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 Bataan, Marines 26th MEU Heading to Middle East Amid Tensions with Iran

USS Bataan, Marines 26th MEU Heading to Middle East Amid Tensions with Iran


Cpl. Chelsie Villela, a member of the Female Engagement Team with the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit, participates in a gun shoot aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Bataan (LHD 5) Navy photo

Amid rising tensions with Iran, the Navy is scrapping an exercise with Morocco as it redirects amphibious assault ship USS Bataan (LHD-5) and embarked 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit to the Middle East, a defense official confirmed to USNI News on Friday.

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Navy's First 2020 Deck Log Records Extended Lincoln Deployment in Verse

Navy’s First 2020 Deck Log Records Extended Lincoln Deployment in Verse

Quartermaster 3rd Class Ryan Gouger, from Newberg, Ore., writes the first 2020 deck log of the year while standing Quartermaster of the Watch on the bridge of the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72). Navy photo


Considering the length of time USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) spent away from home in 2019, perhaps it’s fitting the crew of the carrier wrote the fleet’s celebrated first deck log entry of the year.

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Marine Corps Crisis Response Force Will Remain In Baghdad

Marine Corps Crisis Response Force Will Remain In Baghdad

U.S. Army Paratroopers assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, deploy from Pope Army Airfield, North Carolina, Jan. 1, 2020. U.S. Army photo

THE PENTAGON – After sending Marines from Kuwait to beef up security at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, Secretary of Defense Mark Esper said a battalion of Army paratroopers will now serve as the regional quick-response force, a role previously filled by the Marines. Read More

VIDEO: Pentagon Sends More Marines, Army Battalion to Iraq

VIDEO: Pentagon Sends More Marines, Army Battalion to Iraq

U.S. Marines assigned to Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force-Crisis Response-Central Command (SPMAFTF-CR-CC) 19.2, prepare to deploy from Kuwait in support of a crisis response mission, Dec. 31, 2019. Marine Corps photo

The Pentagon is sending more forces, including roughly 100 Marines, to provide additional security to the U.S. embassy in Baghdad after a mob stormed the compound’s main entrance on Tuesday. Read More

Top Stories 2019: U.S. Coast Guard

Top Stories 2019: U.S. Coast Guard

U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Munro (WMSL-755) crew members inspect a self-propelled semi-submersible on June 19, 2019, in international waters of the Eastern Pacific Ocean. US Coast Guard Photo

This post is part of a series of review stories looking back at the top naval news from 2019.

For the U.S. Coast Guard, 2019 was marked by big moves in the service’s two most significant programs – the start of the Polar Security Cutter and a delay of the Offshore Patrol Cutter program.

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USCGC Bertholf Returns With $312 Million Worth Of Seized Cocaine

USCGC Bertholf Returns With $312 Million Worth Of Seized Cocaine

Coast Guard Cutter Bertholf (WMSL 750) boarding teams interdict a low-profile go-fast vessel while patrolling international waters of the Eastern Pacific Ocean, seizing more than 3,100 pounds of suspected cocaine, Nov. 4, 2019. Purpose-built vessels like this are designed to smuggle large amounts of contraband while evading detection by law enforcement personnel due to their camouflaged appearance and low profile. U.S. Coast Guard photo

U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Bertholf (WMSL-750) finished 2019 by offloading in San Diego more than 18,000 pounds of cocaine, worth an estimated $312 million. Read More

Navy Buys Three MQ-4 Tritons, Pays For Growler Jamming Upgrade Development

Navy Buys Three MQ-4 Tritons, Pays For Growler Jamming Upgrade Development

Two Northrop Grumman MQ-4C Triton unmanned aerial vehicles sit on the tarmac at a Northrop Grumman test facility in Palmdale, Calif., in May 2013. US Navy photo.

The Navy awarded Northrop Grumman a pair of contracts worth nearly $287 million to buy unmanned surveillance aircraft and to develop upgraded tactical jamming capabilities on manned aircraft. Read More

Top Stories 2019: International Operations

Top Stories 2019: International Operations

Undated photo of Russian AGI Viktor Leonov.

This post is part of a series of review stories looking back at the top naval news from 2019.

The U.S. Navy pushed its interoperability with foreign allies and partner nations in 2019 to counter increased naval activity by Russia and China.

China and Russia, though, did not sit still during the year. Each nation’s navy took great strides in attempting to bolster their fleets. The work to increase capabilities, though, was not smooth, as Russia’s and China’s military planners faced technical challenges and developed new strategies. Read More