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


Carrier USS Ronald Reagan Leaves Middle East After Almost 3 Months; Essex ARG, 11th MEU Enters the Persian Gulf

Carrier USS Ronald Reagan Leaves Middle East After Almost 3 Months; Essex ARG, 11th MEU Enters the Persian Gulf

USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76) steams in the Arabian Sea on Sept. 6, 2021. US Navy Photo

This post has been updated to show the Reagan Carrier Strike Group has left U.S. Central Command.

The Japan-based Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group has left the Middle East after operating in the region since June, a Navy official confirmed to USNI News on Thursday. Read More

SECNAV Del Toro: U.S. Will be ‘Equal Partner’ with Allied Navies to Maintain Global Freedom of Navigation

SECNAV Del Toro: U.S. Will be ‘Equal Partner’ with Allied Navies to Maintain Global Freedom of Navigation

w Secretary of the Navy Carlos Del Toro addresses the International Seapower Symposium in Newport, R.I., on Sept. 15, 2021. US Navy Photo

NEWPORT, R.I. — The leaders of the U.S. Navy entreated a global audience of international navies to uphold international freedom of navigation, as China and Russia have challenged international maritime norms. Read More

MQ-25A Refuels F-35C Joint Strike Fighter Over Illinois

MQ-25A Refuels F-35C Joint Strike Fighter Over Illinois

An MQ-25 test asset, known as T1, conducts its first aerial refueling test flight with an F-35C Lightning II Sept. 13, 2021 near MidAmerica St. Louis Airport in Mascoutah, Illinois. Boeing Photo

The Boeing prototype MQ-25A T1 unmanned carrier tanker refueled an F-35C Lighting II Joint Strike Fighter as part of early testing for the program, Naval Air Systems Command announced on Tuesday. Read More

Essex Amphibious Ready Group Now in Middle East, Iwo Jima ARG Heading Home

Essex Amphibious Ready Group Now in Middle East, Iwo Jima ARG Heading Home

Sailors render honors to the Wasp-class amphibious assault ship USS Essex (LHD-2) from the flight deck of the Freedom-variant littoral combat ship USS Freedom (LCS-1) on April 12, 2021. US Navy Photo

The Essex Amphibious Ready Group entered the U.S. 5th Fleet after quietly deploying from California last month, Navy officials confirmed to USNI News on Monday. Read More

Middle East Will Be Next Test Bed for Drone Ships, Aircraft as Navy Expands Unmanned Effort

Middle East Will Be Next Test Bed for Drone Ships, Aircraft as Navy Expands Unmanned Effort

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

Full of merchant traffic and security threats, the densely packed waterways of the Red Sea, Arabian Sea and the Persian Gulf will be a testing ground for the Navy’s push to make unmanned systems a practical part of the fleet, service leaders said on Wednesday. Read More

Navy Identifies 5 Sailors Presumed Dead After Helicopter Crash

Navy Identifies 5 Sailors Presumed Dead After Helicopter Crash

Sailors who are presumed dead after an Aug. 31, 2021 MH-60S Knighthawk crash off the coast of California. USNI News Photo Illustration

Five sailors missing after a helicopter went into the sea after crashing on the deck of an aircraft carrier on Monday are now presumed dead. U.S. 3rd Fleet identified the sailors on Sunday. Read More

U.S. Marine F-35Bs to Operate off Largest Japanese Warship Later This Year

U.S. Marine F-35Bs to Operate off Largest Japanese Warship Later This Year

Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force helicopter destroyer JS Izumo (DDH-183) steams during a ship maneuvering exercise for Malabar 2017. US Navy Photo

This post has been updated to say the U.S. Marine F-35s on JS Izumo should occur by November.

U.S. Marine F-35B Lighting II Joint Strike Fighters will operate off a Japanese warship later this year, Marine Corps Commandant Gen. David Berger said on Wednesday. Read More

UPDATED: 5 Sailors Missing After Navy Helicopter Crashes off California; 5 More Sailors on USS Abraham Lincoln Injured

UPDATED: 5 Sailors Missing After Navy Helicopter Crashes off California; 5 More Sailors on USS Abraham Lincoln Injured

An MH-60S Knighthawk, assigned to the ‘Eightballers’ of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 8, lifts cargo from the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71), May 21, 2021. US Navy Photo

This post will be updated as new information becomes available.

Five sailors are missing after a Navy helicopter crashed off the coast of California on Monday, U.S. 3rd Fleet said. Read More