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


Steel Knight Exercise Tests Marine, Navy Integration in ‘Island Fight’ Scenario 

Steel Knight Exercise Tests Marine, Navy Integration in ‘Island Fight’ Scenario 

U.S. Marines with Bravo Company, 1st Reconnaissance Battalion, 1st Marine Division, jump from a U.S. Army MH-47 Chinook helicopter with 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment during helocast training as part of Steel Knight 23 off the coast of Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California, Dec. 2, 2022. US Marine Corps Photo

CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. – A pair of helicopter gunships swept over a scrubby valley and waited overhead as the first two MV-22B Osprey tiltrotors landed on the dusty landing zone. The rear-mounted machine guns provided cover as Marines raced into the nearby brush. Far to the south, another force of Marines went ashore via landing craft from San Diego, Calif.-based dock landing ship USS Harpers Ferry (LSD-49). Read More

Navy Tests Reloading Missiles on Destroyer in San Diego Bay, Open Ocean Tests Tougher Task

Navy Tests Reloading Missiles on Destroyer in San Diego Bay, Open Ocean Tests Tougher Task

Sailors aboard Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Spruance (DDG-111) guide training ordnance into the ship’s forward vertical launch system (VLS) cells during a proof-of-concept test in San Diego, Oct. 4, 2022. US Navy Photo

A pairing of a guided-missile destroyer and a supply ship in San Diego Bay last week was the Navy’s latest test to learn how to resupply its warships with missiles during a high-end conflict. Read More

West Coast ACV Overturns in Training, No Injuries Reported

West Coast ACV Overturns in Training, No Injuries Reported

An ACV with 3d Assault Amphibian Battalion, 1st Marine Division onshore and USS Anchorage (LPD-23) and two Navy safety boats in the water. USNI News Photo

The Marine Corps ordered a stop to waterborne operations in the surf zone for its fleet of Amphibious Combat Vehicles after an ACV overturned in the waters along Camp Pendleton, Calif., the service announced Friday evening. Read More

UPDATED: Former Bonhomme Richard Sailor Ryan Sawyer Mays Acquitted of Arson

UPDATED: Former Bonhomme Richard Sailor Ryan Sawyer Mays Acquitted of Arson

Mays with his family and lawyer following the verdict on Sept. 30, 2022. USNI News Photo

This post has been updated with additional details.

NAVAL BASE SAN DIEGO, Calif. — A military judge today acquitted a young sailor accused by the Navy of setting a 2020 fire that ultimately destroyed an amphibious warship as it neared completion of a major modernization and overhaul. Read More

Defense Begins for Accused Bonhomme Richard Arsonist

Defense Begins for Accused Bonhomme Richard Arsonist

An MH-60S Knight Hawk helicopter from the ‘Merlins’ of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 3 and fire boats assist in US Bonhomme RIchard firefighting efforts on July 13, 2020. US Navy Photo

NAVAL BASE SAN DIEGO, Calif. — The government’s prosecution against a young sailor accused of arson, which ultimately destroyed an amphibious warship in 2020, centers on one shipmate’s claim he saw that sailor where the fire started shortly before it was reported. Read More

Trial Begins for Alleged Bonhomme Richard Arsonist

Trial Begins for Alleged Bonhomme Richard Arsonist

An MH-60S Knight Hawk helicopter from the Merlins of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 3 provides aerial firefighting support to fight the fire aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD-6) on July 14, 2020. US Navy Photo

NAVAL BASE, SAN DIEGO, Calif. – To military prosecutors, the fire that led to a 2020 conflagration that destroyed a multi-billion dollar amphibious warship was “a mischievous act of defiance” by a young sailor angry that he dropped from Navy SEAL training. Read More

Attorneys Argue Over Graffiti Confessions, Alternative Suspects in Bonhomme Richard Fire Criminal Hearing

Attorneys Argue Over Graffiti Confessions, Alternative Suspects in Bonhomme Richard Fire Criminal Hearing

USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD-6) sits pier side at Naval Base San Diego on July 16, 2020. US Navy Photo

NAVAL STATION SAN DIEGO, Calif. – While firefighting crews and sailors massed at Naval Base San Diego’s Pier 2 to attack a fire spreading across former USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD-6), a small fire scorched a mattress on another amphibious assault warship berthed a mile away. Read More

Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group Returns from Indo-Pacific Deployment Highlighted by South China Sea Operations

Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group Returns from Indo-Pacific Deployment Highlighted by South China Sea Operations

USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72), lead ship of the Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group, returned to Naval Air Station North Island on Aug. 11, 2022, after a deployment to U.S. 3rd and 7th Fleets in support of maritime secuirty operations to ensure a free and open Indo-Pacific. U.S. Navy Photo

USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) and most of its strike group returned home this week, ending an Indo-Pacific deployment that crossed some 62,000 miles across the Pacific and was the first to set sail with the Marine Corps’ F-35C Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter fifth-generation jet.

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