Top American admiral visits Portsmouth Naval Base

LCT 7074 during the Second World War

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ONE of America’s most senior naval leaders stepped onboard the Royal Navy’s new supercarrier on a visit to Portsmouth.

Rear Admiral Patrick Piercey, director for operations US Pacific Command, was the guest of honour on HMS Queen Elizabeth.

The top officer was touring the city’s naval base as part of a wider defence engagement trip across the UK.

During his visit to Queen Elizabeth, he was shown the 65,000-tonne leviathan’s hangar and the ship’s flying control position – Flyco – before stepping on to the vessel’s four-acre flight deck.

He was welcomed by Commodore Andrew Betton, commander of the UK’s carrier strike group, who briefed the admiral on Britain’s carrier regeneration programme.

Cdre Betton said: ‘It’s a great opportunity to discuss the UK’s return to carrier strike operations and how we can build our close operational partnerships across the globe.’

As part of his whirlwind visit to the area, Admiral Piercey also toured Fareham’s naval base, HMS Collingwood.