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


New Navy Unmanned Command Will Send 4 Experimental Large USVs to RIMPAC

New Navy Unmanned Command Will Send 4 Experimental Large USVs to RIMPAC

Sea Hunter sits pierside at Naval Base San Diego, Calif., during the Unmanned Surface Vessel Division (USDIV) One Establishment ceremony on May 13, 2022. US Navy Photo

NAVAL BASE SAN DIEGO, Calif. – A quartet of experimental unmanned surface vessels will set sail for Hawaii this summer for a test of a new unit focused on ramping up the Navy’s use of drones to bolster the surface fleet’s lethality. Read More

Marines Load Record 16 F-35Bs Aboard USS Tripoli Test of ‘Lightning Carrier’ Concept

Marines Load Record 16 F-35Bs Aboard USS Tripoli Test of ‘Lightning Carrier’ Concept

An F-35B Lightning II aircraft attached to Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA 211) launches off from the flight deck aboard amphibious assault ship USS Tripoli (LHA-7) on April 2, 2022. US Navy Photo

ABOARD THE AMPHIBIOUS ASSAULT SHIP USS TRIPOLI — The Marines broke a record on Sunday when they loaded the most 16 F-35B Lightning II Joint Strike Fighters ever aboard a big-deck amphibious warship. Read More

First Marine Platoon of Operational ACVs Training with USS Anchorage for Deployment Later This Year

First Marine Platoon of Operational ACVs Training with USS Anchorage for Deployment Later This Year

A Marine with 3d Assault Amphibian Battalion, 1st Marine Division onshore after training at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif., on March 13, 2022. US Marine Corps Photo

CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. – The nearly dozen amphibious combat vehicles swam toward the shore, their shuttered hatches providing long-slung silhouettes in the Pacific as USS Anchorage (LPD-23) lingered a mile offshore. Two Navy safety boats from the amphibious transport dock ship trailed in slight swells as the ACVs rolled onto the California sands. Read More

Marines Look to Redefine Naval Warfighting as ACV Testing Continues

Marines Look to Redefine Naval Warfighting as ACV Testing Continues

Amphibious Combat Vehicles (ACVs) with the 3rd Assault Amphibian Battalion, 1st Marine Division return to the well deck of amphibious transport dock ship USS Anchorage (LPD-23) during waterborne training in the Pacific Ocean on Feb. 13, 2022. US Marine Corps Photo

CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. – The Marine Corps’ plan to resume waterborne operations with Navy ships takes a big step when assault combat vehicle crews and infantry Marines team up for the next stage of return-to-water training. Read More

Essex ARG, 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit Back From 7 Month Pacific, Middle East Deployment

Essex ARG, 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit Back From 7 Month Pacific, Middle East Deployment

Marines assigned to the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) board a landing craft, utility in the well deck of the San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship USS Portland (LPD-27) on March 2, 2022. US Navy Photo

Amphibious assault ship USS Essex (LHD-2) pulled into San Diego Naval Base, Calif., on Friday morning to wrap up a seven-month deployment that took the three-ship force and embarked 11th Marine Expeditionary Force to the Persian Gulf and Western Pacific regions. Read More

Navy to Court-Martial Sailor Accused of Arson in 2020 Bonhomme Richard Fire; Hearing Officer Advised No Trial, Says Attorney

Navy to Court-Martial Sailor Accused of Arson in 2020 Bonhomme Richard Fire; Hearing Officer Advised No Trial, Says Attorney

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

A junior sailor will be tried at a general court-martial on charges that he intentionally started a fire that grew into a raging blaze in 2020 that burned the former USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD-6) for days, the Navy announced Friday. Read More

Coast Guard Weathering Cutter Production Delays as More Coasties Head to Sea

Coast Guard Weathering Cutter Production Delays as More Coasties Head to Sea

Adm. Karl Schultz, the commandant of the Coast Guard, speaks to attendees at the 2022 West conference in San Diego, Feb. 18, 2022. US Coast Guard Photo

SAN DIEGO, Calif. – The top Coast Guard officer remains optimistic at the pace of expanding the fleet of cutters despite delays in design and construction that have pushed back the expected delivery date of the first new polar icebreaker. Read More

With Authorities, Marine Lab Enlists Industry to Improve Naval Integration

With Authorities, Marine Lab Enlists Industry to Improve Naval Integration

Marines with the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) program a satellite communications terminal during Deployable Group Systems Integration Testing (DGSIT) at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California, Jan. 27, 2021. US Marine Corps Photo

SAN DIEGO, Calif. – The Marine Corps’ reshaping and retooling of its force with smaller units dispersed across islands and the littorals require reliable command and control systems and secured networks that work with both Marine Corps and Navy platforms, officials say. Read More

Coast Guard Struggling with Southern California 'Costal Awareness Gap' as Maritime Smuggling Rises

Coast Guard Struggling with Southern California ‘Costal Awareness Gap’ as Maritime Smuggling Rises

A crew member from the Coast Guard Cutter Munro stands watch over seized contraband during a drug offload from the cutter in Alameda, California, March 23, 2021. US Coast Guard Photo

SAN DIEGO, Calif. – Grappling with a rise in maritime smuggling in recent years off Southern California, Coast Guard Sector San Diego officials have reached out to the tech industry for ideas and products that will close gaps in and expand maritime domain awareness. Read More