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


SECDEF Esper Calls for 500-Ship Fleet by 2045, With 3 SSNs a Year and Light Carriers Supplementing CVNs

SECDEF Esper Calls for 500-Ship Fleet by 2045, With 3 SSNs a Year and Light Carriers Supplementing CVNs

The Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group transits in formation with the Nimitz Carrier Strike Group while conducting dual carrier and airwing operations in the Philippine Sea on June 23, 2020. US Navy Photo

This post has been updated to include additional information from Secretary Esper’s rollout of Battle Force 2045.

Defense Secretary Mark Esper announced a new future fleet plan for the Navy that would grow the attack submarine force, supplement nuclear-powered aircraft carriers with light carriers to achieve greater day-to-day presence, and invest heavily in small and unmanned ships for distributed operations. Read More

Navy Fielding MQ-8C Fire Scout to Operational Squadrons Ahead of Deployment Next Year

Navy Fielding MQ-8C Fire Scout to Operational Squadrons Ahead of Deployment Next Year

Sailors from Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 22 observe as the MQ-8C Fire Scout is delivered to the squadron on Sept. 15, 2020. HSC-22 is the first HSC squadron on the East Coast to operate all three systems. They are responsible for manning, training and equipping personnel to operate the MH-60S Knighthawk, MQ-8B Firescout and MQ-8C Firescout. US Navy photo.

The Navy is getting closer to operating the new and larger MQ-8C Fire Scout variant on its Littoral Combat Ships, with two squadrons taking possession of their first aircraft and working towards safe-for-flight certification. Read More

Naval Surface Forces Kicks Off Follow-On LCS Study To Refine Maintenance, Reliability Issues

Naval Surface Forces Kicks Off Follow-On LCS Study To Refine Maintenance, Reliability Issues

Gunners Mate 2nd Class Casey Nice lubricates the MK 50 Modular Weapons System aboard the Freedom-class littoral combat ship USS Detroit (LCS 7) on Sept. 10, 2020. Detroit is deployed to the U.S. Southern Command area of responsibility to support Joint Interagency Task Force South’s mission, which includes counter illicit drug trafficking in the Caribbean and Eastern Pacific. US Navy photo.

The Navy kicked off another study of the Littoral Combat Ship that is meant to follow up on the major 2016 study that reshaped how the LCS fleet is manned, trained and operated. Read More

Navy Retools COVID Rules for Ships After 6 Months of Practice

Navy Retools COVID Rules for Ships After 6 Months of Practice

Chief Quartermaster David Weathers from Hines, Ore., assigned to the guided-missile destroyer USS John Paul Jones (DDG-53), stands watch in the pilothouse during a replenishment-at-sea on Sept. 29, 2020. US Navy Photo

The Navy released the third iteration of its guidance on how to continue operating a global navy in the midst of a global pandemic. Read More

Nowell: Navy Wants Diverse Recruits In All Career Fields to Lead to More Diverse Leadership

Nowell: Navy Wants Diverse Recruits In All Career Fields to Lead to More Diverse Leadership

Sailors assigned to the command and control ship USS Mount Whitney (LCC-20) salute while manning the rails as the ship gets underway from Gaeta, Italy, on May 18, 2020. US Navy Photo

The chief of naval personnel said the Navy is looking at not only how much diversity is coming in the front door during recruiting but also what career fields those sailors from underrepresented groups are choosing – with concerns that women and minorities are ending up in communities with few or no opportunities to rise through the ranks to flag officer. Read More

Hudson Recommends 581 Ships, New Class of Corvette as Part of Input to Pentagon Fleet Plan

Hudson Recommends 581 Ships, New Class of Corvette as Part of Input to Pentagon Fleet Plan

USS Sterett (DDG-104) steams through the night in the Gulf of Oman on Sept. 17, 2020. US Navy Photo

The first of three inputs to the Pentagon’s Future Naval Force Study was released this week, the Hudson Institute is calling for a future U.S. Navy fleet of 581 battle force ships through the addition of 80 corvettes, 99 unmanned surface vessels, 40 unmanned submarines and 27 new small amphibious ships Read More

TECOM: Modernizing Training, Education Will Be a Focus for Marines In FY 2022

TECOM: Modernizing Training, Education Will Be a Focus for Marines In FY 2022

Recruits with Alpha Company, 1st Recruit Training Battalion, wait in line at Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego, Sept. 22, 2020. US Marine Corps Photo

If the commandant of the Marine Corps has focused his attention in his first year on the job tackling a Force Design 2030 effort to reshape how the Marine Corps gears up for a modern battlefield, the next year will focus on the training and manning issues that follow – ensuring the entire man, train and equip portfolio are brought up to date, the head of Marine Corps training said. Read More

Marines' Land Systems Acquisition Portfolio Highlights Importance of Naval Integration, Littoral Operations

Marines’ Land Systems Acquisition Portfolio Highlights Importance of Naval Integration, Littoral Operations

U.S. Marines with Amphibious Vehicle Test Branch, Marine Corps Tactical Systems Support Activity, drive a new Amphibious Combat Vehicle ashore during low-light surf transit testing at AVTB Beach on Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif., Dec. 18, 2019. US Marine Corps Photo

Navy and Marine Corps acquisition efforts are increasingly colored by the services’ focus on boosting naval integration between the services in support of distributed maritime operations and expeditionary advance base operations (EABO). Read More

VIDEO: USS Carl Vinson Preparing for First F-35C, ‘Advanced Carrier Air Wing’ Deployment

VIDEO: USS Carl Vinson Preparing for First F-35C, ‘Advanced Carrier Air Wing’ Deployment

An F-35C from Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 147 lands on USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) on Sept. 17, 2020. Vinson was sailing off the coast of California and conducting the first at-sea operations with its air wing since a 17-month maintenance availability meant to prepare the ship to operate the new F-35C. USNI News photo.

ABOARD AIRCRAFT CARRIER USS CARL VINSON, OFF THE COAST OF CALIFORNIA – Next year, the most advanced carrier air wing in history will sail to the Pacific aboard USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70). Last week, the Carrier Air Wing 2 took the first steps in getting its new F-35C Joint Strike Fighters and CMV-22B Ospreys integrated into the air wing and aboard the carrier. Read More