USS George H. W. Bush, the United States’ newest aircraft carrier, has embarked on her maiden deployment. The 2009-built Nimitz class vessel is accompanied by the cruisers Anzio and Gettysburg and the destroyers Mitscher and Truxton, also on her first ‘cruise’. The Carrier Strike Group is also under the command of a female Admiral for the first time.

In preparation for operations in the Mediterranean and Middle East alongside coalition navies, the strike group took part in Exercise Saxon Warrior, one of the largest war games hosted by the Royal Navy in UK waters in recent years, with participation from 26 naval vessels from the UK, US, Spain, Germany and Sweden. The air defence exercise conducted in the South Western Approaches included the Type 42 destroyer HMS Gloucester on her last outing before retirement. USS George H. W. Bush later stopped off in the UK for her first ever overseas visit.

At 97,000 tonnes, she is too big to enter Portsmouth Harbour so anchored in the Solent but her escorts USS Truxton and SPS Juan de Borbón did visit Portsmouth.

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