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


Navy Offering Delayed Retirements, Separations to Help Maintain Readiness During Pandemic

Navy Offering Delayed Retirements, Separations to Help Maintain Readiness During Pandemic

Cmdr. Samuel Young and his flagmen conduct a passing of the flag ceremony for his retirement. Cmdr. Young is retiring as the Future Operations Officer for Carrier Strike Group Two. Navy Photo

To maintain fleet readiness during COVID-19-related training and movement restrictions, Navy officials are allowing officers and enlisted sailors to delay pending retirements and separations for up to a year. At the same time, the service is also welcoming back to active duty recently departed personnel.

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China Calls USS McCampbell Taiwan Strait Transit 'Provocative

China Calls USS McCampbell Taiwan Strait Transit ‘Provocative

U.S. Navy Boatswain’s Mate 3rd Class Logan Brown, from Joplin, Montana, scans the horizon from the bridge wing aboard the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS McCampbell (DDG-85) while underway conducting operations in the Taiwan Strait. Navy photo

Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS McCampbell (DDG-85) transited the Taiwan Strait earlier this week, eliciting a terse response from Chinese military officials.

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USNS Mercy Arrives in Los Angeles With More Hospital Beds, Doctors

USNS Mercy Arrives in Los Angeles With More Hospital Beds, Doctors


The Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS Mercy (T-AH-20) arrives in Los Angeles, Calif., March 27, 2020, in support of the nation’s COVID-19 response efforts, and will serve as a referral hospital for non-COVID-19 patients currently admitted to shore-based hospitals. Navy photo

Hospital ship USNS Mercy (T-AH-19) arrived in Los Angeles on Friday, bringing additional beds and medical professionals to help alleviate the stress on the local healthcare system.

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Navy Officials Evaluating How COVID-19 Will Affect ROTC Summer Cruises

Navy Officials Evaluating How COVID-19 Will Affect ROTC Summer Cruises

George Washington University Naval ROTC midshipmen perform a squad basic drill as part of the Mardi Gras Drill Meet hosted by the Tulane University Naval ROTC on the Tulane campus, Feb. 21. Navy photo

With the Pentagon restricting force movements to stop the spread of COVID-19, Navy training officials are trying to figure out how to get roughly 4,000 midshipmen from college Reserve Officer Training Corps programs out to commands for summer cruises.

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GAO Report Finds Navy Planning for Sustaining The Fleet Is Lacking

GAO Report Finds Navy Planning for Sustaining The Fleet Is Lacking

Sailors watch as the portside anchor of the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN-77) is lowered into a dry dock for maintenance on March 15, 2019. US Navy Photo

For three years in a row, the Navy has requested $40 billion annually to build, operate and sustain its ships, but the service has put insufficient thought into how early decisions could reduce those sustainment costs in the future, according to a Government Accountability Office new report.

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Navy Adapts Medical Care Around COVID-19 Threat

Navy Adapts Medical Care Around COVID-19 Threat

Hospitalman Thomas Lacey, right, and Hospitalman Mohammad Yassine, left, screen a patient in their car at Naval Medical Center Portsmouth’s (NMCP) COVID-19 drive thru screening and triage site outside of NMCP’s Emergency Department on March 20, 2020. US Navy Photo

The Navy is trusting lower-level unit commanders to develop plans that both balance mission readiness with reducing the risk of exposing personnel to COVID-19 .

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USS Roosevelt Leaves for Homeport Shift to Spain

USS Roosevelt Leaves for Homeport Shift to Spain

Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Roosevelt (DDG-80) departs Naval Station Mayport to commence its homeport shift to Naval Station Rota, Spain, March 21, 2020. Roosevelt will replace USS Carney (DDG-64) as one of four forward-deployed naval forces (FDNF) in Spain. Navy photo

Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Roosevelt (DDG-80) started a planned homeport shift to Rota, Spain from Mayport, Fla., over the weekend, U.S. 2nd Fleet announced.

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Navy Eases Grooming Standards Over Coronavirus Concerns; Selection Boards, Graduation Ceremonies Suspended Indefinitely

Navy Eases Grooming Standards Over Coronavirus Concerns; Selection Boards, Graduation Ceremonies Suspended Indefinitely

Ship’s Serviceman Seaman Nicholas Hall, left, from West Helena, Ark., cuts the hair of Gas Turbine System Technician (Mechanical) Fireman Shawn Nelson, from St. Joseph, Mich., in the barbershop aboard the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN-74) in the Red Sea on April 18, 2019. US Navy Photo

The Navy is relaxing grooming standards as the service tries to prevent further spread of the COVID-19 virus.
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White House Considers Defense Production Act Authorities

White House Considers Defense Production Act Authorities

President Donald J. Trump, joined members of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, listens to a reporter’s question during a coronavirus update briefing on March 16, 2020. White House Photo

President Donald Trump said Wednesday he will use the Defense Production Act, referring to authorities granted to the executive branch in 1950, to ensure U.S. industries have the support needed to produce critical equipment to help stem the spread of COVID-19.

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