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Royal action man Prince Haakon makes secret trip to troops in Afghanistan

28 AUGUST 2009

Norway's Crown Prince Haakon this week got a chance to see for himself how his country's troops are faring in Afghanistan.

Following on from previous visits to servicemen in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Kosovo, the heir to throne made a secret visit to the war-torn country.

 
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Hearing from the men how their efforts are helping rebuild the nation, his trip took him from Kabul to Maymenah and Faryab, and then back to Kabul.

"It was nice for me to come down here and see with my own eyes what the situation is for the Norwegian armed forces in this country," said the 36-year-old royal.

"I am impressed by the Norwegian force contribution and I have learned a lot."

As a trained officer himself, Haakon can no doubt appreciate what his countrymen are going through.

He served in the Royal Norwegian Navy undertaking his first-level officer's education at the Norwegian Naval Academy, followed by a year aboard missile torpedo boats and other vessels.

And he's not the first Scandinavian royal to visit troops in the country. At the end of last year Denmark's Crown Prince Frederik spent time on bases in Helmand province.

The royal joined the soldiers in their day-to-day routine, Eating field rations and getting his shut-eye in a military-issue sleeping bag,

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