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Portsmouth stopover for two US Navy destroyers

20 October 2017
United States Navy guided missile destroyers USS Mitscher and Winston S. Churchill have berthed in Portsmouth on their way home from exercises alongside Royal Navy counterparts.

They have been in UK waters with several other allied navies to improve interoperability during exercises Joint Warrior and Formidable Shield, particularly focusing on air and missile defence.

Commanding officer of USS Mitscher, Commander Brett Oster is on his second trip to Portsmouth, having been an Ensign on the same ship in 1999 when it made a similar post-exercise stopover.

Cdr Oster said: “This was a great opportunity to work with our NATO partners and other coalition partners to strengthen our bonds.

“We focused on air and missile defence and this was the first ever joint ballistic exercise we have taken part in with NATO partners. 

“This was a great training opportunity for the USS Mitscher, and also the USS Winston S Churchill which is berthed alongside us while we visit Portsmouth,” Cdr Oster continued.

Visits to Portsmouth and London were scheduled for American personnel.

About 300 sailors are embarked on these Arleigh Burke class destroyers, which are equipped with ballistic missile defences, as well as air defence and offensive capabilities.

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