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 U.S. Navy doesn’t want to over-commit to buying too many ships in the next five years, in case it can’t follow through due to fiscal or supply chain issues. That will cost the service millions of dollars.
In practice, the Pacific Marines have been the inside force even as the rest of the joint force considered China’s growing anti-access/area-denial capabilities. Now, they're formalizing what it means to be a Stand-In Force and what new gear will enable them.
A decision to cancel the technically challenged ASW mission package raised the per-unit cost overall for the mission modules program, resulting in a Nunn-McCurdy breach the Navy reported to Congress May 13.
The Navy says forcing surface ships or attack submarines to haul around nuclear-tipped missiles would be feasible, but would be a burden in a time with many more pressing missions and no extra money to spare on lesser priorities.
The Marine Corps’ first unit designed specifically to carry out new concepts of operations has already conducted its first exercise in the Philippines and is preparing to start experimentation and training later this year.
The commandant wants a Concept for 21st Century Amphibious Operations by the end of the year, after earlier Force Design 2030 modernization efforts have focused on stand-in forces operating as smaller units on smaller vessels.
The Marine of 2030 will be born into the age of the Internet of Things and raised with drones and virtual reality goggles at home — making the commandant comfortable they’ll be able to take on additional tasks and manage a battlefield swirling with information.