Prince Harry: You 'Take a Life to Save a Life' in War
01/22/2013 AT 02:00 PM EST
The 28-year-old confirmed he killed Taliban insurgents in Afghanistan while being interviewed at his military base.
"Take a life to save a life," he said. "That's what we revolve around, I suppose. If there's people trying to do bad stuff to our guys, then we'll take them out of the game, I suppose."
But the young royal insists that bloodshed wasn't why he took the job as an Apache helicopter pilot.
"The reason to do this job was to get back out here and carry on with a job," he said. "Now, yes, we fire when we have to – take a life to save a life – but essentially we're more of a deterrent than anything else."
His squadron commander Major Ali Mack, Officer Commanding 662 Squadron, 3 Regiment Army Air Corps, stands by Harry's assessment of life in battle.
"I can safely say there's nothing regarded safe or routine about flying in Afghanistan. There is nothing routine about deploying to an operational theater – where there is absolutely an insurgency – and flying an attack helicopter in support of both Isaf and Afghan security forces."