AFTER five days indulging in British culture the 5,000-strong crew of the USS Harry S Truman have departed from the Solent.
The 1,096ft-long warship has been anchored off Stokes Bay since Saturday as part of its pre-planned visit to Britain.
And now the vessel is gearing up to continue her deployment which will see her supporting Nato in tasks across the globe.
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Thousands of the ship’s men and women have been spending time in Portsmouth, seeing the city’s heritage offerings, as well as indulging in Portsmouth’s bars and nightlife.
The ship’s commanding officer, Captain Nicholas Dienna has praised the welcome his men and women have had.
Speaking to media over the weekend, he said: ‘From the bottom of the hearts of over 5,000 men or women, embarked and or assigned to USS Harry S Truman, I want to say thank you to the people of the UK and the people of the city of Portsmouth for allowing us to spend some well-deserved time to rest here in this wonderful, wonderful city. ‘
The ship is now setting sail to join Nato’s largest military drill since 2002 later this month as allies test their ability to defend a member state.
Trident Junction, which runs from Oct 25 to Nov 7, comes at a period of heightened tensions between Moscow and the West.
Though allies have declined to say that the purpose of the exercise is to prepare for a possible Russian attack, it is taking place in Norway, which borders Russia.
“Trident Juncture illustrates Nato’s relevance and unity in that we are ready to defend ourselves,” US naval forces Europe chief Admiral James Foggo told reporters at Nato’s Brussels HQ yesterday.
Ships from the Royal Navy are expected to be among those taking part in the wargames. Military units, including infantry reservists from, 4th Battalion, The Princess of Wales Royal Regiment – which has a company based in Cosham – will also be taking part.