Megan Eckstein

About Megan Eckstein

Megan Eckstein is the deputy editor for USNI News. She previously covered Congress for Defense Daily and the U.S. surface navy and U.S. amphibious operations as an associate editor for Inside the Navy.


Recent Posts By the Author


How to Keep Social Distance When Building a Warship

How to Keep Social Distance When Building a Warship

Dejon Butts welds in a submarine shop. Newport News Shipbuilding Photo

About a month after governments and employers began taking drastic actions to slow the spread of COVID-19, working from home and standing six feet apart at grocery stores have become rapidly the norm. But what about shipyard workers who cannot stay at home, who must work alongside colleagues to continue what has been deemed a mission-critical line of work? Read More

Marines' Force Design 2030 May Allow MEUs Tailored for Different Geographies, Adversaries

Marines’ Force Design 2030 May Allow MEUs Tailored for Different Geographies, Adversaries

31st Marine Expeditionary Unit Marines embarked aboard San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship USS Green Bay (LPD-20) operate assault amphibious vehicles during a rehearsal exercise with Royal Thai military in support of Cobra Gold 2020 on Feb. 27, 2020. US Marine Corps Photo

The Marine Corps’ new force design may allow East Coast expeditionary units to look much different than West Coast or Japan-based units, a nod to the complex but different environments they’ll operate in and threats they’ll face in the future. Read More

Navy Offers 3D Printing, Technical Expertise to National COVID-19 Response

Navy Offers 3D Printing, Technical Expertise to National COVID-19 Response

Jose Ruiz, a mechanical engineer at Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC) Division Keyport, works on parts for face shield prototypes on March 25, 2020. NUWC Keyport is currently exploring ways to use its additive manufacturing capabilities to help the Washington state medical community, including Naval Hospital Bremerton, with personal protective equipment during the coronavirus pandemic. US Navy photo.

The Navy has begun contributing to the broader fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, with several centers using additive manufacturing capabilities to print protective gear for frontline workers at community hospitals. Read More

Marines Won't Cut Planned F-35 Buy Totals for Now, But External Review Could Change That

Marines Won’t Cut Planned F-35 Buy Totals for Now, But External Review Could Change That

An F-35B Lightning II assigned to the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM) 265 (Reinforced) takes off from the flight deck of amphibious assault ship USS America (LHA-6) on March 23, 2020. US Navy Photo

A Marine Corps decision to reduce the number of F-35 Joint Strike Fighters per squadron from 16 to 10 won’t lead to a cut in the total number of planes the service wants to buy just yet – but the commandant warned industry that external factors could lead to programmatic changes down the line. Read More

Navy Accelerating Contracts to Get Ahead of Upcoming Work to Address COVID-Related Program Disruptions

Navy Accelerating Contracts to Get Ahead of Upcoming Work to Address COVID-Related Program Disruptions

A worker in the shipyard’s foundry uses a torch to slice through scrap steel at Newport News Shipbuilding. HII Photo

This post has been updated to clarify comments from James Geurts and add that, while the Navy expects an increased number of contract actions this summer to keep programs on track despite coronavirus-related delays, it’s unclear how much that effort will cost and how it will be paid for.

The Navy’s acquisition community is seeking to move work ahead of schedule and find as many efficiencies as possible, ahead of what could be a mountain of work to adjust contracts and try to keep programs on track once the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic are more fully understood, the Navy’s top acquisition official said today.

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Marines Stop Shipping New Recruits to Parris Island to Limit COVID-19 Spread

Marines Stop Shipping New Recruits to Parris Island to Limit COVID-19 Spread

U.S. Marine Corps Recruits with Papa Company, 4th Recruit Training Battalion, and Bravo Company, 1st Recruit Training Battalion, conduct their initial swim qualification at the combat training pool on Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, S.C. on June 4, 2019. US Marine Corps Photo

This post has been updated to include a comment from Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego.

The Marine Corps will temporarily suspend shipping new recruits to Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island in South Carolina, after a handful of cases of the COVID-19 virus have been diagnosed at the installation. Read More

USNS Comfort Will Depart for New York on Saturday with Trump, Modly in Attendance

USNS Comfort Will Depart for New York on Saturday with Trump, Modly in Attendance

Supplies and personnel are loaded aboard the Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS Comfort (T-AH 20) at Naval Station Norfolk, Va., March 24, 2020. Comfort is preparing to deploy in support of the nation’s COVID-19 response efforts and will serve as a referral hospital for non-COVID-19 patients currently admitted to shore-based hospitals. This allows shore-based hospitals to focus their efforts on COVID-19 cases. US Navy photo.

THE PENTAGON – Hospital ship USNS Comfort (T-AH-20) will leave for New York City on Saturday, with President Donald Trump and Acting Secretary of the Navy Thomas Modly on hand to see off the ship from Naval Station Norfolk, Va. Read More

Marine Corps Training Continues - With Some Modifications - to Keep High Readiness Despite Pandemic

Marine Corps Training Continues – With Some Modifications – to Keep High Readiness Despite Pandemic

U.S. Marines with 1st Marine Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, participate in urban operations training during exercise Native Fury 20 in the United Arab Emirates on March 22, 2020. US Marine Corps Photo

THE PENTAGON – The Marine Corps is dedicated to remaining a “fight tonight” force for the United States despite the coronavirus pandemic and will continue training to mission-essential tasks as determined by local commanders, the commandant said today. Read More

Document: Marine Corps Force Design 2030

Document: Marine Corps Force Design 2030

BOTTOM LINE UP FRONT

This report describes the progress of the Marine Corps on my watch in preparing for the sweeping changes needed to meet the principal challenges facing the institution: effectively playing our role as the nation’s naval expeditionary force-in-readiness, while simultaneously modernizing the force in accordance with the National Defense Strategy (NDS) – and doing both within the fiscal resources we are provided. A certain degree of institutional change is inevitable when confronting modernization on this scale, and that type of change is hard. As such, I want to be clear up front: our force design effort is a work in progress. Thanks to the dedication and effort of a great many Marines, Sailors, and civilians over the last six months, we have come to a clearer understanding of some force design changes we can confidently make today, while identifying other areas that require additional analysis. This reports explains, at length and in some detail, my argument for change, our force design methodology and organization, my personal assessment of the work to date, and the steps we are taking to move the force design effort into the next phase. Read More

UPDATED: USS Theodore Roosevelt Quarantines Sailors on Guam as Coronavirus Outbreak Spreads

UPDATED: USS Theodore Roosevelt Quarantines Sailors on Guam as Coronavirus Outbreak Spreads

Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Maria F. Potts-Szoke, assigned to Naval Medical Research Center, prepares a sample for investigational analysis in Naval Medical Research Center’s mobile laboratory aboard the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) on March 19, 2020. US Navy Photo

This post has been updated to include statements from Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mike Gilday and from U.S. Pacific Fleet.

THE PENTAGON – A Navy aircraft carrier in the Pacific has pulled into Guam to deal with a growing outbreak of COVID-19, with the ship planning on testing the entire crew of about 5,000 and quarantining personnel as needed at Navy medical facilities on the island.

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