USS Paul Ignatius (DDG 117) returned to Rota, Spain, on November 28, 2023, following a six-month deployment throughout the U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa (NAVEUR-NAVAF) and U.S. Sixth Fleet area of operations and marking the completion of its second Forward-Deployed Naval Forces-Europe (FDNF-E) patrol.

During their extended deployment, USS Paul Ignatius Sailors participated in various critical missions aimed at deterrence, safeguarding national security interests, and promoting global stability. The ship participated in various port visits, exercises, bilateral and multinational operations throughout the European and African theaters, contributing to maritime security and defense cooperation. Most recently, the ship integrated into the Gerald R. Ford Carrier Strike Group currently deployed to the eastern Mediterranean Sea.

Under the leadership of commanding officer Cmdr. Corry Lougee, Paul Ignatius’ crew displayed professionalism, expertise, and unwavering commitment to their mission, country, and allies and partners throughout their deployment.

“From conducting maritime exercises and missions in the Baltic Sea to extended operations in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea and providing a strong deterrence, this crew gave 117% effort and finished our patrol strong,” said Lougee. “Getting extended on deployment can be tough for the crew and our families, but our time under the Gerald R. Ford Carrier Strike Group brought us closer together as a team, and our mission and sense of purpose was clear.”

Paul Ignatius completed a demanding and unpredictable deployment, exemplifying the U.S. Navy’s steadfast commitment to ensuring the safety and security interests of our nation, our allies, and our partners.

Family and friends warmly greeted the ship’s arrival and its Sailors. The reunion was a joyous occasion, celebrating not only the safe return home Paul Ignatius but also the significant and historic contributions the crew made.

Four U.S. Navy destroyers, including Paul Ignatius, 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.