It would be good to see US sailors in uniform

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LESLEY KEATING: A white-knuckle pursuit ending with a lesson in trust

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AS the old song lyric has it, the Yanks are coming. No sooner will their commander-in-chief have left Britain than thousands of his sailors will reach these shores for a weekend stay.

It will be the first time that the new aircraft carrier USS George HW Bush has been seen in Britain, this being her maiden deployment.

She will though, we are sure, be as welcome a visitor as President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle have been during their state visit to this country.

The sight of the world’s most powerful warship anchored off Gosport for a war exercise with the Royal Navy will again remind us of the value of our military as well as political and social relationship with the United States of America.

The sheer size of the vessel is a testament to military force. Like her sister US carriers, she is simply too big to get through the narrow entrance to Portsmouth Harbour.

The George HW Bush alone carries more than 5,000 servicemen and women and the crews of her accompanying ships will further swell the total of sailors visiting this area.

All will be welcome in Portsmouth and although traditionally many American sailors head straight for London when they arrive off our shores, we hope that the comparative brevity of the stay will encourage them instead to enjoy the many historic attractions that Portsmouth and the surrounding area has to offer.

It would be good also to see the Americans wearing their uniforms while they come ashore during their visit.

Many people still miss the sight of our own sailors walking around Portsmouth in their uniforms.

Security is of course a concern, but we think the time has come for a renewed show of old-style shore attire.

Such guidance can only come from above, so it would be nice to think that the American top brass might consider encouraging the wearing of uniform when visiting Britain.

However they are dressed though, we know Portsmouth will give its traditional friendly welcome to the Yanks.