Sam LaGrone

About Sam LaGrone

Sam LaGrone is the editor of USNI News. He has covered legislation, acquisition and operations for the Sea Services since 2009 and spent time underway with the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps and the Canadian Navy.


Recent Posts By the Author


Navy: Large USV Will Require Small Crews for the Next Several Years

Navy: Large USV Will Require Small Crews for the Next Several Years

Ghost Fleet Ship Nomad arriving at Point Loma, Calif., on May 29, 2021. Image via Twitter

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. — The emerging fleet of U.S. military Large Unmanned Surface Vessels (LUSV) are set to navigate the open seas, avoid other vessels and carry out complex directives from a land-based command center over a secure commutations network. What they can’t do yet is pump their own gas. Read More

Navy Will Test Freedom-class LCS Gear Fix Next Month; Years Before Repair Reaches Rest of Fleet

Navy Will Test Freedom-class LCS Gear Fix Next Month; Years Before Repair Reaches Rest of Fleet

LCS 21 (Minneapolis-Saint Paul) Christening and Launch on June 15, 2019.

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. – The Navy is putting Littoral Combat Ship Minneapolis-Saint Paul (LCS-21) back together after completing a repair to beef up the complicated gearing mechanism that links the ship’s gas turbines to its diesel engines, service officials told USNI News on Monday. Read More

Navy Quietly Decommissions Littoral Combat Ship Independence

Navy Quietly Decommissions Littoral Combat Ship Independence

USS Independence (LCS-2) is moored alongside the pier during its decommissioning ceremony at Naval Base San Diego, Calif., on July 29, 2021. US Navy Photo

The namesake of the Navy’s Independence-class of Littoral Combat Ships left the fleet after 11 years in a small pier-side ceremony in San Diego on Thursday, according to the service. Read More

‘Ghost Fleet’ Hulls Moving Toward Completely Unmanned Operations

‘Ghost Fleet’ Hulls Moving Toward Completely Unmanned Operations

USVs Ranger and Nomad unmanned vessels underway in the Pacific Ocean near the Channel Islands on July 3, 2021. US Navy Photo

The pair of Ghost Fleet ships the Navy and the Pentagon’s Strategic Capabilities Office are using as testbeds to prove large autonomous vessels can operate effectively at sea are slowly moving toward completely unmanned operations. Read More

Iran’s Largest Warship, Frigate Now in the Baltic Sea Bound for Russia

Iran’s Largest Warship, Frigate Now in the Baltic Sea Bound for Russia

IRINS Makran passes through the Great Belt strait in Denmark en route to the Baltic Sea on July 22, 2021. Photo by @shipoholic used with permission

This post has been updated with additional information from the Danish Armed Forces.

Iran’s largest warship is now in the Baltic Sea – a first for the Iranian Navy – according to photos from ship spotters provided to USNI News. Read More

Destroyer USS Donald Cook Arrives in Florida After 7 Years in Europe

Destroyer USS Donald Cook Arrives in Florida After 7 Years in Europe

Interior Communications Electrician 2nd Class Genaro Ortiz, assigned to the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Donald Cook (DDG-75), picks up his son following the ship’s arrival to Naval Station Mayport, Fla., on July 18, 2021. US Navy Photo

Guided-missile destroyer USS Donald Cook (DDG-75) is back in the U.S. after seven years as one of four forward-deployed ballistic missile defense ships based in Rota, Spain. Read More