Ben Werner

About Ben Werner

Ben Werner is a staff writer for USNI News. He has worked as a freelance writer in Busan, South Korea, and as a staff writer covering education and publicly traded companies for The Virginian-Pilot in Norfolk, Va., The State newspaper in Columbia, S.C., Savannah Morning News in Savannah, Ga., and Baltimore Business Journal. He earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Maryland and a master’s degree from New York University.

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Recent Posts By the Author


Pentagon Officials Call Out Iranian-Backed Weapons Smugglers

Pentagon Officials Call Out Iranian-Backed Weapons Smugglers

USS Normandy (CG 60), in accordance with international law, boarded a stateless dhow in the Arabian Sea and interdicted an illicit shipment of advanced weapons and weapon components intended for the Houthis in Yemen, Feb. 9, 2020. US Navy Photo

THE PENTAGON — Recognizing Iranian-backed weapons smugglers have the advantage evading U.S. patrols, and the Pentagon is taking to publicly calling out Tehran for helping fuel the ongoing conflict in Yemen.

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Pentagon Says Shipbuilding Money Routed to Border Barrier Was Early to Need, Shipyard Disagrees

Pentagon Says Shipbuilding Money Routed to Border Barrier Was Early to Need, Shipyard Disagrees

Amphibious assault ship Tripoli (LHA-7) sails the Gulf of Mexico during builder’s trials held in July 2019. HII Photo

This post was updated to include a statement from a Navy spokesperson.

THE PENTAGON — The Defense Department justified redirecting shipbuilding funds to pay for border barrier construction by saying the yards don’t currently have the capacity to spend the money, a Pentagon spokesman told reporters. At least one shipbuilder disagrees. Read More

Acting SECNAV Kicks off Navy ‘Night Court’ Cost Savings Drive with Aim to Save $40 Billion

Acting SECNAV Kicks off Navy ‘Night Court’ Cost Savings Drive with Aim to Save $40 Billion

Under Secretary of the Navy Thomas Modly speaks to Navy, Marine, and Coast Guard officers during the National Naval Officers Association (NNOA) symposium on Aug. 7, 2019. US Navy Photo

The Navy is kicking off an effort to repurpose $40 billion in spending over the next five years as it faces pressures to grow the fleet, continue to boost readiness and build a new fleet of ballistic missile submarines amid flat budgets.

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Report: U.S. Sealift Lacks Personnel, Hulls, National Strategy

Report: U.S. Sealift Lacks Personnel, Hulls, National Strategy

A UH-60 Black Hawk is raised from Military Sealift Command’s voyage-charter, general-purpose, heavy-lift vessel MV Ocean Grand at the pier in Sattahip, Thailand, Aug. 17, during an offload of equipment that will be used during exercise Hanuman Guardian 2018. 

An aging and inactive government fleet dependent on a shrinking pool of merchant mariners to get underway is how a new report describes the U.S. military’s strategic sealift capability.

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Huntington Ingalls Industries Planning for Increased U.S. Navy Demand for UUVs

Huntington Ingalls Industries Planning for Increased U.S. Navy Demand for UUVs

U.S. Navy Chief Aerographer’s Mate Travis Lawson and U.S. Navy Mineman 2nd Class Mathew Williams, both assigned to the Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit (EODMU) 5 Unmanned Systems (UMS) Platoon 141, lower an Mark 18 MOD 1 Swordfish unmanned underwater vehicle (UUV) into the water as members of the Indonesian Navy’s Komando Pasukan Katak (KOPASKA) 2nd Fleet Surabaya Unit observe during a UUV familiarization drill as part of a mine countermeasures knowledge exchange for Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) Indonesia 2019. US Navy photo.

Huntington Ingalls Industries is restructuring its shipbuilding businesses to tap into the Navy’s growing demand for unmanned undersea vehicles. Read More

VIDEO: USS Normandy Seizes Cache Of Iranian-Made Weapons in Arabian Sea

VIDEO: USS Normandy Seizes Cache Of Iranian-Made Weapons in Arabian Sea

USS Normandy (CG 60), in accordance with international law, boarded a stateless dhow in the Arabian Sea and interdicted an illicit shipment of advanced weapons and weapon components intended for the Houthis in Yemen, Feb. 9, 2020. US Navy Photo

Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Normandy (CG-60) seized a cache of Iranian-made anti-tank missiles and other munitions aboard a dhow in the Arabian Sea over the weekend.

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West Coast Ship Maintainer Takes Over Huntington Ingalls San Diego Shipyard

West Coast Ship Maintainer Takes Over Huntington Ingalls San Diego Shipyard

USS Essex (LHD-2) transits San Diego harbor on its way to participate in the Navy’s first full-length Amphibious Readiness Group (ARG) Surface Warfare Advanced Tactical Training (SWATT) exercise on March 5, 2018. US Navy Photo

Titan Acquisition Holdings is taking over the Huntington Ingalls Industries-owned San Diego Shipyard, company officials announced Wednesday. Read More

Coast Guard Budget Request Funds Two of Three Major Cutter Programs

Coast Guard Budget Request Funds Two of Three Major Cutter Programs

The Coast Guard Cutter Nathan Bruckenthal berthed before its commissioning ceremony in Alexandria, Virginia, July 25, 2018. The Bruckenthal was the 28th Sentinel-class Fast Response Cutter to be commissioned.
U.S. Coast Guard photo

The Coast Guard’s Fiscal Year 2021 budget request calls for fully funding the next phases of the service’s two most significant cutter programs but leaves a third class on hold for the time being.

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Judge Orders Navy to Release USS Thresher Disaster Documents

Judge Orders Navy to Release USS Thresher Disaster Documents

Launch of USS Thresher in 1960. Naval Institute Archives

WASHINGTON, D.C. – A U.S. District Court judge ordered the Navy to start releasing unclassified documents related to the sinking of USS Thresher (SSN-593), 57 years after 129 officers, sailors and shipbuilders died in the nation’s worst nuclear submarine disaster.

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