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


HASC's 2019 Bill Boosts Navy Spending, With Focus on Readiness and Pacific Operations

HASC’s 2019 Bill Boosts Navy Spending, With Focus on Readiness and Pacific Operations

The Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group cruises in formation with the Indian navy Talwar-class frigate INS Tarkash (F50) on March 25, 2018. Theodore Roosevelt is underway for a scheduled deployment in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations in support of maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts. US Navy photo.

The House Armed Services Committee’s Fiscal Year 2019 National Defense Authorization Act today focuses on building readiness – especially in aviation – and on optimizing for operations in the Indo-Pacific region. Read More

Naval Surface and Mine Warfighting Development Center's Role Evolving as Warfare Advocate, Trainer

Naval Surface and Mine Warfighting Development Center’s Role Evolving as Warfare Advocate, Trainer

Commander, Naval Surface and Warfighting Development Center Rear Adm. John Wade, left, speaks to Warfare Tactics Instructor (WTI) candidates after they completed their initial course of instruction – the Instructor and Tactics Course. Upon completion of the course, students will have to attend and pass advanced tactical training courses to earn WTI designation through one of three SMWDC Divisions – Amphibious Warfare, Sea Combat, or Integrated Air and Missile Defense. SMWDC is one of the Navy’s five Warfare Development Centers and fills an integral role in the Surface Force Strategy: Return to Sea Control. SMWDC’s mission is to increase the lethality and tactical proficiency of the surface force across all domains. US Navy Photo

When the U.S. Navy conducted strikes on Syrian targets last month, the Naval Surface and Mine Warfighting Development Center (SMWDC) was on hand to provide expertise on conducting high-end tactics in a complex environment. When U.S. Navy ships were targeted by Houthi anti-ship cruise missiles in October 2016, SMWDC swarmed in afterwards to understand what happened and how to learn from it. And when operators in the Mediterranean Sea needed additional protection from growing threats in the region, SMWDC experts joined an effort to help integrate the SeaRAM weapon system with ballistic missile defense destroyers and write the tactics and procedures so sailors could operate safely in the region. Read More

CNO: Navy Can Learn From Syria Strikes to Prepare for Higher-End Conflicts

CNO: Navy Can Learn From Syria Strikes to Prepare for Higher-End Conflicts

USS Monterey (CG 61) fires a Tomahawk land attack missile April 13, 2018 against land targets in Syria. US Navy Photo

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Navy is studying its recent strikes on Syria to understand how the fleet performed well in a real-world event and how it may need to perform differently in a future higher-end engagement, the chief of naval operations said on Wednesday. Read More

Concerns Emerge Over HASC Attempts to Create Single Head for Ready Force Generation

Concerns Emerge Over HASC Attempts to Create Single Head for Ready Force Generation

Sailors aboard Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Higgins (DDG-76) arrive in Hawaii. US Navy Photo

The House Armed Services Committee is looking to change the command and control system that governs naval forces in the Pacific, based on recommendations made in the aftermath of last year’s fatal collisions, but concerns from some lawmakers are already surfacing. Read More

HASC Subcommittee Marks Recommend Additional Navy Ship Buys, Multi-Year Aircraft Deals

HASC Subcommittee Marks Recommend Additional Navy Ship Buys, Multi-Year Aircraft Deals

USS Gabrielle Giffords (LCS-10) is pierside at Naval Base San Diego and preparing to conduct final contract trials (FCT) in 2017. US Navy Photo

CAPITOL HILL – The House Armed Services Committee released sections of its Fiscal Year 2019 National Defense Authorization Act, which recommends buying 13 ships and beginning a handful of aircraft multiyear procurement contracts. Read More

LCS Mission Package Testing on Track to Support IOC Dates in 2019, 2021

LCS Mission Package Testing on Track to Support IOC Dates in 2019, 2021

An MQ-8B Fire Scout unmanned helicopter prepares to land aboard the littoral combat ship USS Coronado (LCS 4) on Feb. 20, 2017, following completion of routine operations in the Sulu Sea near the Balabac Strait. Coronado is specifically designed for this type of maritime security and counter-piracy operations and has a Surface Warfare mission package comprised of two 11-meter rigid-hull inflatable boats, two visit, board, search and seizure boarding teams, two 30 mm machine guns, two Northrop-Grumman MQ-8B Fire Scout unmanned aerial vehicles, and a Lockheed-Martin MH-60S Sea Hawk helicopter. US Navy Photo

Navy testing of its Littoral Combat Ship mission package technologies is on track for two warfare mission packages to reach initial operational capability by 2019 and the third by 2021. Read More

Marines Zero In On Requirements for Future MUX Unmanned Aerial Vehicle

Marines Zero In On Requirements for Future MUX Unmanned Aerial Vehicle

The Bell V-247 tiltrotor is an unmanned aerial system (UAS) that will combine the vertical lift capability of a helicopter with the speed and range of a conventional fixed-wing aircraft, and would provide long-endurance persistent expeditionary and surveillance and fires capabilities. Bell Image

THE PENTAGON – The Marine Corps has refined its vision for a large sea-based unmanned aerial system (UAS) after honing in on capability gaps the Marines most urgently need to fill. Read More

Navy's P-8As Unaffected by FAA's Boeing 737 Engine Inspection Requirement After Fatal Southwest Incident

Navy’s P-8As Unaffected by FAA’s Boeing 737 Engine Inspection Requirement After Fatal Southwest Incident

Aviation Machinist Mate 1st Class Joseph Ihrig, left, and Aviation Machinist Mate 2nd Class Miko Brandon, right, both assigned to Patrol Squadron (VP) 4, perform a fan blade loop inspection on a P-8A Poseidon aircraft onboard Naval Air Station Whidbey Island’s Ault Field on Dec. 6, 2017. VP-4 is currently conducting its Fleet Readiness Training Plan in preparation for their upcoming deployment. US Navy photo.

The Navy’s fleet of P-8A Poseidon aircraft are not in any immediate risk of facing the same engine failure that caused the April 17 emergency landing of a Boeing 737 – which the P-8 design is derived from – a Navy spokeswoman told USNI News. Read More