Gidget Fuentes

About Gidget Fuentes

Gidget Fuentes is a freelance writer based in San Diego, Calif. She has spent more than 20 years reporting extensively on the Marine Corps and the Navy, including West Coast commands and Pacific regional issues, and most recently was a senior writer and the San Diego bureau chief for Marine Corps Times and Navy Times.


Recent Posts By the Author


UPDATED: COVID-19 Patients Accidentally Transferred to Hospital Ship Comfort; Pentagon Easing Rules on Patients Treated

UPDATED: COVID-19 Patients Accidentally Transferred to Hospital Ship Comfort; Pentagon Easing Rules on Patients Treated

Lance Cpls. Andrew Hatmaker, left, and Travis Passaro, middle, and Hospital Corpsman Zachary Faull, assigned to II Marine Expeditionary Force, walk along Pier 90, as part of a Marine security detachment supporting the Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS Comfort (T-AH-20) on April 2, 2020. US Navy Photo

This post has been updated with additional information about five COVID-19 patients who were transferred to USNS Comfort on Saturday.

After public criticism flared late Thursday that USNS Comfort (T-AH-20) was treating too few patients while New York City hospitals grapple with COVID-19 cases, defense officials on Friday agreed to ease requirements for patients treated by the 1,000-bed hospital ship. Read More

COVID-19 Threat Reshapes Marine Boot Camp; Celebrations Will Have to Wait

COVID-19 Threat Reshapes Marine Boot Camp; Celebrations Will Have to Wait

New recruits with Bravo Company, 1st Recruit training Battalion, receive a Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) brief at Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego, March 30, 2020. US Marine Corps 

SAN DIEGO — When the newest Marines leave the parade deck after Friday’s graduation ceremony at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego, they will be heading to Camp Pendleton, Calif., on orders to directly report to their first training course as bona fide Marines. Read More

Patients Start Arriving On Navy Hospital Ships; Medical Officials Expect More Transfers For Care in NYC, LA

Patients Start Arriving On Navy Hospital Ships; Medical Officials Expect More Transfers For Care in NYC, LA

Coast Guard assets, along with New York Police Department and New York Fire Department assets, provide a security escort for the USNS Comfort arrival into New York Harbor, March 30, 2020. U.S. Coast Guard photo

Hospital ship USNS Comfort (T-AH-20) received three civilian patients on April 1, its first day supporting the COVID-19 response in New York City, and its top medical officer said additional patients will likely continue arriving.

Read More

USNS Mercy is ‘Open for Business’ Says Hospital Ship’s Top Doc

USNS Mercy is ‘Open for Business’ Says Hospital Ship’s Top Doc

Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Kimberly Wyss, from Ventura, Calif., sanitizes a medical supply shelf aboard the hospital ship USNS Mercy (T-AH-19) on March 28, 2020. US Navy Photo

SAN DIEGO — A day after pulling into its temporary home in the port of Los Angeles the hospital ship USNS Mercy (T-AH-19) Is ready to receive patients and take the pressure off local civilian hospitals inundated by the coronavirus. Read More

Navy Hospital Ship Mercy Expected to Head to Seattle as Part of Pentagon Response to Coronavirus

Navy Hospital Ship Mercy Expected to Head to Seattle as Part of Pentagon Response to Coronavirus

USNS Mercy (T-AH-19) moors to the pier at Naval Base San Diego upon returning from Pacific Partnership 2018. US Navy Photo

SAN DIEGO, Calif. – Hospital ship USNS Mercy (T-AH-19) was a hub of activity Thursday, as it took on a crew of civilian mariners and supplies ahead of deploying to assist West Coast civilian medical facilities hammered by COVID-19 cases. Read More

INDO-PACOM Commander: New Warfighting Concept Requires More Joint Training, Ranges to Prep for Tougher Fights

INDO-PACOM Commander: New Warfighting Concept Requires More Joint Training, Ranges to Prep for Tougher Fights

Adm. Phil Davidson, participates in an honors ceremony at the Brunei Ministry of Defence on September 10, 2019. U.S..S. Navy Photo

SAN DIEGO, Calif. –The future force must transform into one that’s jointly trained and integrated across all warfighting domains and with regional allies and partners to counter threats including China’s growing military and global influence, the commander of U.S. forces in the Pacific said on Tuesday. Read More

NAVIFOR Boss: Virtual Training for ITs Soon to Go Fleetwide

NAVIFOR Boss: Virtual Training for ITs Soon to Go Fleetwide

Navy Information Systems Technicians assigned the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76) provision more than 1,500 computer workstations for integration into their shipboard Consolidated Afloat Ships Network Enterprise Services (CANES) system in Naval Information Warfare Center Pacific’s Network Integration and Engineering Facility. US Navy Photo

SAN DIEGO, Calif. – A recent pilot program tested in the fleet to provide information systems training virtually to shipboard sailors proved promising enough that the Navy plans to implement it sometime this summer. The new regime is enabling students to learn and work on the exact IT systems they will operate on their ships, said the commander of Naval Information Forces. Read More

Marines Put Next-Generation MUOS SATCOM to the Test in Expansive Exercise

Marines Put Next-Generation MUOS SATCOM to the Test in Expansive Exercise

U.S. Marines with the 7th Marine Regiment commanding officer’s jump prepare for the start of the day during Steel Knight 20 (SK20) at Marine Corps Air-Ground Combat Center, Twentynine Palms, California on Dec. 11, 2019. US Marine Corps Photo

SAN DIEGO, Calif. – When a division of Marines deployed across a wide swath of the Southwest during a recent live-fire field exercise, the Navy’s new satellite communication system helped close a command and control gap that’s often-vexed commanders and their subordinate units. Read More