Capt. Andy "Big Tuna" Berner
Executive Officer, Office of Naval Research Global
Capt. Andy “Big Tuna” Berner, a native of Chatham, New Jersey, graduated with merit from the United States Naval Academy in 1996 with a Bachelor of Science in systems engineering and a minor in Spanish. He holds a Master of Science in operations research from the Naval Postgraduate School and a Master of Science in defense technology and systems from the National University of Singapore (Temasek Defense Systems Institute).
Berner’s early operational assignments include HSL-43, where he flew the SH-60B and deployed on USS Ingraham (FFG 61) and USS Rodney M. Davis (FFG 60). He also served as quality assurance officer. As “miniboss” aboard USS WASP (LHD 1), he completed numerous underway exercises and a surge deployment in support of operations in Lebanon. Berner completed his department head tour with HSL-51 in Atsugi, Japan, as Detachment THREE officer in charge aboard USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63) and USS George Washington (CVN 73). He also served as maintenance officer when HSL-51 earned the 2009 “Golden Wrench” and “Battle E” awards.
Berner transitioned to the MH-60R and served as the commanding officer of HSM-73. He led the “BattleCats” throughout a 10-month combat deployment in support of Operation Inherent Resolve with 12 aircraft and 310 personnel on five different ships, including the USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70). During his tenure, HSM-73 earned the 2014 and 2015 Chief of Naval Operations Aviation Safety Awards, the 2014 Captain Arnold J. Isbell Award for Undersea Warfare and Surface Warfare Excellence, and the 2015 “Battle E” award.
Berner’s shore tours include duty as flag aide to Commander, Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR); an assignment to The Joint Staff as Operations Officer within the Joint Operations Directorate, United States Central Command Division; and executive assistant to the Deputy Director for Regional Operations (J-33). Berner also served on the OPNAV staff as an operations analyst and the undersea warfare branch head for the Director, Assessments Division (N81).
Most recently, Berner served as the commanding officer of the Naval Information Warfare Systems Command Space Field Activity, where he led the Navy Element at the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) and served as co-chair of the Naval NRO Coordination Group. He is a VS-8 space operations officer and a member of the information warfare community.
Berner has several personal decorations, but he is most proud of his unit awards reflecting credit on the successful teams he has rowed with and the many skilled professionals he has been privileged to work alongside. Berner reported as executive officer, ONR Global, in May 2021.
Updated: July 2021