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 Retooling Fire Scout Program to Focus on More Complex Warfare Missions

Navy Retooling Fire Scout Program to Focus on More Complex Warfare Missions

Maintainers from Air Test and Evaluation Squadron 1 (VX-1) analyze diagnostics from the MQ-8C Fire Scout on the flight deck of the Independence variant littoral combat ship USS Coronado (LCS 4) on June 21, 2018. US Navy photo.

SAN DIEGO, Calif. – The Navy is rethinking how it will employ its emerging MQ-8C Fire Scout rotary-wing unmanned vehicles to help Littoral Combat Ships take on tougher targets in a new age of great power competition. Read More

USS Leyte Gulf Back At Sea After Repairs from Minor Collision

USS Leyte Gulf Back At Sea After Repairs from Minor Collision

Sailors aboard the Ticonderoga-class guided missile cruiser USS Leyte Gulf (CG-55) man the rails as the ship gets underway in 2018. US Navy Photo

The guided-missile cruiser that was involved in a minor collision with a resupply ship on Feb. 5 has left port after repairs and will shortly resume training with the Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group, USNI News has learned. Read More

Navy: Ford's Advanced Arresting Gear Will be Ready for Fleet Super Hornets, Growlers by End of Year

Navy: Ford’s Advanced Arresting Gear Will be Ready for Fleet Super Hornets, Growlers by End of Year

F/A-18F Pilot LCDR Jamie R. Struck the makes first carrier arrested landing using AAG system aboard USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) off the Virginia coast. US Navy Photo

A previous version of this post misstated the Navy’s reliability requirement for the Advanced Arresting Gear. The requirement is 16,500 recoveries before an operational failure.

ABOARD AIRCRAFT CARRIER USS GERALD R. FORD – The crew of USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) are slowly expanding the aircraft they can launch and recover from the next-generation aircraft carrier, Ford’s air boss told USNI News last week. Read More

UPDATED: U.S. Guided-Missile Cruiser, Navy Supply Ship Involved in Minor Collision Off of Florida

UPDATED: U.S. Guided-Missile Cruiser, Navy Supply Ship Involved in Minor Collision Off of Florida

USS Leyte Gulf (CG-55) departs Naval Station Norfolk, Va. in 2018. US Navy Photo

This post was updated to include a statement from U.S. Fleet Forces Command and additional details about damage to the ships.

A U.S. guided-missile cruiser and Navy resupply ship have collided off the coast of Florida during a training exercise on Tuesday, USNI News has learned. Read More

Paying the Price: The Hidden Cost of the ‘Fat Leonard’ Investigation

Paying the Price: The Hidden Cost of the ‘Fat Leonard’ Investigation

Undated photo of Leonard Francis

This post has been updated to note that USNI News reached out to the Department of Justice for comment prior to publication of this story. Additionally, an attorney representing Leonard Francis provided comment following publication of an earlier version of this story.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The investigation into the web of corruption spun by contractor Leonard Francis has wreaked havoc on the Navy’s ability to fill senior leadership roles, unintentionally stalled hundreds of officers’ careers and thinned out the service’s flag ranks, USNI News has learned. Read More

Federal Agents Comb Through Austal USA Shipyard as Part of Apparent Financial Investigation

Federal Agents Comb Through Austal USA Shipyard as Part of Apparent Financial Investigation

USS Tulsa (LCS-16) launched on March 15, 2017. Austal USA photo.

This post has been updated to include additional information on Austal USA’s financial history with the Littoral Combat Ship program.

Federal agents visited Littoral Combat Ship manufacturer Austal USA in its Mobile, Ala., shipyard as part of an unspecified investigation involving the U.S. Navy, according to local media. Read More

Military Judge Disqualifies Naval Reactors Director Caldwell from Overseeing Fitzgerald CO Trial

Military Judge Disqualifies Naval Reactors Director Caldwell from Overseeing Fitzgerald CO Trial

Adm. James F. Caldwell, Director, Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program, gives remarks during a senior leader all hands at Sharkey Theater, July 11, 2017. US Navy Photo

A military judge has disqualified Director of Naval Reactors Adm. Frank Caldwell from overseeing the upcoming negligence trial of the former USS Fitzgerald (DDG-62) commander due to actions Caldwell made during other legal proceedings related to the fatal 2017 collision, according to a copy of a Tuesday ruling obtained by USNI News. Read More