A FORCE of about 5,000 US sailors will be heading to Portsmouth next week on board one of the world’s most powerful aircraft carriers.
The 100,000-tonne ‘supercarrier’ USS George HW Bush is set to arrive off the city’s coast on Thursday, July 27.
The 1,092ft floating city will anchor off Stokes Bay for several days as part of her deployment across Europe and the Middle East.
Armed with 90 aircraft, the Nimitz-class supercarrier is one of America’s most potent military weapons at sea.
Her arrival comes just weeks ahead of the Royal Navy’s own supercarrier, HMS Queen Elizabeth.
The new British flagship is smaller than the US behemoth, weighing in at 65,000 tonnes and 280m long.
Councillor Donna Jones, leader of Portsmouth City Council, said the US carrier’s visit was an enduring symbol of the special relationship the UK has with America.
She said: ‘I’m delighted that Portsmouth has been chosen as a stop-over for the US Navy when the USS Bush visits Britain next week.
‘The national and international significance of Portsmouth Naval Base is strong and will grow in significance with Nato partners once the HMS Queen Elizabeth arrives. It will be a great boost to the city.’
The warship is named after the 41st president of the US.
She is the tenth and final Nimitz-class ship, having been commissioned in 2009.
Gosport Ferry is offering a rare chance to see the US carrier up close, with a limited series of two- hour cruises.
Captain Clive Lane, of the firm, added they would also be helping to ferry US sailors to shore during their stay.
He said: ‘Most people don’t get a chance to see this sort of thing in their lifetime. It’s a great opportunity.’
In 2015, USS George HW Bush’s sister ship, USS Theodore Roosevelt visited the city.
To join the cruise, see gosportferry.co.uk