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


VCNO: Enthusiasm Over Navy's Performance-to-Plan Readiness Effort is Spreading

VCNO: Enthusiasm Over Navy’s Performance-to-Plan Readiness Effort is Spreading

Airman Kevin Figueroa, from Clayton, N.C., performs maintenance on a vent on USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76) on Feb. 18, 2021. US Navy Photo

As the Navy expands the number of two data-driven programs that generate better readiness, there’s increasing support at the deck plate level to apply these principles across the fleet, the vice chief of naval operations told USNI News. Read More

NATO Maritime Commander: Allies Are Coming Up With Modern Littoral Warfare Concepts, and NATO Needs to Exercise Them

NATO Maritime Commander: Allies Are Coming Up With Modern Littoral Warfare Concepts, and NATO Needs to Exercise Them

A U.S. Marine with Marine Rotational Force-Europe 20.1, Marine Forces Europe and Africa, adjusts his pack after before a hike near Sorreisa, Norway, March 12, 2020. US Marine Corps Photo

The head of NATO’s maritime force says amphibious operations will play a big role in any future combat or crisis response scenario – but he wants to move beyond old notions of what an amphibious operation really is. Read More

BAE Systems Tests Battle Management System in ACVs, As Company Mulls Future Upgrades and Variants

BAE Systems Tests Battle Management System in ACVs, As Company Mulls Future Upgrades and Variants

U.S. Marines with Company D, 3rd Assault Amphibian Battalion, 1st Marine Division (1st MARDIV), provide security for infantry Marines while conducting an integrated training exercise at Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms, Calif.,, April 7, 2021. US Marine Corps

The amphibious combat vehicle’s open architecture design is already allowing builder BAE Systems to experiment with adding in new combat capabilities, even as the company continues to ponder potential variants it could offer down the road. Read More

NAVSEA Seeing Ship Sustainment Successes With Digital Twins, But Wants A More Comprehensive Tool

NAVSEA Seeing Ship Sustainment Successes With Digital Twins, But Wants A More Comprehensive Tool

Vice Adm. William J. Galinis, commander, Naval Sea Systems Command, visited Puget Sound Naval Shipyard & Intermediate Maintenance Facility, April 23, 2021, to tour PSNS & IMF facilities, learn about the status of various maintenance availabilities, and to discuss process improvement and transformation efforts. US Navy photo.

The Navy is already seeing benefits from using digital twins to test out upgrades and fixes to ships in the fleet, and it hopes to expand the capability in the future to a more comprehensive ship sustainment system, the head of Naval Sea Systems Command said this week. Read More

CNO, Commandant: Services Have A Good Idea of How They'll Fight, If Congress Helps Them With the Right Spending Plans

CNO, Commandant: Services Have A Good Idea of How They’ll Fight, If Congress Helps Them With the Right Spending Plans

U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Tyrell Lewis, a student in the Detachment Hawaii Enhanced Squad Leader Course, aims a dummy rocket launcher at the rocket station, one of twelve stations in the initial performance assessment portion of the course, Marine Corps Base Hawaii, April 8, 2021. The course is an experimental proof of concept, with the intent of modernizing training and providing squad leaders with new capabilities. US Marine Corps photo.

The chief of naval operations and commandant of the Marine Corps say they are increasingly clear on how they’d want to fight a peer adversary, what attributes would make their forces successful and what platforms they need to equip that force. Now, they just need help from Congress turning that into a budget everyone can agree upon, they say. Read More

MDA: Test of DDG, Standard Missile-3 IIA a Good Start, But More Work Needed on Homeland Defense Mission

MDA: Test of DDG, Standard Missile-3 IIA a Good Start, But More Work Needed on Homeland Defense Mission

On Nov. 16, U.S. Missile Defense Agency and Navy sailors aboard USS John Finn (DDG 113), an Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense System-equipped destroyer, fired a Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) Block IIA guided missile that successfully intercepted and destroyed a mock Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) during a flight test demonstration in the broad ocean area northeast of Hawaii in November 2020. MDA photo.

The Missile Defense Agency proved that a Navy destroyer with a Standard Missile-3 Block IIA can stop a simple intercontinental ballistic missile threat, but more work remains to prove whether this combination could contribute to homeland defense, the MDA director said Wednesday. Read More

Wittman: Navy Needs Money in its Budget for Modernization, But Not From Cutting Cruisers

Wittman: Navy Needs Money in its Budget for Modernization, But Not From Cutting Cruisers

Guided-missile cruiser USS Hué City (CG-66) was inducted into the Cruiser Modernization program on Oct. 3, 2019. US Navy Photo

 

This post has been updated to clarify that Rep. Rob Wittman would like to see a defense budget of $757 billion, which equals the Fiscal Year 2021 enacted budget plus inflation. In his spoken remarks, he mistakenly said $753 billion.

The Navy is facing pressure to find savings within its own budget to pay for investments in future technologies like unmanned vehicles and hypersonic and directed energy weapons – but those savings shouldn’t come from the early decommissioning of cruisers and amphibious ships, a key lawmaker said today. Read More

USS Harry S. Truman Out of Maintenance After 10 Months; Material Challenges Caused 3-Month Delay

USS Harry S. Truman Out of Maintenance After 10 Months; Material Challenges Caused 3-Month Delay

USS Harry S. Truman (CVN-75) departed Norfolk Naval Shipyard (NNSY) for sea trials on May 12 following completion of its Extended Carrier Incremental Availability (ECIA). US Navy Photo

 

This post has been updated to correct that Drydocking Planned Incremental Availabilities (DPIAs) are now notionally planned to last 16 months. They were formerly planned to go 10.5 months, but the Navy has changed its planning assumptions.

Aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN-75) is out of maintenance at Norfolk Naval Shipyard and will enter the basic pre-deployment training cycle, after a seven-month maintenance period extended to 10 months due to material challenges, USNI News understands.
Read More

Expeditionary Mine Countermeasures Community Advancing Technology, Tactics for High-End Fight

Expeditionary Mine Countermeasures Community Advancing Technology, Tactics for High-End Fight

Sailors assigned to Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Mobile Unit (EODMU) 2 expeditionary mine countermeasures (ExMCM) company 2-2 prepare to launch a Mark 18 Mod 2 unmanned undersea vehicle (UUV) from a rigid-hull inflatable boat during an ExMCM certification exercise (CERTEX) on April 12, 2021, in Panama City, Fla. The CERTEX brings together all of the components of the ExMCM company, composed of a command and control element, an unmanned systems platoon, an EOD platoon, and a post-mission analysis component, in order to conduct the full spectrum of mine countermeasure detect to engage mission. US Navy photo

The Navy has spent the last year or so focused on defining what a new era of high-end, modern warfare might look like and therefore what new technologies it will need to defeat advanced threats; though the mine countermeasures community will still face an old threat – sea mines – the community is working hard to advance its technology and its tactics so it can defeat mines faster and more safely to support a future naval battle. Read More