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USS Paul Ignatius Departs Mayport for Inaugural Patrol, Homeport Shift

28 April 2022

From Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Kris Lindstrom, Commander, U.S. 2nd Fleet Public Affairs

NAVAL STATION MAYPORT, Fla. - The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Paul Ignatius (DDG 117) departed Naval Station Mayport, April 27, for a routine patrol in the U.S. Sixth Fleet area of operations and a homeport shift to Rota, Spain.

After completing the ship’s inaugural patrol, Paul Ignatius will join destroyers USS Arleigh Burke (DDG 51), USS Ross (DDG 71), USS Porter (DDG 78) and USS Roosevelt (DDG 80) as Forward Deployed Naval Force-Europe (FDNF-E) ships homeported in Rota, Spain, fortifying the enduring relationship between the U.S. Navy and NATO.

Paul Ignatius’ move is one of several scheduled homeport shifts to occur in support of the U.S. Navy’s long-range plan to gradually rotate the Rota-based destroyers.

The ship is named in honor of former Secretary of the Navy Paul Ignatius, who served under President Lyndon Johnson from 1967 to 1969. Ignatius previously served as a Navy lieutenant during World War II.

Paul Ignatius is the second of eight planned Flight IIA “technology insertion” ships, which contain elements of the Flight III ships. The Flight III upgrade is centered on improvements to the DDG air and missile defense capability, enabling Flight III ships to simultaneously perform AAW and BMD. This improvement satisfies the Navy's critical need for an enhanced surface combatant Integrated Air and Missile Defense (IAMD) capability.

“We are excited to begin this journey today,” said Cmdr. Aaron Arky, commanding officer of Paul Ignatius. “This is the culmination of a lot of hard work by many Sailors to both prepare the ship and hone our tradecraft. Paul Ignatius is one of the newest and most advanced destroyers in the Navy. Together with our embarked helicopter detachment, we are bringing a lot of capability to the U.S. Sixth Fleet area of operations.”

U.S. Navy ships assigned to FDNF-E demonstrate national resolve, strengthen alliances, dissuade potential adversaries, and enhance the ability to respond quickly to contingencies. Rota offers a world-class port facility that provides an excellent location for multi-mission Aegis ships to support NATO and U.S. missions, exercises and engagements.

U.S. 2nd Fleet, reestablished in 2018 in response to the changing global security environment, develops and employs maritime forces ready to fight across multiple domains in the Atlantic and Arctic in order to ensure access, deter aggression and defend U.S., allied, and partner interests.

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