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 Calls Freedom LCS Propulsion Problem Class-Wide Defect, Won’t Take New Ships Until Fixed

Navy Calls Freedom LCS Propulsion Problem Class-Wide Defect, Won’t Take New Ships Until Fixed

USS Detroit (LCS-7) transits the Caribbean Sea. Detroit is deployed to the U.S. Southern Command area of responsibility to support Joint Interagency Task Force South’s mission. Sept. 12, 2020. US Navy Photo

This post has been updated to add additional context to the cost of repairs to the ships in the class.

The Navy has determined a flaw in the Freedom-class Littoral Combat Ship’s combining gear, a complicated gearing mechanism that links the engines of the ship, is an engineering defect that shipbuilder Lockheed Martin now has to fix, USNI News has learned. Read More

Carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower Underway Ahead of Double-Pump Deployment

Carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower Underway Ahead of Double-Pump Deployment

Capt. Kyle Higgins, commanding officer of the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69), flies an F/A-18F Super Hornet, attached to the “Fighting Swordsmen” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 32 on Dec. 9, 2020. US Navy Photo

This post has been updated to correct the airwing that’s deploying aboard USS Dwight D. Eisenhower. Carrier Air Wing 3 is deploying with the carrier.

Carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69) left Naval Station Norfolk, Va., Tuesday morning for a training exercise ahead of a deployment, a Navy official confirmed to USNI News. Read More

USNI News 2020 Fleet and Marine Review

USNI News 2020 Fleet and Marine Review

When 2020 closed, the Navy’s aircraft carrier forces spent a collective 896 days deployed across the world – 200 more days than in 2019. As reported by USNI News in November, the carrier force has been under strain over the last 20 years, and the use of the force accelerated in 2020. Likewise, U.S. Navy and Marine Corps amphibious ready groups and Marine expeditionary units saw deployments to the Western Pacific and U.S. Central Command. Read More

Pentagon: Carrier USS Nimitz Will Stay in Middle East After Threats from Iran

Pentagon: Carrier USS Nimitz Will Stay in Middle East After Threats from Iran

USS Nimitz (CVN-68), the guided-missile destroyer USS John Paul Jones (DDG-53) sail in formation during a scheduled transit of the Strait of Hormuz on Nov. 9, 2020. US Navy Photo

Aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN-68) and its strike group will remain in the Middle East in the wake of threats from officials in the Iranian government on the one-year anniversary of the U.S. killing of Iranian military leader Qasem Soleimani, the Pentagon announced late Sunday. Read More

Top Stories 2020: International Naval Operations

Top Stories 2020: International Naval Operations

Motor Tanker (M/T) Wila, a merchant vessel in international waters en-route to the UAE port of Khor Fakkan, in the Gulf of Oman, was boarded by armed Iranian personnel who fast roped aboard the ship from an Iranian Sea King helicopter as it hovered above on Aug. 12, 2020. US Navy Photo

This post is part of a series of stories looking back at the top naval news from 2020.

Like the U.S., international navies grappled with not only the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic but regional security concerns from China’s naval expansion and operations in the Pacific to Iranian and Russian operations in the Middle East. Read More