids

 
Captain Wales as he is known in the British Army, races out from the VHR (very high ready-ness) tent to scramble his Apache with fellow Pilots, during his 12 hour shift at the British controlled flight-line in Camp Bastion southern Afghanistan

Captain Wales as he is known in the British Army, races out from the VHR (very high ready-ness) tent to scramble his Apache with fellow Pilots, during his 12 hour shift at the British controlled flight-line in Camp Bastion southern Afghanistan

 
 
Go Ugly Early: This picture shows Cpl Graham Carr's weapon, poppy, and badgy on his body armour at Camp Bastion
Apache ground crew member
 

Go Ugly Early: Prince Harry says he has always dreamed of having the 'Ugly' call sign of the Apache helicopters he flew on his second tour of Afghanistan. He had a vast firepower at his disposal when he was flying, as illustrated by this t-shirt worn by an Apache ground crew member

 

WHY IT'S SO HARD TO FIND MY PRINCESS

He is one of the world’s most eligible bachelors. But according to Harry, being a prince means he has a constant struggle to find love.

In fact, the 28-year-old bemoans the fact that potential princesses are put off by his position, rather than attracted by it.

‘You ain’t ever going to find someone who’s going to jump into the position that it would hold. Simple as that,’ he says.

Asked whether he was currently single, he responds: ‘I’m just out here doing my job. That’s all I can say at the moment.’ 

But he admits brother William, who married long-term girlfriend Kate Middleton in 2011, has suffered the same personal doubts. He says: ‘I don’t think you can ever be urged to settle down. If you find the right person and everything feels right, then it takes time. . . especially for myself and my brother.’ 

He is clearly delighted, however, at the thought of becoming an uncle, saying he ‘can’t wait’. 

William and Kate, he says, broke the news of her pregnancy to him in Afghanistan over the phone. ‘Obviously I’m thrilled for both of them – it’s about time! – and I can’t wait to be an uncle,’ he said. 

‘I am very, very happy for them, but I only hope that she and him – but mainly Catherine – hopefully, that she gets the necessary protection to allow her as a mother-to-be to enjoy the privacy that comes with it.’

For seven years, Harry was in an on-off relationship with Zimbabwean-born trainee lawyer, Chelsy Davy. Although the tempestuous couple, who split shortly after William and Kate’s wedding, adored each other, Chelsy hated the ‘straitjacket’ of royal life.

Afterwards Harry briefly romanced underwear model Florence Brudenell-Bruce, but split with her to concentrate on the final phase of his Army Air Corps training. 

Shortly before being deployed, he began a romance with Cressida Bonas, 23, the daughter of Sixties It-girl Lady Mary-Gaye Curzon.

Asked if he had killed from the cockpit of his £40million aircraft, the 28-year-old prince said matter-of-factly: ‘Yeah, so lots of people have. The squadron’s been out here. Everyone’s fired a certain amount.’

Harry discusses his military career, becoming an uncle – and the notorious photos of him gallivanting naked in Las Vegas shortly before his deployment.

Tonight, as he began a few days of relaxation at a British base in Cyprus before returning to Britain, he admitted that while Prince Charles is ‘always trying to remind me about who I am’, he prefers to live by his own motto: ‘Work hard, play hard.’

 

 
 

In the interview, Harry also:

  • Reveals his brother William is jealous at not being allowed to fly helicopters in Afghanistan;
  • Says he ‘can’t wait’ to become an uncle to William and Kate’s baby;
  • Bemoans the fact that despite being one of the world’s most eligible bachelors he ‘ain’t ever going to find’ someone who wants to ‘jump in’ and become his wife;
  • Suggests his skill at PlayStation computer games may have made him a better pilot.

His admission that he killed insurgents is likely to be seized on by the Taliban for propaganda purposes. But the prince is unapologetic, saying: ‘Take a life to save a life, that’s what we revolve around. If there’s people trying to do bad stuff to our guys, then we’ll take them out of the game.

‘I’m not here on a free pass...our job out here is to make sure the guys are safe on the ground and if that means shooting someone who is shooting them, then we will do it.’

