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


Funding For Low-Yield Nukes Could be Sticking Point in Budget Bill Debate

Funding For Low-Yield Nukes Could be Sticking Point in Budget Bill Debate

An unarmed Trident II D5 missile launches from the Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine USS Nebraska (SSBN-739) off the coast of California. US Navy Photo

WASHINGTON, D.C. – House Armed Services Committee members on both sides of the aisle have different defense spending priorities but there’s not much daylight between Republicans and Democrats on the final topline spending number. Read More

Navy Flyers Training With Marine V-22s Ahead of COD Transition

Navy Flyers Training With Marine V-22s Ahead of COD Transition

A Marine Corps. MV-22B Osprey flown by Navy pilots takes off from the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) on April 30, 2019. Navy Photo.

The Navy is a year away from receiving its first deployable CMV-22 Osprey, the carrier onboard delivery aircraft of the future, but pilots, aircrewmen and maintainers are already getting familiar with operating tiltrotor aircraft on aircraft carriers.

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Sikorsky Awarded $542 Million for 6 Presidential Helos

Sikorsky Awarded $542 Million for 6 Presidential Helos

A Sikorsky VH-92A lands at the White House during a test on September 22, 2018. The VH-92A will become the new presidential transport helicopter, replacing an aging fleet of VH-3D and VH-60N helicopters. Naval Air Systems Command photo.

This post has been updated with an additional statement from the Marine Corps.

Lockheed Martin subsidiary Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. was awarded a $542 million to build six VH-92A Presidential Helicopters to mark the start of low-rate initial production, the Navy announced Monday. Read More

U.S. 2nd Fleet Kicks Off BALTOPS 2019

U.S. 2nd Fleet Kicks Off BALTOPS 2019

Vice Adm. Andrew Lewis, commander of U.S. 2nd Fleet, speaks to Sailors on the bridge aboard the guided-missile cruiser USS Normandy (CG-60) on Sept. 10, 2018. US Navy PhotoBA

THE PENTAGON – A massive U.S.-led NATO and European partner exercise is kicking-off near Russia in the Baltic Sea and led by the Norfolk, Va.-based U.S. 2nd Fleet.

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Nimitz and Ford Carriers Need Upgrades to Deploy With F-35Cs

Nimitz and Ford Carriers Need Upgrades to Deploy With F-35Cs

An F-35C Lightning II assigned to Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 101 is positioned on the bow catapults of the Nimitz-Class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) March 17, 2018, in the Atlantic Ocean. US Navy photo

This post has been updated with additional information from the Navy. The service has one aircraft carrier able to deploy with F-35C Lighting II Joint Strike Fighters, USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72).

Currently, the Navy only has one aircraft carrier — either Ford-class or Nimitz-class — that can support the service’s most advanced fighters for a full deployment, service officials told USNI News on Thursday. Read More

Lawmakers Want Navy to Take New Look at Destroyer Hybrid Electric Drive

Lawmakers Want Navy to Take New Look at Destroyer Hybrid Electric Drive

The guided-missile destroyer USS Truxtun (DDG 103) departs Naval Station Norfolk for a scheduled deployment. US Navy Photo

Pushing the military to become more energy efficient is an emerging theme of the House Armed Services Committee Fiscal Year 2020 National Defense Authorization Act. For the Navy, this means taking a second look at installing hybrid electric drive systems on Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers.

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Support For Low-Yield Nukes On Subs Splits Along Party Lines

Support For Low-Yield Nukes On Subs Splits Along Party Lines

A deck view, looking toward the bow, of the nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine OHIO (SSGN-726) with its missile tubes opened during precommissioning activities.

The question of whether to authorize the Navy to deploy ballistic submarines with low-yield nuclear warheads caused a House Armed Services subcommittee to approve its Fiscal Year 2020 National Defense Authorize Act mark on a rare party-line vote.

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Congress Unhappy With Ford-Class Inability to Deploy With F-35 Fighters

Congress Unhappy With Ford-Class Inability to Deploy With F-35 Fighters

The island of the aircraft carrier John F. Kennedy (CVN-79) is landed onto the flight deck during a mast-stepping ceremony at Huntington Ingalls Industries Newport News Shipbuilding in Newport News, Va., May 29, 2019. Navy photo.

CAPITOL HILL – The Navy’s newest aircraft carriers are being delivered without the capability to deploy with the service’s most advanced fighters, a situation lawmakers call unacceptable. Read More