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.


Recent Posts By the Author


Navy Recovers Helicopter, 5 Sailors Killed in Crash that Prompted Pause in Flight Operations

Navy Recovers Helicopter, 5 Sailors Killed in Crash that Prompted Pause in Flight Operations

Sailors who are presumed dead after an Aug. 31, 2021 MH-60S Knighthawk crash off the coast of California. USNI News Photo Illustration

A search-and-salvage team has located and recovered – from a depth of 5,300 feet – the five crewmembers and MH-60S helicopter that crashed while operating on the flight deck of aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) on Aug. 31, the Navy announced Tuesday. Read More

Navy Probe Finds No Direct Link Between Actions of USS Somerset Crew and Fatal AAV Accident

Navy Probe Finds No Direct Link Between Actions of USS Somerset Crew and Fatal AAV Accident

Marine Corps AAV-P7/A1 assault amphibious vehicle driver with Bravo Company, Battalion Landing Team 1/4, 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, drives an AAV-P7/A1 up the well deck ramp of the amphibious landing dock USS Somerset (LPD-25) during training to increase Navy-Marine Corps interoperability in the eastern Pacific on July 27, 2020. US Marine Corps Photo

This post has been updated with additional information on the administrative action taken by the Navy and Marine Corps.

A Navy-ordered investigation into the service’s role in the 2020 fatal sinking of a Marine Corps amphibious assault vehicle that killed nine found faulty assumptions, confused command roles and communications, conflicting policies, gaps in amphibious warfare training and certification, deficient doctrine, and poorly maintained vehicles. Read More

Navy Launching Mission in Attempt to Recover Crashed MH-60 Helo, Lost Sailors

Navy Launching Mission in Attempt to Recover Crashed MH-60 Helo, Lost Sailors

An MH-60S Knighthawk, assigned to the ‘Eightballers’ of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 8, takes off from the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) on May 20, 2021. US Navy Photo

The Navy is organizing a deep-water salvage operation for what is believed to be the wreckage of the helicopter that crashed three weeks ago and sank in the eastern Pacific from the deck of an aircraft carrier, USNI News has learned. Read More

Deployed to Africa, USS 'Woody' Williams Key Platform to Train, Engage Partners in Piracy Hotspot

Deployed to Africa, USS ‘Woody’ Williams Key Platform to Train, Engage Partners in Piracy Hotspot

Members of a Brazilian Navy Visit, Board, Search, and Seizure (VBSS) team participate in a drill aboard the Expeditionary Sea Base USS Hershel “Woody” Williams (ESB-4) as part of Operation Guinex, Aug. 23, 2021. US Navy Photo

The small, rigid-hulled inflatable boat sped from the Brazilian Navy Frigate BNS Independencia (F-44) last week, taking an armed boarding team to a ship suspected of harboring illicit or piracy activities off western Africa’s coast. Read More

Marine Corps Suspends ACV Waterborne Operations for Faulty Towing Mechanism

Marine Corps Suspends ACV Waterborne Operations for Faulty Towing Mechanism

An Amphibious Combat Vehicle operated by Marines with the Amphibious Vehicle Test Branch, Marine Corps Tactical Systems Support Activity, departs the amphibious transport dock ship USS Somerset (LPD 25) as part of the vehicle’s developmental testing off the shore of Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California, Jan. 29, 2020. US Marine Corps Photo

The Marine Corps ordered an immediate stop to any waterborne operation of its fleet of amphibious combat vehicles until it resolves an issue with a troubled towing mechanism, the service announced Friday afternoon. Read More

Navy, Marine Corps Issue Policy, Deadlines for Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccinations for Active, Reserve Forces

Navy, Marine Corps Issue Policy, Deadlines for Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccinations for Active, Reserve Forces

Sailors with Navy Medicine Readiness and Training Command (NMRTC) Bremerton administer the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to all unvaccinated active duty personnel assigned to commands in Puget Sound, Wash., Aug. 31, 2021. US Navy Photo

All active-duty Marines and Navy personnel must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by Nov. 28, and reservists by Dec. 28, to comply with the Department of the Navy’s latest immunization policy, the services announced in all-hands messages. Read More

2,000 Marines Now in Afghanistan Assisting Evacuation as More Head to Haiti

2,000 Marines Now in Afghanistan Assisting Evacuation as More Head to Haiti

Marines with the 24th Expeditionary Unit (MEU) guide an evacuee during an evacuation at Hamid Karzai International Airport, Kabul, Afghanistan on Aug. 18, 2021. US Marine Corps Photo

More than 2,000 Marines were supporting evacuation operations and security in Afghanistan, a senior official said Thursday, as the U.S. military hopes to maintain a semblance of control to process more Americans, Afghans and other evacuees onto military transport planes at the Hamid Karzai International Airport. Read More