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


First Marine Battalion Gets 'Eyes in the Sky’ Mini-Drones

First Marine Battalion Gets ‘Eyes in the Sky’ Mini-Drones

U.S. Marine Corps Cpl. Cullen, Tolmsoff left, and Cpl. Justin Johnson, both with 3rd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, pose for a photograph with an InstanEye quadcopter, during a Quads for Squads training event on Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms, Calif., Feb. 28, 2018. US Marine Corps Photo

The first squads of infantry Marines fielding the latest in small, lightweight drones took them to the air this week during a training course at the Marine Corps’ desert warfare training center. Read More

Navy Wants Longer Tours for Sailors in Japan, Guam, Spain

Navy Wants Longer Tours for Sailors in Japan, Guam, Spain

Boatswain’s Mate 3rd Class Daniel RiosCastillo watches as the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Carney (DDG-64) pulls alongside the fleet replenishment oiler USNS Patuxent (T-AO-201) for a replenishment-at-sea. US Navy Photo

The Navy wants to stretch tour lengths for much of its forward-deployed forces, a proposal that would provide more unit stability, cohesion, continuity and reduce the costs of moving personnel in sea-duty units. Read More

Challenges Ahead as 13th MEU, Essex ARG Prep for First West Coast F-35 Deployment

Challenges Ahead as 13th MEU, Essex ARG Prep for First West Coast F-35 Deployment

U.S. Marine Sgt. Maj. Allen Goodyear, the squadron sergeant major for Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 211, Marine Aircraft Group 13, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, signals for an F-35B Lightning II to take off from the flight deck of the USS Essex (LHD-2) during Exercise Dawn Blitz. US Marine Corps Photo

SAN DIEGO, Calif. – The first stateside Marine expeditionary unit to deploy with the F-35B Lightning II wrapped up a unit-level exercise last week as Marine Corps and Navy commanders prepare to train their forces at sea ahead of their first deployment with Joint Strike Fighters. Read More

Neller: Future Marine Corps Could be an ‘Older, More Experienced’ Force

Neller: Future Marine Corps Could be an ‘Older, More Experienced’ Force

U.S. Marines with Headquarters and Service Company, 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division, march on the pier towards the amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD-6) in Okinawa, Japan, Feb. 1, 2018. USMC Photo

SAN DIEGO, Calif. — The Marine Corps has a long, storied history as a formidable – and young – fighting organization. But will the future force that must lean on highly-skilled, technical warfighters expert in areas like cyberspace, electronic warfare and information warfare require an older, more seasoned force?

The answer, according to the top Marine, might be yes. Read More

Panel: Military Wants Accelerated Buys for New Tech But at What Cost?

Panel: Military Wants Accelerated Buys for New Tech But at What Cost?

A Marine with Kilo Company, 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, prepares the newly developed “Black Hornet” unmanned aerial system for flight at Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms, Calif. on Aug. 5, 2016. US Marine Corps Photo

SAN DIEGO, Calif. — The Marine Corps is moving ahead quickly on equipping its infantry squads with the latest technologies, including small quadcopter drones that will help build their situational awareness on the battlefield. Read More

New Test Lab Brings Sea Control Ashore for Landing Force Marines

New Test Lab Brings Sea Control Ashore for Landing Force Marines

Col. Robert Bailey, commanding officer of Marine Corps Tactical Systems Support Activity, gives a briefing in MCTSSA’s Landing Force Operations Center lab Aug. 16, aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif. US Marine Corps Photo

SAN DIEGO, Calif. — Tucked inside a pair of shipping containers parked not far from Camp Pendleton’s training beaches is a test-bed where a command staff can practice landing Marines ashore – all without stepping aboard ship. Read More

Navy Information Warfare Effort Set to Expand, Evolve

Navy Information Warfare Effort Set to Expand, Evolve

Cryptologic Technician (Maintenance) Seaman Christopher Payne examines the control card of a ship’s signal exploitation equipment Increment E (SSEE INC-E) system during the SSEE INC-E Maintenance course at Information Warfare Training Command Corry Station on Feb. 1, 2018. US Navy Photo

SAN DIEGO, Calif. -– As it moves into its fourth year, the Navy’s force of information warfare professionals continues to expand and evolve into a greater role supporting tactical warfighters, Vice Adm. Matthew Kohler said on Tuesday. Read More

SPAWAR to Industry: 'We've Got to Go Faster' to Maintain Military Edge

SPAWAR to Industry: ‘We’ve Got to Go Faster’ to Maintain Military Edge

Rear Adm. Christian “Boris” Becker, commmander of Space and Naval Warfare (SPAWAR) Systems Command. US Navy Photo

SAN DIEGO, Calif. – The days of U.S. military supremacy might be over, but not if the military services and industry find ways to quickly innovate and rapidly deliver solutions to the fleet, the head of Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command told a defense industry audience on Tuesday. Read More

USS America Returns From First Deployment

USS America Returns From First Deployment

Sailors and Marines assigned to the amphibious assault ship USS America (LHA-6) secure from manning the rails on Jan. 25. US Navy Photo

Amphibious assault ship USS America (LHA-6) returned home to San Diego Friday morning, marking the completion of its first overseas operational deployment to the Western Pacific and the Middle East. Read More