An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

NEWS | Feb. 11, 2024

Commander, U.S. Sixth Fleet visits USS Paul Ignatius (DDG 117)

By Ensign Karolyn Batista, USS Paul Ignatius Public Affairs

Vice Adm. Thomas Ishee, commander, U.S. Sixth Fleet, visited the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Paul Ignatius (DDG 117) at Naval Station Rota to meet with the crew and recognize their accomplishments, Feb. 9, 2024. Since arriving to Rota to join the Forward Deployed Naval Forces Europe (FDNF-E) force in June 2022, Paul Ignatius' crew has completed two patrols in the U.S. Sixth Fleet area of operations, working alongside Allies and partners to ensure security and stability throughout European and African waters. "The sailors of the USS Paul Ignatius have shown exceptional skill and determination in carrying out their duties since joining the FDNF-E force less than two years ago," said Ishee. "Their hard work and dedication have made a significant impact on naval operations, and I am proud to have this incredibly capable warship and crew in our region." Paul Ignatius successfully completed a series of missions and operations during an extended regional patrol throughout much of 2023, including joint exercises with Allies and partners from the Baltic Sea to the coast of Morocco and other maritime security operations throughout the Sixth Fleet area of operations. “Your warfighting spirit is evident in each crew member and the way I see your team operate together," said Ishee. "Our nation, the NATO Alliance, and our regional Allies and partners continue to rely on the capability and resolve that Paul Ignatius brings to maintain freedom of navigation in international waters, deter aggression and support our partners in Europe and Africa." Paul Ignatius returned to its homeport in Rota, Spain at the end of the November 2023, and has spent their inport period maintaining proficiency, keeping the ship and crew fit to fight, and preparing for future exercises and operations throughout the Sixth Fleet region. Paul Ignatius is one of four Forward-Deployed Naval Forces-Europe (FDNF-E) destroyers assigned to Commander Task Force 65 as part of the U.S. Navy's support to NATO's Integrated Air Missile Defense (IAMD) architecture. These FDNF-E ships demonstrate the U.S. Navy's flexibility to operate throughout Europe and Africa, from the Cape of Good Hope to the Arctic Circle, supporting security and stability in the maritime domain. For over 80 years, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-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 USEUCOM and 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.