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


U.S. Carrier in Middle East Focused on Missions Over Afghanistan, Maritime Security

U.S. Carrier in Middle East Focused on Missions Over Afghanistan, Maritime Security

Sailors huddle to communicate as an F/A-18E Super Hornet assigned to Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 151 launches from the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) in the Arabian Sea on Dec. 18, 2018. US Navy Photo

Afghanistan – not Syria – has been the primary focus of the air wing embarked aboard USS John C. Stennis (CVN-74) since the carrier strike group entered U.S. 5th Fleet in early December, USNI News has learned. Read More

Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis Resigning

Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis Resigning

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis visits the Demilitarized Zone between North and South Korea in 2017. DoD Photo

This post will be updated as new information becomes available.

Jim Mattis, the longest-serving cabinet secretary of the Trump Administration, submitted his resignation on Thursday following the White House announcement the U.S. would withdraw about 2,000 ground troops from Syria and reports of a drawdown in Afghanistan. Read More

USS Freedom Gets Underway After Two Years of Repairs

USS Freedom Gets Underway After Two Years of Repairs

USS Freedom (LCS-1) departs a pier in San Diego under its own power on Dec. 10, 2018. US Navy Photo

Littoral Combat Ship USS Freedom (LCS-1) left a pier in San Diego, Calif., for the first time in more than two years, after an extensive repair period to fix the ship’s propulsion system. Read More

GAO: Navy Surface, Sub Repair Backlog Grew in 2018; 3 Attack Boats Now Not Certified to Dive

GAO: Navy Surface, Sub Repair Backlog Grew in 2018; 3 Attack Boats Now Not Certified to Dive

USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69) prepares to pull into Norfolk Naval Shipyard in Portsmouth, Va. in 2017. US Navy Photo

CAPITOL HILL – Maintenance backlogs continue to plague the Navy’s surface ship and attack submarine readiness, with the service losing the equivalent of 17 ships for operational tasking this year due to delays in getting repairs, according to an analysis from the Government Accountability Office. Read More

Marines Identify Hornet Pilot Who Died After Crash with KC-130J off Japan; 5 Marines Still Missing

Marines Identify Hornet Pilot Who Died After Crash with KC-130J off Japan; 5 Marines Still Missing

Marines with the Marine All-Weather Fighter Attack Bats Squadron 242 (VMFA (AW)-242 Bats), Marine Air Group 12, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing before taking off in the F/A-18D Hornet at Marine Corps Air Station Futenma, Okinawa, Japan on Nov. 21, 2018. US Marine Corps Photo

The Marines have identified the F/A-18D Hornet pilot who died in a hospital after a crash with a KC-130J off the coast of Japan. Read More

UPDATED: 5 Marines Still Missing Following F-18 Hornet, KC-130J Crash; Second Recovered Marine Dies in Hospital

UPDATED: 5 Marines Still Missing Following F-18 Hornet, KC-130J Crash; Second Recovered Marine Dies in Hospital

Marines with the Joint Humanitarian Assistance Survey Team, 3rd Marine Expeditionary Brigade, prepare for take-off aboard a KC-130J Hercules aircraft on Kadena Air Force Base on Sept. 27, 2018. US Marine Corps Photo

A Marine recovered from a crash between a Marine F-18D Hornet Fighter and a KC-130J transport aircraft off the coast of Japan has died in the hospital, according to a statement from the service. Read More