A senior Army source said: ‘Harry is flying an attack helicopter and that’s one of the jobs the guys do: Attack. It would be unthinkable for a gunner to go on a deployment and not have several engagements with the enemy. Of course he has killed.’

Harry was deployed with 662 Squadron, 3 Regiment Army Air Corps, to Camp Bastion in Southern Helmand in September.

His first tour of duty as a forward air commander on the ground was cut short in 2008 when news of his deployment leaked in the US. Ministry of Defence officials deemed his continued presence there a risk to his fellow soldiers.

Desperate to return to the front line, he retrained as a helicopter pilot and was picked to fly the 200mph Apache, the pride of the military’s airborne fleet, with his finger on the trigger of an arsenal of weapons including rockets, missiles and a 30mm cannon.

British media were given unprecedented access during his time in Afghanistan in return for not speculating about his deployment in advance or publishing information that could exacerbate potential danger.

It is when talking about his work as an Apache pilot that he is clearly at his most comfortable.

Harry – Captain Wales in the Army – was sent on all manner of missions over Helmand, from supporting Allied troops fighting the Taliban at close quarters to accompanying British Chinook and US Black Hawk helicopters on casualty evacuation missions.

He has been hailed by his colleagues and superiors for being ‘on top of his game’ during the tour.

Harry was given no special treatment and worked, ate and slept in the same basic conditions as the other pilots. It is, in his own words, ‘as normal as it’s going to get. I’m one of the guys, I don’t get treated any differently’.

He admits that his work is interspersed with periods of intense boredom while waiting for a call-out and he whiled away his time watching DVDs and playing computer games.

He even allowed himself to be photographed wearing a silly Santa hat, complete with blond plaits, to make his colleagues breakfast at Christmas and turn on their festive lights.

His father, he revealed, had sent him a food parcel containing a jar of Clarence House garden honey and a box of huge Cuban cigars.

 
Prince Harry appears to be sharing a joke with photographers as he gets into his Apache helicopter during early morning pre-flight checks

Prince Harry appears to be sharing a joke with photographers as he gets into his Apache helicopter during early morning pre-flight checks

 
Prince Harry chats to reporters and a TV crew following the checks on his aircraft

Prince Harry chats to reporters and a TV crew following the checks on his aircraft

 

 
During his deployment his colleagues and superiors hailed him for fitting into his unit well and being 'on top of his game' during the 'extremely busy' and dangerous tour

During his deployment his colleagues and superiors hailed him for fitting into his unit well and being 'on top of his game' during the 'extremely busy' and dangerous tour

 
This previously unseen photograph shows Capt Wales flying off, left, as protection for a Chinook helicopter, right, above the British-controlled flight-line

This previously unseen photograph shows Capt Wales flying off, left, in his Apache as protection for a Chinook helicopter, shown right, during a raid in the desert

 

 
 
 
 
Prince Harry does a pre-flight check of his Apache Helicopter after starting his 12 hour VHR (very high readiness) shift at Camp Bastion

Prince Harry does a pre-flight check of his Apache Helicopter after starting his 12 hour VHR (very high readiness) shift at Camp Bastion

 

 
Captain Wales watches the return from a mission of an Apache helicopter at the British-copntrolled flight-line in Camp Bastion

Captain Wales watches the return from a mission of an Apache helicopter at the British-copntrolled flight-line in Camp Bastion

 
Prince Harry has spoken for the first time about how he killed enemy fighters from his Apache helicopter during his latest tour of Afghanistan

Prince Harry has spoken for the first time about how he killed enemy fighters from his Apache helicopter during his latest tour of Afghanistan

PRINCE WILLIAM'S FRUSTRATION AT NOT BEING ABLE TO SERVE ON THE FRONTLINE

Prince William has privately expressed his frustration at not being able to serve on the frontline.

The future king, 30, is barred from serving in a warzone because it is considered ‘too dangerous’ given his future role and, says Harry, is hugely jealous of his own second tour in Afghanistan.

Harry is equally dismissive of the convention and says he cannot see why his brother shouldn’t get the chance to serve his country.

