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 Asks Hill for $64M for Short-Term Surface Warfare Reforms

Navy Asks Hill for $64M for Short-Term Surface Warfare Reforms

Ens. Samantha Rados stands watch as junior officer of the deck in the pilot house of the guided-missile destroyer USS Jason Dunham (DDG-109) on June 26, 2018. US Navy Photo

NAVAL STATION NORFOLK – The Navy is asking Congress for a $64-million adjustment in its budget to begin work on a series of reforms to the surface force following the fatal collisions of two warships in 2017, Vice Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Bill Moran confirmed to USNI News on Monday. Read More

Second USS Fitzgerald Officer Defers Plea to Negligence, Hazarding a Vessel Charges

Second USS Fitzgerald Officer Defers Plea to Negligence, Hazarding a Vessel Charges

USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62) returns to Fleet Activities (FLEACT) Yokosuka following a collision with a merchant vessel while operating southwest of Yokosuka, Japan. (U.S. Navy Photo By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Kryzentia Weiermann/Released)

An officer charged with negligence for her role in the collision of USS Fitzgerald (DDG-62) reserved her right not to enter a plea on Monday during an arraignment before a military judge. Read More

UPDATED: USS Harry S. Truman Now Operating in Cold War Era Submarine Hot Spot

UPDATED: USS Harry S. Truman Now Operating in Cold War Era Submarine Hot Spot

USS Normandy (CG-60) steams alongside the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN-75) on Jul 8, 2018. US Navy Photo

This post has been updated to include additional information from U.S. Fleet Forces Command.

USS Harry S. Truman (CVN-75) is operating in the North Atlantic over the old stomping grounds of the Soviet submarine force, in the latest twist of a deployment that has broken with almost 20 years of U.S. carrier tradition, USNI News has learned. Read More

Navy: Chinese Spy Ship Monitoring RIMPAC Exercise, Again

Navy: Chinese Spy Ship Monitoring RIMPAC Exercise, Again

An undated photo of Dongdiao-class auxiliary general intelligence (AGI) Tianwangxing (853).

A previous version of this post incorrectly stated a Chinese AGI monitored the RIMPAC exercise in 2016. In fact, the AGI in 2016 belonged to the Russian Navy.

A Chinese surveillance ship is operating off the coast of Hawaii to keep tabs on the U.S.-led Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercise, a Navy official confirmed to USNI News on Friday. Read More

Essex Amphibious Ready Group Quietly Deployed on Tuesday with Marine F-35s

Essex Amphibious Ready Group Quietly Deployed on Tuesday with Marine F-35s

USS Essex departing Naval Station San Diego, Calif. on July 10, 2018. Photo via Facebook

This post has been updated to include a statement from U.S. Pacific Fleet.

THE PENTAGON — The three-ship Essex Amphibious Ready Group and the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit left San Diego, Calif., on Tuesday with little fanfare for an expected Western Pacific and Middle East deployment, a defense official confirmed to USNI News on Thursday. Read More

Former USS Fitzgerald CO Pleads Not Guilty to Negligence Charges

Former USS Fitzgerald CO Pleads Not Guilty to Negligence Charges

Cmdr. Bryce Benson. US Navy Photo

This post has been updated to include Cmdr. Benson’s redacted charge sheet.

WASHINGTON NAVY YARD – The former commander of USS Fitzgerald (DDG-62) has pleaded not guilty to charges he committed criminal acts leading up to the collision of the guided-missile destroyer, in a Tuesday arraignment. Read More

UPDATED: Ensign Aboard USS Jason Dunham Dies Following Small Boat Accident in the Red Sea

UPDATED: Ensign Aboard USS Jason Dunham Dies Following Small Boat Accident in the Red Sea

Undated file photo of Ens. Sarah Mitchell, 23, of Feasterville, Penn. Ens. Mitchell died from injuries sustained aboard USS Jason Dunham (DD 109), July 8, 2018. US Navy photo.

A U.S. sailor assigned to guided-missile destroyer USS Jason Dunham (DDG-109) has died from injuries following a Sunday small-boat incident in the Red Sea, Navy officials confirmed to USNI News on Monday. Read More