Slide background


(Mar. 4, 2024) Airman Apprentice Tara Reed, assigned to the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Paul Ignatius (DDG 117), directs an aircraft during flight quarters, Mar. 4, 2024. Paul Ignatius is on a scheduled deployment in the U.S. Naval Forces Europe area of operations, employed by the U.S. 6th Fleet to defend U.S., allied and partner interests. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jahlena Riveraroyer)

Narvik, Norway. (March 21, 2024): In this photo by Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Jahlena Riveraroyer, Seaman Apprentice Tara Reed directs an aircraft during flight quarters aboard the USS Paul Ignatius while participating in Steadfast Defender, the largest NATO military exercise since World War II. Homeported in Rota Spain, she is named for Paul Ignatius who served as United States Secretary of the Navy under President Lyndon Johnson from 1967 to 1969.

The Ignatius worked alongside more than fifty ships and eighty aircraft from NATO navies conducting a variety of training scenarios to enhance their ability to reinforce the alliance in wartime. Steadfast Defender is based on a hypothetical aggression by a power or adversary against a NATO member country. Under Article 5 of the NATO treaty, any military action taken against a member state is considered an attack on all member countries who are obliged to come to its defense. The war games involved approximately 90,000 troops from all 32 NATO Allies working together to evaluate and refine plans for reinforcing European defenses.

The hardworking crew enjoyed a port visit to Narvik, Norway that provided an opportunity to rest and refuel before continuing on with their mission. It also allows for cultural exchanges and the chance to interact with the local community, further strengthening the bonds between the United States and Norway.