‘Yes, you get shot at. But if the guys who are doing the same job as us are being shot at on the ground, I don't think there's anything wrong with us being shot at as well,’ he said.

‘People back home will have issues with that, but we're not special. The guys out there are; simple as that.’

 
Captain Wales as he is known in the British Army, inspects his Apache Helicopter before lift off on a night mission from Camp Bastion southern Afghanistan

Captain Wales as he is known in the British Army, inspects his Apache Helicopter before lift off on a night mission from Camp Bastion southern Afghanistan

 

 
 
Prince Harry inspects his Apache helicopter before lifting off on a night mission from his base in southern Afghanistan

Prince Harry admitted he had 'killed from the cockpit' before adding that 'many had'

In a revealing series of interviews given to the Press at the end of Prince Harry's second tour of Afghanistan, he also said that his older brother was 'jealous' of his job flying helicopters in the desert

In a revealing series of interviews given to the Press at the end of Prince Harry's second tour of Afghanistan, he also said that his older brother was 'jealous' of his job flying helicopters in the desert

 

 
In his job as a co-pilot gunner (CPG), he flew on missions both planned and unplanned, often for hours on end over the barren desert

In his job as a co-pilot gunner (CPG), he flew on missions both planned and unplanned, often for hours on end over the barren desert, supporting the International Security Assistance Force (Isaf), the Afghan National Army (ANA), and Afghan National Police

The Apache Helicopter co-piloted by Prince Harry or just plain Captain Wales as he is known in the British Army, before lift off on a night mission from Camp Bastion

The Apache Helicopter co-piloted by Prince Harry or just plain Captain Wales as he is known in the British Army, before lift off on a night mission from Camp Bastion

 
Downtime: Prince Harry claims he beats most of his co-fighters at Fifa on the PlayStation. Here he is seen celebrating a goal in a match against Pilot Captain Simon Beattie (left)

Downtime: Prince Harry claims he beats most of his co-fighters at Fifa on the PlayStation. Here he is seen celebrating a goal in a match against Pilot Captain Simon Beattie (left)

 

 
Captain Wales relaxes with Simon Beattie under a shelter protecting them from the intense Afghan sun

Captain Wales relaxes with Simon Beattie under a shelter protecting them from the intense Afghan sun

 

 
As well as going on dangerous missions Prince Harry has to put up with the more mundane parts of life. Here he chats to a TV crew while making his breakfast

As well as going on dangerous missions Prince Harry has to put up with the more mundane parts of life. Here he chats to a TV crew while making his breakfast

 

GO UGLY EARLY: THE APACHE HELICOPTERS THE YOUNG PRINCE ALWAYS DREAMED OF FLYING

Prince Harry in the cockpit of his Apache helicopter

Prince Harry in the cockpit of his Apache helicopter

For 28-year-old Prince Harry, flying Apache helicopters over war-ravaged Afghanistan has been a dream come true.

The 'Go Ugly Early' call sign is much coveted in the armed forces, and the Prince and his co-pilots proudly wore its badges on their kit.

Prince Harry said: 'I don't know the story behind it, but I've always wanted to be an Ugly.  Ever since I was a JTAC (Joint Terminal Attack Controller) back in 2009, speaking to the Uglies was always the number one.'

He added: 'Things have changed now.  We've got no Harriers any more, the Tornados are working elsewhere, so this is the choice platform as far as we're concerned for the guys on the ground.

'I don't know where the Ugly came from but it is a pretty ugly beast, and I think it's very cool.'

The royal has his Ugly Badge fixed to his flying helmet, alongside one with 'Harry Wales' stitched in yellow onto a black Stars and Stripes flag, and another of the classic Blue/Red/Blue flash of the Household Division.

From his seat in the front of the two-man cockpit, he is in charge of the weapons systems, which includes Hellfire missiles, rockets, and a 30mm gun.

He said: 'It's a joy for me because I'm one of those people who loves playing PlayStation and Xbox, so with my thumbs I like to think that I'm probably quite useful.'

