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British warship returns to United Kingdom following temporary homeport in Norfolk

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Britain’s largest aircraft carrier has returned to the United Kingdom following a temporary homeport shift to Naval Station Norfolk.

For the past two months, Norfolk has been home to HMS Prince of Wales. The British aircraft carrier arrived on Sept. 30 to capitalize on the heavy sea states that come with hurricane season in the western Atlantic Ocean.

It made multiple port calls to Naval Station Norfolk as it practiced carrier landings and launches in the Atlantic Ocean for the United Kingdom’s F-35 Lightning stealth fighter jets.

The crew practiced operating drones, strike fighters, tilt-rotors and helicopters from both the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Marine Corps. The British vessel is one of the most powerful surface warships ever constructed in the United Kingdom with a size of 70 meters by 280 meters housing a max crew of 1,600.

While the Royal Navy’s ship was in Norfolk, its crew were hosted by the U.S. Navy’s USS George H.W. Bush aircraft carrier.

The Prince of Wales completed its final port visit to Naval Station Norfolk on Nov. 30 before heading back across the Atlantic, according to the ship’s social media. It was accompanied across the ocean by U.S. Navy destroyer USS James E. Williams.

Caitlyn Burchett, caitlyn.burchett@virginiamedia.com

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