FolkestoneJack's Tracks

USS Gettysburg and Mitscher visit Portsmouth

Posted in England, Portsmouth by folkestonejack on October 13, 2012

In the last year or two I have had reason to pass through Portsmouth multiple times to catch trains, ferries and hovercraft whilst on the way to other destinations. On each occasion the sight of HMS Warrior sitting in the historic dockyard reminded me that I really needed to come back to take a good look around. Finally, I got around to that visit today.

US navy destroyer USS Mitscher arrives in Portsmouth

Two other visitors to Portsmouth this morning were the US Navy warships USS Gettysburg and USS Mitscher, arriving in mid morning after a spell in Scottish waters. The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Mitscher (DDG 57) and the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Gettysburg (CG 64) had been participating in the multi-national Exercise Joint Warrior from 1st-11th October (having originally set sail from the US on 17th September).

USS Gettysburg and tug SD Bountiful

A small crowd had gathered at the fifteenth century Round Tower which overlooks the entrance to Portsmouth Harbour and provides a fantastic view to watch marine traffic. The first ship to arrive was USS Gettysburg, led into harbour by tug SD Bountiful, around 11am. USS Mitscher was already visible in the distance and made her way in just half an hour later.

USS Mitscher approaches the entrance to Portsmouth Harbour

Later in the day we saw the two heavily armoured ships berthed alongside each other in the naval dockyard during a boat tour around the harbour. The Semaphore Tower at HMNB Portsmouth had been dressed with the stars and stripes to honour the visitors.