US aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman set to arrive in Portsmouth this weekend

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THOUSANDS of sailors are set to descend on Portsmouth when a major aircraft carrier arrives this weekend.

The 1,096ft-long USS Harry S Truman is set to arrive on Saturday, with excitement building ahead of her mooring off Stokes Bay.

USS Harry S Truman

USS Harry S Truman

Sailors are due to make a run ashore during the stopover.

She is currently on deployment supporting NATO allies, European and African partner nations and US national security interests in Europe and Africa.

Portsmouth City Council’s leader Councillor Gerald Vernon Jackson said it was wonderful to have the American navy visit.

Cllr Vernon-Jackson said: ‘It is wonderful to have the US navy come and visit Portsmouth and what is interesting is that they are actually moored closer to Southampton but the crew choose to come for R&R in Portsmouth.

‘We have lots of Belgium ships come to the city and I was speaking to some people in the navy and they call Portsmouth port the Tiger Tiger run – so we are a popular place to visit and I think it is related to our naval heritage as well.’

The ship is the 8th Nimitz-class aircraft carrier of the United States Navy and was named after the 33rd President of the United States. 

She is also the flagship of Carrier Strike Group 8.

Cllr Vernon-Jackson added: ‘The crew will hopefully spend time in Gunwharf and the surrounding area so that will be really great for local businesses.’

Charter firms are already offering sailings out to see the US super-carrier up close.

It comes after the 100,000-tonne aircraft carrier USS George HW Bush anchored in Stokes Bay in July last year.

Extensive dredging work took place ahead of aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth arriving in Portsmouth.

But the 932ft-long British ship is dwarfed by the US carrier, which has a 4.5-acre flight deck.

The 65,000-tonne Queen Elizabeth is currently abroad in America, conducting test flights for the F-35B Lightning II jets.

Night-time landings took place this week aboard the Portsmouth-based ship, following last week’s historic first landing on the flight deck.