Megan Eckstein

About Megan Eckstein

Megan Eckstein is the former deputy editor for USNI News.


Recent Posts By the Author


Navy, Marines Unveil How They Will Buy and Operate Future Pilotless Aircraft and Crewless Ships

Navy, Marines Unveil How They Will Buy and Operate Future Pilotless Aircraft and Crewless Ships

Aviation Machinist Mate 2nd Class Samantha Stluka, left, and Aviation Electrician 2nd Class Wyatt Cutchen, both assigned to the “Wildcards” of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 23, perform maintenance on a MQ-8B unmanned helicopter on the flight deck of the Independence-variant littoral combat ship USS Gabrielle Giffords (LCS 10), May 14, 2020. US Navy photo.

The sea services see themselves moving toward a future where they are just as likely to perform a mission with an unmanned platform as a manned one, based on the specifics of the mission and what assets are available. A third of the Navy’s fleet and half of Marine Corps aviation could be unmanned under this hybrid vision the two services are pursuing, which they argue in a new Department of the Navy Unmanned Campaign Framework is necessary to stay ahead of adversary capabilities without breaking the bank. Read More

As USS Gerald R. Ford Nears Shock Trials, Carrier Remains Busy With Testing, Fleet Support

As USS Gerald R. Ford Nears Shock Trials, Carrier Remains Busy With Testing, Fleet Support

The flight deck crew of USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) launches and recovers F/A-18E-F Super Hornets from Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 122 as pilots in the West Coast fleet replacement squadron conduct carrier qualifications on March 9, 2021. USNI News photo.

ABOARD AIRCRAFT CARRIER USS GERALD R. FORD, IN THE ATLANTIC OCEAN – When new commanding officer Capt. Paul Lanzilotta wakes up each morning on USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78), his long and diverse to-do list highlights the balance the aircraft carrier is trying to strike as it wraps up its new-ship testing and prepares for shock trials this summer, while also carrying out other duties as the only available aircraft carrier on the East Coast. Read More

USS San Diego Back to Sea in 5th Fleet After Containing COVID-19 Spread Among Crew

USS San Diego Back to Sea in 5th Fleet After Containing COVID-19 Spread Among Crew

Hospitalman Cheyenne Bostick, center, assigned to amphibious transport dock ship USS San Diego (LPD 22), prepares to administer a COVID-19 vaccine to Sailors assigned to guided-missile cruiser USS Philippine Sea (CG 58) in Manama, Bahrain, March 2, 2021. US Navy photo.

An amphibious warship is back to sea in the Middle East after spending two weeks in Bahrain trying to contain the spread of COVID-19 among its crew. Read More

Theodore Roosevelt Strike Group Destroyer Conducts Taiwan Strait Transit

Theodore Roosevelt Strike Group Destroyer Conducts Taiwan Strait Transit

The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS John Finn (DDG 113) transits the Taiwan Strait March 10, 2021. John Finn, part of the Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group, is on a scheduled deployment to the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations. US Navy photo.

A U.S. Navy destroyer conducted a Taiwan Strait transit today, continuing a recent push for the Navy to operate between mainland China and the island it claims. Read More

USS Dwight D. Eisenhower Now in Mediterranean Sea after Strait of Gibraltar Transit

USS Dwight D. Eisenhower Now in Mediterranean Sea after Strait of Gibraltar Transit

The Royal Moroccan Air Force (RMAF) and aircraft assigned to Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 3 fly over the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69) in the Atlantic Ocean on March 3, 2021. US Navy Photo

USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69) has crossed the Strait of Gibraltar and is operating in the Mediterranean Sea, about two weeks after departing its homeport in Virginia on its latest deployment. Read More

Photo Gallery: USS Nimitz Returns Home After 11 Months Total Away

Photo Gallery: USS Nimitz Returns Home After 11 Months Total Away

Sailors assigned to USS Nimitz (CVN 68) walk to greet their families after returning from deployment. on March 7, 2021. US Navy photo.

This post has been updated to reflect that some Nimitz sailors departed the ship on March 4 during a stop on Indian Island, Wash., when the Navy announced the carrier had returned home in a news release. Remaining sailors departed the ship and returned home on March 7, when the carrier pulled into Naval Base Kitsap, Wash.

USS Nimitz (CVN-68) is now home, 341 days after sailors left their homes and families for a marathon of quarantines, training and a deployment to the Middle East and Pacific. Read More

Crews of USS San Diego, USS Philippine Sea Get COVID Vaccine After 40 Positive Cases

Crews of USS San Diego, USS Philippine Sea Get COVID Vaccine After 40 Positive Cases

Lt. Matthew Johnson, right, a registered nurse assigned to Navy Medicine Readiness and Training Unit Bahrain, verifies the medical paperwork of amphibious transport dock ship USS San Diego (LPD 22) Commanding Officer Capt. Kevin Ralston before administering the COVID-19 vaccine in Manama, Bahrain, Feb. 26. San Diego, part of the Makin Island Amphibious Ready Group, and the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit are deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations. US Navy photo

Two ships in the Middle East that recently discovered COVID-19 cases among the crew have finished testing all personnel and begun vaccinating those who want the shot, a Navy spokeswoman told USNI News. Read More

INSURV Inspections Found Lower Material Readiness on Surface Ships, Subs

INSURV Inspections Found Lower Material Readiness on Surface Ships, Subs

Rear Adm. Chris Engdahl, President of the Board of Inspection and Survey (INSURV), and then Capt. Kyle Higgins, commanding officer of the aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69), converse in the hangar bay aboard Ike in 2019. US Navy Photo

Navy ship readiness has trended down over the past three years, with many ship systems on surface ships and submarines, in particular, showing lower readiness scores in Fiscal Year 2020 compared to the recent average, according to the Board of Inspection and Survey (INSURV) annual report released today. Read More

CO: USS Gabrielle Giffords Deployment Showcased LCS's Flexibility, Naval Strike Missile

CO: USS Gabrielle Giffords Deployment Showcased LCS’s Flexibility, Naval Strike Missile

Amphibious assault ship USS America (LHA-6) sails alongside Independence-variant littoral combat ship USS Gabrielle Giffords (LCS-10). US Navy photo.

USS Gabrielle Giffords’ (LCS-10) recently completed 17-month deployment to the Pacific will refine how the Navy thinks about operating and maintaining the Littoral Combat Ship forward, the ship’s gold crew captain told USNI News.

Read More

Salvage Company Begins Removing Island on USS Bonhomme Richard Ahead of Towing, Dismantling

Salvage Company Begins Removing Island on USS Bonhomme Richard Ahead of Towing, Dismantling

Contractors with Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) work to remove the aft mast aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD-6) on Aug. 4, 2020. US Navy Photo

This post has been updated to include additional information from NAVSEA.

A salvage company began removing the island on damaged amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD-6) this week as part of the process to get the ship ready for towing and then dismantling. Read More