LONDON -- Royal officials say Prince William has qualified as an operational search and rescue captain in the Royal Air Force.
The prince's office, Clarence House, says that William – known as Flight Lt. Wales in the military – will now be able to command search and rescue operations in Sea King helicopters. Previously, he had only co-piloted the aircraft.
Clarence House said Thursday that William had completed two days of ground and air-based tests to achieve the qualification, including scenarios such as a search for two missing kayakers and extinguishing a simulated fire on a vessel.
It says the tests are the culmination of nearly two years of flying experience and study.
Officials say the captaincy qualification does not alter William's rank.
In this image made released by Britain's Ministry of Defence image shows a Friday June 1, 2012 of Britain's Prince William at RAF Valley in Anglesey Wales. (AP Photo/ SAC Faye Storer, MOD)
In this image made released by Britain's Ministry of Defence shows a Friday June 1, 2012 image of Britain's Prince William in the cockpit of a helicopter at RAF Valley in Anglesey Wales. (AP Photo/ SAC Faye Storer, MOD)
This is a Ministry of Defence handout image of Britain's Prince William and his crew take off for their first sortie from the Mount Pleasant Complex, in the Falkland Islands Saturday Feb. 4, 2012, part of his six week deployment to the Islands. (AP Photo/Sgt Andy Malthouse, MoD)
This is a Ministry of Defence handout image of Prince William , left, prepares for his first sortie with a crew member at Mount Pleasant Complex in the Falkland Islands Saturday Feb. 4, 2012, part of his six week deployment to the Islands. (AP Photo/Sgt Andy Malthouse, MoD)
March 31 2011 file photo of the Duke of Cambridge at the controls of a Sea King helicopter. Britain's Ministry of Defence has said that Prince William has arrived Thursday Feb. 2 2012 in the Falklands for a tour duty as an RAF search and rescue pilot. (AP Photo/ John Stillwell/PA File)
In this July 4, 2011 file photo, Britain's Prince William heads toward a Sea King helicopter for a training exercise, in Dalvay-by-the-Sea, Prince Edward Island, Canada. Prince William joined a frantic rescue mission Sunday, Nov. 27, 2011, after a cargo ship sank in the Irish Sea, leaving several crew members still missing. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Paul Chiasson, file)
Prince William, Duke of Cambridge takes part in helicopter manouvres called 'water birding' across Dalvay lake on July 4, 2011 in Charlottetown, Canada. The newly married Royal Couple are on the fifth day of their first joint overseas tour. (Photo by Arthur Edwards - Pool/Getty Images)
In this image provided by the Ministry of Defence, Prince William takes the controls of a Sea King helicopter on April 14, 2011 in Holyhead, Wales. (MoD Crown Copyright/ Getty Images)
In a file picture taken on April 1, 2011 Prince William looks on as Britain's Queen Elizabeth leaves after being shown a Sea King helicopter during a visit to RAF Valley in Anglesey, Wales. (ANDREW YATES/AFP/Getty Images)
Britain's Queen Elizabeth II (2nd R) is shown a Sea King helicopter by her grandson Prince William (R) during a visit to RAF Valley in Anglesey, Wales on April 1, 2011. (ANDREW YATES/AFP/Getty Images)
(From L to R) Sergeant Ed Griffith, Britain's Prince William, Flight Lieutenant Alan Connor and winch operator Sergeant Paul Jones pose in front of their Sea King helicopter at RAF Valley in Anglesey, north Wales, after a training exercise at nearby Holyhead Mountain, on March 31, 2011. (JOHN STILLWELL/AFP/Getty Images)