Megan Eckstein is the naval warfare reporter at Defense News. She has covered military news since 2009, with a focus on U.S. Navy and Marine Corps operations, acquisition programs, and budgets. She has reported from four geographic fleets and is happiest when she’s filing stories from a ship. Megan is a University of Maryland alumna.
The MQ-25A Stingray tanking drone conducted shipboard maneuvers for the first time on a carrier, giving sailors a first peek at the vehicle as well as its handheld controller and shipboard ground control station.
One UAV will remain in the Pacific, as the second returns to Florida to support intensive training ahead of the squadron moving into a multi-intelligence variant in 2022 and preparing for initial operational capability in 2023.
The LCSs operating out of Mayport faced some restrictions while the Navy engineered a solution to their combining gear flaws, but the LCS Squadron commander says they've made the most of that time and established their role in the fleet.
The Marines ditched old gear, but the new systems to support future operating concepts haven't arrived yet. If the Pentagon and Congress don't support Force Design 2030 now, the commandant says, they'd be leaving the service in a tough spot.
Though France in September announced an agreement to sell Greece three frigates, Greece asked the U.S. to continue finalizing its proposal for four new frigates, modernizing existing Hellenic Navy ships and providing an interim solution for Greek sailors to use during that modernization effort.
The Navy is beginning to modernize and optimize a shipyard built in 1800 — and is learning some important lessons already that will shape the 20-year, $21 billion planned effort to overhaul all four naval shipyards.
“We have to provide the Marines what they need to operate in that environment," Commandant of the Marine Corps David Berger said of the need for light amphibious warships. "And if that [means] less Marines, I’m willing to do that. I don’t want to do that."