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


USS McCampbell FONOP Past Paracel Islands Irks China

USS McCampbell FONOP Past Paracel Islands Irks China

USS McCampbell (DDG 85) departs U.S. Fleet Activities (FLEACT) Yokosuka and transits into Tokyo Bay, May 14, 2018. Navy photo.

Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS McCampbell (DDG-85) steamed past the Paracel Islands in the South China Sea on Monday in a freedom of navigation operation that drew the ire of Chinese government officials.

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USS Fort McHenry Visits Romania While Russian Frigate Watches

USS Fort McHenry Visits Romania While Russian Frigate Watches

Whidbey Island-class amphibious dock landing ship USS Fort McHenry (LSD 43) pulls into Constanta, Romania, for a scheduled port visit, Jan. 7, 2019. Navy photo.

Amphibious warship USS Fort McHenry (LSD-43) pulled into Romanian port Constanta on Monday, in the first Black Sea visit by a U.S. Navy ship since Russian forces seized a trio of Ukrainian naval vessels in the region.

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First Helicopter Cross-Decking Between U.S. and Indian Navies

First Helicopter Cross-Decking Between U.S. and Indian Navies

An Indian Navy UH-3H helicopter is secured to the deck of USS Anchorage (LPD-23) in the foreground during a cooperative deployment in the Indian Ocean with Indian Navy guided-missile destroyer INS Rajput (D51) in the background.

An Indian Navy UH-3H helicopter touched down on San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock USS Anchorage (LPD-23) in late December, marking the first such cross-decking between the two navies and the realization of an agreement made more than a year ago.

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U.S. Airstrike Kills Terrorist Behind USS Cole Bombing

U.S. Airstrike Kills Terrorist Behind USS Cole Bombing

MV Blue Marlin transporting USS Cole from Yemen following the 2000 attack on the ship. US Navy Photo

A U.S. military airstrike on New Year’s Day reportedly killed Jamal al-Badawi, who helped orchestrate the October 2000 bombing of the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Cole (DDG-67), officials said.

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Navy Launches New Electronic Enlisted Advancement Worksheets

Navy Launches New Electronic Enlisted Advancement Worksheets

Sailors aboard the U.S. 7th Fleet flagship USS Blue Ridge (LCC-19), in Yokosuka, Japan, participate in the Navy-wide E-6 advancement examination in September 2018. U.S. Navy photo

Roughly a third of active duty sailors will be part of a pilot program testing the Navy’s new system intended to cut down on paperwork and errors associated with the Enlisted Advancement Worksheets (EAW). Read More

Ensign Keeps New Year's Day Rhyming Deck Log Tradition Alive

Ensign Keeps New Year’s Day Rhyming Deck Log Tradition Alive

EAST CHINA SEA (Dec. 31, 2018) Ens. Lauren Larar writes the New Years deck log entry while underway in the East China Sea aboard the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS McCampbell (DDG 85). U.S. Navy photo.

According to almost a century of Navy tradition, the year’s first deck log entry on a U.S. warship must be written in rhyme. The tradition is a tricky one since the entry must still include all the required information about a ship’s location, propulsion and operations. Read More

Special Arrangement Pays Active-Duty Coast Guard in December Despite Shutdown

Special Arrangement Pays Active-Duty Coast Guard in December Despite Shutdown

A Coast Guard Cutter Sherman crewmember lowers the national ensign during a ceremony honoring Sherman’s final colors, held the evening before the Sherman was decommissioned in Honolulu, Mar. 28, 2018. Coast Guard photo.

While the Department of Homeland Security lacks funding to operate in Fiscal Year 2019, active duty Coast Guard personnel will receive their regularly-scheduled pay due on Dec. 31.

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USS Chung-Hoon Seizes 5.5 Tons of Drugs in Gulf of Aden

USS Chung-Hoon Seizes 5.5 Tons of Drugs in Gulf of Aden

Members of the guided-missile destroyer USS Chung-Hoon’s (DDG-93) visit, board, search and seizure team (VBSS) board a stateless dhow that was transporting 11,000 pounds of illicit drugs in the international waters of the Gulf of Aden, Dec. 27, 2018.

More than 5.5 tons of hashish were seized by the crew of Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Chung-Hoon (DDG-93) while patrolling the Gulf of Aden. Read More

Top Stories 2018: International Naval Developments

Top Stories 2018: International Naval Developments

HMS Queen Elizabeth has arrived back in Portsmouth following successful First of Class rotary wing trials in the Atlantic. Royal Navy Photo.

USNI News polled its writers, naval analysts and service members on what they consider the most important military and maritime stories in 2018. This story is part of a series; please also see U.S. Coast GuardU.S. Navy Operations and U.S. Marine Operations.

Freedom of navigation operations, increased submarine activity, aggressive flight operations and large-scale exercises were among the many international naval operations and acquisition stories of 2018, but capital ships run by the navies of China, France and the United Kingdom captured the biggest attention. Read More