TALLINN, Estonia –
The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Paul Ignatius (DDG 117) arrived in Tallinn, Estonia for a scheduled port visit, Aug. 20, 2022.
This is the ship’s first port visit after completing operations in the Arctic Circle and marks the ship’s first port visit since entering the Baltic Sea. The ship’s presence in the Baltic Sea demonstrates the U.S. Navy’s continued commitment to collective defense of the European region and reinforces the strong bond between the United States and Estonia.
“I am extremely excited to bring the ship and our crew to Tallinn to continue developing the strong partnership enjoyed with Estonia and the Estonian Defense Forces,” said Cmdr. Aaron Arky, commanding officer of Paul Ignatius. “Tallinn is our first port visit since operating in the Baltic Sea and we are interested in experiencing the rich culture of the region. I look forward to welcoming guests onboard USS Paul Ignatius and am thankful for this opportunity.”
Paul Ignatius is currently on a scheduled patrol in the U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa area of operations as part of the Forward Deployed Naval Forces-Europe (FDNF-E) force. The ship joined the FDNF-E destroyers based in Naval Station Rota, Spain, June 17. She began her current patrol on Aug. 1 and has sailed throughout the North Atlantic and Norwegian Seas prior to entering the Baltic Sea and arriving in Estonia.
While in port in Tallinn, the ship and her crew will host tours and a welcome reception. The crew looks forward to hosting civilian and military leaders from throughout Estonia and the Baltic states strengthening partner relations. Sailors will also participate in a community relations project with a local youth center in Tallinn and enjoy the opportunity to explore the historical sights and rich culture of Estonia.
Paul Ignatius’ visit to Tallinn follows a port visit in September 2021 from fellow FDNF-E destroyer USS Arleigh Burke (DDG 51), and also follows previous visits to Tallinn earlier this year from Wasp-class amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD 3) in May and Whidbey Island-class dock landing ship USS Gunston Hall (LSD 44) in early August.
Four U.S. Navy destroyers are based in Rota, Spain and are assigned to Commander, Task Force 65 in support of NATO’s Integrated Air Missile Defense architecture. These FDNF-E ships have the flexibility to operate throughout the waters of Europe and Africa, from the Cape of Good Hope to the Arctic Circle, demonstrating their mastery of the maritime domain.
For over 80 years, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-U.S. Naval Forces Africa (NAVEUR-NAVAF) has forged strategic relationships with allies and partners, leveraging a foundation of shared values to preserve security and stability.
Headquartered in Naples, Italy, NAVEUR-NAVAF operates U.S. naval forces in the U.S. European Command (USEUCOM) and U.S. Africa Command (USAFRICOM) areas of responsibility. U.S. Sixth Fleet is permanently assigned to NAVEUR-NAVAF, and employs maritime forces through the full spectrum of joint and naval operations.