 

My father tells me to act more like a prince, admits Harry but he remains unrepentant about nude Las Vegas romp photos, saying he should have been afforded some privacy

Prince Harry is regularly nudged by his father and told to remember who he is, he revealed today.

In a candid interview conducted on the eve of his return to Britain from Afghanistan, the soldier Prince said he found life in the Army made it 'easy to forget' who he was.

Eye on the ball: Prince Harry says he understands the different duties he has to carry out as a royal and as a soldier

Eye on the ball: Prince Harry says he understands the different duties he has to carry out as a royal and as a soldier

He added that he often needed reminding by Prince Charles about keeping his public face up.

He admitted he 'let himself and his family down' after he was photographed naked at a pre-Afghanistan party in Las Vegas last summer, but remained largely unrepentant, saying he deserved some privacy.

The 28-year-old royal, who has been an army officer for six-and-a-half years, said he felt far more comfortable as 'Captain Wales' than 'Prince Harry'.

'Definitely, I've always been like that,' he said.

'My father's always trying to remind me about who I am and stuff like that, but it's very easy to forget who I am when I am in the army.

I'm not academic but I thrash the guys at Fifa: Harry's Camp Bastion downtime

Sitting exams at school was 'a nightmare' for Prince Harry, but like many of his age the third in line to the throne is a whiz at computer games on the PlayStation and Xbox.

Harry, who was educated at Ludgrove Prep School and Eton College, said he was 'absolutely useless' at written tests at school, but is making up for it now by beating his army colleagues at computer games.

He said: 'You can ask the guys: I thrash them at Fifa the whole time.'

In an interview conducted before he flew home to the UK from his deployment as an Apache helicopter co-pilot gunner (CPG), the 28-year-old revealed how he and his friends in 662 Squadron based in Camp Bastion played computer games and ate pizza when they had time off.

He also talked about his living conditions at the dusty army base, and revealed he was sent a jar of Clarence House honey made by bees at the Prince of Wales' official residence.

The young royal also said his father had sent him a box of Cuban cigars, some of which he traded with American soldiers in exchange for their treats from home.

Showing appealing modesty about his obvious skills as a pilot, the Prince said his skills at sports and games helped pave the way for him to become a top pilot.

He said: 'Exams were always a nightmare, but anything like kicking a ball around or playing PlayStation - or flying - I do generally find a little bit easier than walking, sometimes.

'It's a joy for me because I'm one of those people who loves playing PlayStation and Xbox, so with my thumbs I like to think that I'm probably quite useful.'

 
While he admits he didn't perform well academically, Prince Harry said he was good at PlayStation and gave many people on his base a run for their money

While he admits he didn't perform well academically, Prince Harry said he was good at PlayStation and gave many people on his base a run for their money

Royal sibling rivalry: Harry reveals he's jealous of his brother flying and being able to go home to his wife and dog, but says William's envious of his tour of duty

Prince William envies his younger brother flying helicopters on the frontline while Prince Harry envies William his satisfying job and cosy family set-up, the younger Prince revealed today.

In an honest interview conducted before the 28-year-old Prince Harry flew back to Britain after a 20-week tour of Afghanistan, he shed light on his relationship with his brother.

And he revealed that Prince William is privately frustrated at not being able to serve on the frontline because of his future role.

Prince Harry, who has just finished his second deployment in Afghanistan, where he was a co-pilot gunner in Apache helicopters, said: 'I think there is a bit of jealousy, not just the fact that I get to fly this, but obviously he'd love to be out here.

'And to be honest with you, I don't see why he couldn't.

'His job out here would be flying the IRT [Immediate Response Team], or whatever, doing Chinook missions.  Just the same as us - no-one knows who's in the cockpit.

'Yes you get shot at, but if the guys who are doing the same job as us are being shot at on the ground, I don't think there's anything wrong with us being shot at as well.

 
Prepared to kill: Prince Harry at Camp Bastion
Prince william
 

Prince Harry, left, enjoys his job as an Apache helicopter pilot and says brother William, right, who is a Search and Rescue pilot in Wales, would like to see active service


03:00 Gepost door sarah miller | Permalink | Commentaren (0) |  Facebook |