Megan Eckstein

About Megan Eckstein

Megan Eckstein is a staff writer 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


Surface and Mine Warfighting Development Center Further Solidifying its Role in Training, Operations

Surface and Mine Warfighting Development Center Further Solidifying its Role in Training, Operations

The guided-missile cruiser USS Leyte Gulf (CG 55) fires its forward MK-45 5-inch gun during a pre-action calibration fire evolution. USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) Carrier Strike Group (CSG) cruiser-destroyer (CRUDES) units are completing the first East Coast CRUDES Surface Warfare Advanced Tactical Training (SWATT) exercise. US Navy photo.

SAN DIEGO, Calif. – Last year, the Naval Surface and Mine Warfighting Development Center accomplished a host of firsts in its advanced training activities for surface ships. This year, SMWDC intends to continue to solidify its role in the Navy through more tactical development and a focus on the mine warfare portion of its portfolio.

Read More

Navy Appoints Admiral to Oversee Columbia Sub Effort

Navy Appoints Admiral to Oversee Columbia Sub Effort

Artist’s rendering of the Columbia-class SSBN submarine. US Navy image.

THE PENTAGON – The Navy is standing up a new Program Executive Office for Columbia, pulling the ballistic-missile submarines out of the PEO Submarines portfolio and giving it a one-star admiral who can provide constant focus and leadership as the Columbia program moves from design into construction. Read More

USNI News Video: Expeditionary Minehunting Units Growing in Size, Capabilities

USNI News Video: Expeditionary Minehunting Units Growing in Size, Capabilities

From left to right, Machinist Mate 1st Class Micah Patterson, Boatswains Mate 1st Class Stephen Wodraska, Engineman 2nd Class Richard Meyer, Mineman 1st Class Coy Tully and Mineman 3rd Class Pete Calvert, assigned to Commander, Task Group 56.1, launch a MK 18 MOD 2 unmanned underwater vehicle from a rigid-hull inflatable boat during Squadex 2016 on Aug. 2, 2016. US Navy photo.

SAN DIEGO, Calif. – The Navy is investing in its explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) force, doubling the number of unmanned systems platoons in the community in the next couple years and improving the technology on their unmanned underwater vehicles. Read More

F-35C Wing Commander Focused on First Deployment, Transitioning First Marine Corps Squadron

F-35C Wing Commander Focused on First Deployment, Transitioning First Marine Corps Squadron

Ten F-35C Lightning II jets of the “Argonauts” of VFA-147 aircraft sit on the flight line at Naval Air Station Lemoore (NASL). Commander, Naval Air Forces, Vice Admiral DeWolfe Miller H. III and United States Marine Corps Deputy Commandant for Aviation (DCA), Lieutenant General Steven R. Rudder jointly announced that the F-35C met all requirements and achieved Initial Operating Capability (IOC) 28 FEB 2019. US Navy photo.

This post has been updated to include additional information from the Joint Strike Fighter Wing and context from Naval Air Forces.

The Navy’s Joint Strike Fighter Wing commodore is focused on getting the first operational F-35C carrier-variant squadron ready for its first deployment and figuring out how to incorporate its fifth-generation capabilities into the rest of a carrier air wing. Read More

Navy Declares Initial Operational Capability for F-35C Joint Strike Fighter

Navy Declares Initial Operational Capability for F-35C Joint Strike Fighter

Three F-35C Lightning II — one each attached to the “Argonauts” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 147, the “Rough Raiders “Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 125 and the “Grim Reapers” Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 101 — complete a flight overhead Eglin Air Force Base in Fort Walton Beach, Fla., Feb. 1, 2019. US Navy photo.

The Navy declared today that its F-35C Joint Strike Fighter was operationally ready to deploy and conduct missions around the world. Read More

Marine Corps Fields First JLTV This Week; IOC Planned for July

Marine Corps Fields First JLTV This Week; IOC Planned for July

The Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV), is showcased to 2nd Marine Logistics Group on Camp Lejeune N.C., Mar 7, 2018. The JLTV will be replacing the High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV). US Marine Corps photo.

The Marine Corps will field its first Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) tomorrow, placing the first vehicle at the School of Infantry West at Camp Pendleton, Calif. Read More

G/ATOR Block II Radar Fielded to Artillery Marines, Headed Towards Full-Rate Production

G/ATOR Block II Radar Fielded to Artillery Marines, Headed Towards Full-Rate Production

An AN/TPS-80 Ground/Air Task Oriented Radar starts up at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, N.C., Feb. 26, 2018. The AN/TPS-80 will replace the AN/TPS-63 and reduces set up time from eight hours to 30 minutes for the system. US Marine Corps photo.

SAN DIEGO, Calif. – The Marine Corps fielded its first AN/TPS-80 Ground/Air Task-Oriented Radar (G/ATOR) Block II system to a Marine artillery regiment this month, after having early successes last year with the G/ATOR Block I radars in the air defense community. Read More

Fleet Commanders Holding Firm on Readiness Standards for Surface Ships

Fleet Commanders Holding Firm on Readiness Standards for Surface Ships

Sailors heave in line aboard the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Spruance (DDG-111) during a replenishment-at-sea with the Military Sealift Command fleet replenishment oiler USNS Guadalupe (T-AO-200) on Nov. 16, 2018. US Navy Photo

This post has been updated to include an additional statement from U.S. Pacific Fleet.

CAPITOL HILL – The Navy’s Pacific and Atlantic fleet commanders have increased their ability to understand surface ship readiness at the individual ship level and have shown their willingness to cancel or delay deployments if a ship has not proven it can safely conduct that mission, the two fleet commanders told lawmakers today. Read More

Artificial Intelligence Could Speed Up Navy Training as New Tech is Rapidly Fielded

Artificial Intelligence Could Speed Up Navy Training as New Tech is Rapidly Fielded

Fire Controlman (Aegis) 2nd Class Savian Wadsworthy stands watch as the radar systems controller in the combat information center aboard the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Porter (DDG 78) in the Mediterranean Sea, Dec. 30, 2018. Porter, forward-deployed to Rota, Spain, is on its sixth patrol in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations in support of U.S national security interests in Europe and Africa. US Navy photo.

SAN DIEGO, Calif. – Artificial intelligence could be used not only for faster decision-making on the battlefield but also for faster training as the Navy inserts more weapons and tools onto ships and aircraft, the Navy’s top weapons buyer said last week. Read More