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


Marines Will Resume Planned Deployment to Australia After COVID-Related Delay

Marines Will Resume Planned Deployment to Australia After COVID-Related Delay

U.S. Marines with Marine Rotational Force – Darwin (MRF-D), arrive as part of the force enhancement for the 2019 rotation at RAAF Base Darwin, Australia, on July 17, 2019. Marine Corps Photo

U.S. Marine Corps Forces Pacific will resume its annual deployment to Australia, after the U.S. and Australian governments previously announced a delay due to COVID-19-related travel restrictions. Read More

Navy Announces New VCNO, Other Top Assignments, in First Notification Since Policy Reversal

Navy Announces New VCNO, Other Top Assignments, in First Notification Since Policy Reversal

Top Row (left to right): Vice Adm. William Lescher, Vice Adm. Lisa Franchetti, Rear Adm. Gene Black Bottom Row (left to right): Rear Adm. Kenneth Whitesell, Rear Adm. Yancy Lindsey, Rear Adm. John Mustin

The Navy announced several new assignments for its top officers, the first public announcement of its kind since December 2018, when the service stopped announcing senior flag moves in the name of cybersecurity. Read More

Marine Corps Announces New Aviation, Pacific Leadership Assignments

Marine Corps Announces New Aviation, Pacific Leadership Assignments

Top row (left to right): Lt. Gen. Lewis Craparotta, Lt. Gen. Steven Rudder, Maj. Gen. Mark Wise; Bottom row (left to right): Maj. Gen. Karsten Heckl, Maj. Gen. Dennis Crall, Maj. Gen. David Ottignon 

The Marine Corps announced a shuffle of its two- and three-star generals, with nominations of new leadership for Marines in the Pacific, the aviation community, training and education and more. Read More

SEALs Resume Training Under Extreme COVID-19 Isolation Measures

SEALs Resume Training Under Extreme COVID-19 Isolation Measures

SEAL candidates participate in “surf immersion” during Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL (BUD/S) training at Naval Special Warfare (NSW) Center in Coronado, Calif., May 4, 2020. NSW Center restarted paused portions of its SEAL and Special Warfare Combatant-craft Crewman (SWCC) selection-and-assessment training following careful planning that included implementing COVID-19 mitigation efforts based on CDC recommendations and Department of Defense medical guidance. The health, safety and well-being of students remains NSW Center’s top priority. US Navy photo.

Naval Special Warfare Center is resuming its training of SEAL and special warfare combatant-craft crewmen (SWCC) candidates this week after taking a pause in March to ensure it could keep the coronavirus away from young recruits already putting their bodies through punishingly tough physical training courses. Read More

U.S., U.K. Surface Warships Patrol Barents Sea For First Time Since the 1980s

U.S., U.K. Surface Warships Patrol Barents Sea For First Time Since the 1980s

The Duke-class frigate HMS Kent (F78) takes part in a replenishment-at-sea with Supply-class fast combat support ship USNS Supply (T-AOE-6) whilst on exercise with the U.S. Navy in the Arctic Circle. The exercises have been taking place in the Arctic Circle where, with added wind chill, the temperatures plummeted to a jarring minus 10 degrees centigrade. UK Royal Navy photo.

The U.S. Navy surface force is operating in the Barents Sea for the first time since the Cold War, further expanding its portfolio of Arctic operations by aircraft carriers and surface combatants in the past two years. Read More

Navy Continues Advanced Surface Training, Deemed Mission-Essential,  During COVID Restrictions

Navy Continues Advanced Surface Training, Deemed Mission-Essential, During COVID Restrictions

Lt. Caleb Bekemeier (standing), an Integrated Air and Missile Defense (IAMD) Warfare Tactics Instructor (WTI) assigned to Naval Surface and Mine Warfighting Development Center (SMWDC), discusses surface warfighting tactics with Chief Electronics Technician Christopher Schmidt, assigned to USS Stethem, during a training opportunity conducted at Combined IAMD and Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) Trainer (CIAT) San Diego. Bekemeier returned to SMWDC last week after mentoring the crew of USS Freedom (LCS 1) at-sea during Surface Warfare Advanced Tactical Training (SWATT) – a SMWDC led exercise that increases the lethality and tactical proficiency of the surface force across all domains. US Navy photo.

The Navy’s advanced surface warfare exercises have been deemed mission essential and are moving forward amid coronavirus-related restrictions, demonstrating the surface navy’s dedication to improving its skill, the head of the Naval Surface and Mine Warfighting Development Center (SMWDC) told USNI News. Read More

Civilian Mariners File Grievance Over Military Sealift Command COVID-19 Restrictions

Civilian Mariners File Grievance Over Military Sealift Command COVID-19 Restrictions

The Military Sealift Command maritime prepositioning ship USNS Sgt. William R. Button (T-AK 3012) is moored off the coast of Latvia for the Saber Strike 17 Maritime Prepositioning Force offload operations on May, 25, 2017. US Navy photo.

Civilian mariners are frustrated with stay-on-ship measures put in place to prevent COVID-19 outbreaks and their unions have filed a formal grievance with Military Sealift Command, even as MSC has been touting the extreme care it’s taken to avoid getting its employees sick or spreading the illness to warships they resupply at sea. Read More

Fincantieri Wins $795M Contract for Navy Frigate Program

Fincantieri Wins $795M Contract for Navy Frigate Program

Fincantieri FFG(X) Design based on the FREMM. Fincantieri Image

This post has been updated to include additional information from the Navy.

The Navy awarded a $795-million contract to Fincantieri to begin building a new class of guided-missile frigates, in the first new major shipbuilding program the service has started in more than a decade, the Navy announced today. Read More

Navy Will Host Scaled-Down RIMPAC Exercise in Hawaii With At-Sea-Only Events

Navy Will Host Scaled-Down RIMPAC Exercise in Hawaii With At-Sea-Only Events

(Right) Australian Army officer Captain Christopher Moroney, from the 2nd Battalion (Amphibious), Royal Australian Regiment, works with Indonesian Joint Terminal Attack Controllers to call in artillery fire at Pohakuloa Training Area during Exercise Rim of the Pacific 18. Australian Defence Force photo.

U.S. Pacific Fleet will host its major biennial Rim of the Pacific exercise this year amid the global COVID-19 pandemic, opting to limit the exercise to just two weeks of at-sea-only events rather than cancel the event altogether, the command announced tonight. Read More