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


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

America Ends Military Ground Mission in Afghanistan After 20 Years; State Dept.-led Effort Tries To Evacuate Remaining U.S. Citizens, Allies

America Ends Military Ground Mission in Afghanistan After 20 Years; State Dept.-led Effort Tries To Evacuate Remaining U.S. Citizens, Allies

Army Maj. Gen. Chris Donahue, commander of the U.S. Army 82nd Airborne Division, XVIII Airborne Corps, boards a C-17 cargo plane at the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan on Aug 30, 2021.

The U.S. has completed the withdrawal of American forces from Afghanistan after 20 years of troops on the ground, with the last military transport plane departing the country at about 3:30 p.m. East Coast time, the commander of U.S. Central Command said on Monday. Read More

UPDATED: U.S. Strikes ISIS-K in Afghanistan; Navy, Marines Identify Troops Killed in Kabul Attack

UPDATED: U.S. Strikes ISIS-K in Afghanistan; Navy, Marines Identify Troops Killed in Kabul Attack

U.S. service members killed in the Aug. 26, 2021 attack outside the Kabul Airport in Afghanistan as identified by their family members. USNI News Photo Graphic

This post and headline have been updated to include a U.S. Central Command statement saying that an ISIS Khorasan planner was killed in an unmanned aerial vehicle strike on late Friday and images and biographical information for the service members killed in the Aug. 26, 2021, Kabul explosion.

In retaliation for an attack that killed 13 U.S. troops outside the Kabul airport, the U.S. killed an ISIS Khorasan planner and facilitator in an unmanned aerial vehicle strike, U.S. Central Command announced late Friday. Read More

UPDATED: 10 Marines, Sailor Among 13 U.S. Troops Killed in Attacks on Kabul Airport; 18 Injured Being Medically Evacuated

UPDATED: 10 Marines, Sailor Among 13 U.S. Troops Killed in Attacks on Kabul Airport; 18 Injured Being Medically Evacuated

Paratroopers assigned to the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division conduct security as they continue to help facilitate the safe evacuation of U.S. citizens, Special Immigrant Visa applicants, and other at-risk Afghans out of Afghanistan as quickly and safely as possible from Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul on Aug. 25, 2021. US Army Photo

This story has been updated to include a statement from the U.S. Marine Corps. This post has been corrected to indicate there was only one suicide bombing attack on Aug. 26.

Ten Marines and at least one Navy hospital corpsman are among the 13 U.S. troops dead following a suicide bomb attack on crowds struggling to get into the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul on Thursday, USNI News has learned. Read More

HASC Chairman’s Mark Adds 12 Navy Super Hornets, Preserves Navy Nuclear Cruise Missile Funds

HASC Chairman’s Mark Adds 12 Navy Super Hornets, Preserves Navy Nuclear Cruise Missile Funds

Three U.S. Navy F/A-18E Super Hornets operating from the aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69) patrol over the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility on June 8, 2020. US Navy Photo

The chairman of the House Armed Services Committee is preserving money to develop a new surface-launched nuclear cruise missile, and is adding 12 Super Hornets and a second guided-missile destroyer to the Navy’s shipbuilding plan, according to a copy of the chairman’s mark for the Fiscal Year 2022 budget obtained by USNI News on Wednesday. Read More

More U.S. Navy Ships, Marine Aircraft Assist in Haiti Relief

More U.S. Navy Ships, Marine Aircraft Assist in Haiti Relief

Marines with 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing, II Marine Expeditionary Force, prepare to board MV-22B Ospreys to deploy to Haiti in support of Joint Task Force-Haiti for a humanitarian-assistance and disaster-relief mission from Marine Corps Air Station New River, North Carolina, Aug. 23, 2021. US Navy Photo

Three U.S. Navy ships and more Marine aircraft have joined in the U.S. effort for disaster relief in Haiti, Pentagon officials said on Tuesday. Read More