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


Navy Facing Billion-Dollar Tab, Years to Get China Lake Fully Operational After Quake

Navy Facing Billion-Dollar Tab, Years to Get China Lake Fully Operational After Quake

Public works personnel assigned to Naval Facilities Southwest repair transformers to restore power in the housing area of Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake on July 9, 2019. US Navy Photo

A pair of strong earthquakes that struck the Navy’s key hub for air warfare research, development and testing six weeks ago handed the service a huge bill to replace, rebuild or repair damaged facilities.

The Navy estimates more than $2 billion in repairs are needed to repair facilities damaged by a pair of earthquakes six weeks ago at its vital hub for air warfare research, development and testing. Read More

Retired MSC Ship Master Admits Husbanding Contract Conspiracy, Fined $2,100

Retired MSC Ship Master Admits Husbanding Contract Conspiracy, Fined $2,100

The dry cargo and ammunition ship USNS Charles Drew (T-AKE 10) steams alongside the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN-74) during a replenishment-at-sea in 2019. US Navy Photo

A former Military Sealift Command ship captain admitted he received high-speed rail travel and hotel stays, an iPad and expenses for a two-week, holiday family trip to South Korea in exchange for giving a South Korea-based husbanding company details about scheduled port visits. Read More

16 Marines Arrested for Alleged Human Smuggling, Drug-Related Offenses

16 Marines Arrested for Alleged Human Smuggling, Drug-Related Offenses

U.S. Marines with 1st Marine Division, participate in a change of command ceremony at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California on June 13, 2019. US Marine Corps Photo

During an infantry battalion’s morning formation on Thursday at Camp Pendleton, Calif., 16 Marines were arrested on allegations they took part in illegal human smuggling and illicit drug-related offenses, 1st Marine Division announced. Read More

Cutter Bertholf's Indo-Pac Deployment Highlighted Coast Guard's National Security Role

Cutter Bertholf’s Indo-Pac Deployment Highlighted Coast Guard’s National Security Role

The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Bertholf (WMSL 750), left, moves in formation with the Philippine Coast Guard vessels Batangas, center, and Kalanggaman during an exercise May 14, 2019. Bertholf is in the midst of a Western Pacific patrol under the tactical control of the U.S. Navy’s 7th Fleet. US Coast Guard photo.

On its recent Indo-Pacific patrols, the Coast Guard cutter USCGC Bertholf (WSML-750) thwarted illegal oil and coal shipments that violated of U.N. Security Council sanctions against North Korea, transited the Strait of Taiwan amid condemnation from China and worked with U.S. allies to bolster their own coast guard forces. Read More

California Earthquakes Leave Naval Station China Lake ‘Not Mission Capable’

California Earthquakes Leave Naval Station China Lake ‘Not Mission Capable’

California State Route 178 SW of Trona, following the M7.1 earthquake. Road is now closed for repairs. USGS Photo

SAN DIEGO – Two major earthquakes that struck Southern California late last week opened fault lines on Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake and prompted officials to evacuate residents. Since Saturday, the Navy testing installation has been declared “not mission capable until further notice.” Read More

UPDATED: Marine Killed in Light Armored Vehicle Rollover Identified

UPDATED: Marine Killed in Light Armored Vehicle Rollover Identified

U.S. Marines with 1st, 3rd and 4th Light Armored Reconnaissance (LAR) Battalions participate in the Bushmaster Challenge at Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms, Calif., on March 23, 2019. US Marine Corps

This post has been updated with the identity of the Marine who was killed in the rollover.

The Marine Corps is looking into what caused the fatal rollover of a light armored vehicle on Thursday at Camp Pendleton, Calif., that left one Marine dead and injured six others. Read More

Boxer Amphibious Ready Group, 11th MEU Leave on Scheduled Pacific, Middle East Deployment

Boxer Amphibious Ready Group, 11th MEU Leave on Scheduled Pacific, Middle East Deployment

USS Boxer (LHD-4) transits the Pacific Ocean. Boxer is underway conducting routine operations as a part of USS Boxer Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) in the eastern Pacific Ocean on March 20, 2019. US Navy Photo

About 4,500 sailors and Marines left San Diego, Calif., today for a scheduled deployment to the Indo-Pacific and Central Command regions with the Boxer Amphibious Ready Group and 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit. Read More

Navy, Marines Exercising How to Use Information Warfare in Future Conflicts

Navy, Marines Exercising How to Use Information Warfare in Future Conflicts

Marine Corps RQ-21 Blackjack used as part of the ANTX West 2019 Exercise on April 4, 2019. US Navy Photoarine

NAVAL BASE POINT LOMA, Calif. — After the attack on Pearl Harbor, the U.S. had two years to rebuild the Navy into the force that helped win World War II. In today’s era of great power competition from China and Russia, officials say, the Navy won’t have that kind of time. Read More

Pacific Blitz Tests How Navy, Marines Could Fight the Next Island Campaign

Pacific Blitz Tests How Navy, Marines Could Fight the Next Island Campaign

Construction Electrician Constructionman George Feldman, assigned to Naval Construction Battalion 5 (NMCB-5), mans a .50-caliber machine gun while standing security watch on Marine Corps Camp Pendleton, Calif., in support of Exercise Pacific Blitz 2019 on March 12, 2019. US Navy Photo

This post has been updated to add additional ships that participated in the exercise.

As amphibious exercise Pacific Blitz 2019 wraps up today, senior commanders already are reviewing after-action lessons and thinking ahead to future exercises that will help develop, train and prepare forces for fights on the move and close to shore. Read More