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


Pentagon Plan to Sideline Carrier Truman Will Net Just $17M in FY 2020

Pentagon Plan to Sideline Carrier Truman Will Net Just $17M in FY 2020

USS Harry S. Truman (CVN-75) conducts a strait transit. Truman is currently deployed as part of an ongoing rotation of U.S. forces supporting maritime security operations in international waters around the globe on April 27, 2018. US Navy Photo

A Pentagon budget plan to sideline an aircraft carrier, rather than refuel it, and redirect money for other defense priorities would save just $16.9 million in Fiscal Year 2020, USNI News has learned. Read More

Fleet Forces: Navy Short 6,200 At-Sea Sailors Now to Meet New Manning Requirements

Fleet Forces: Navy Short 6,200 At-Sea Sailors Now to Meet New Manning Requirements

Sailors attend an all-hands call aboard USS Porter (DDG-78) in celebration of Independence Day July 4, 2016. US Navy Photo

CAPITOL HILL – The Navy is short about 6,200 sailors to meet its at-sea requirements for its current force, and that gap could grow as the service adds new ships to the fleet, the head of U.S. Fleet Forces Command told a House panel on Tuesday. Read More

Davidson Defends Surface Navy Readiness in Letter to Angus King

Davidson Defends Surface Navy Readiness in Letter to Angus King

Adm. Phil Davidson participates in an honors ceremony at the Pukeahu National War Memorial Park in New Zealand in August 2018. US Navy Photo

The head of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command is defending the Navy’s effort to reform its surface fleet after a tense exchange with a senator in a posture hearing earlier this month. Read More

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