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Welcome Big Tuna! The new commander takes command of the Office

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Office of Naval Research (ONR) Global, the international arm of ONR, welcomed new leadership today, as Captain Andy “Big Tuna” Berner was sworn in as the new commander of ONR Global in a ceremony at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland. Berner replaced Captain Matthew Farr.

Credit: (US Navy photo by Chief Petty Officer Patrick Gordon)

Office of Naval Research (ONR) Global, the international arm of ONR, welcomed new leadership today, as Captain Andy “Big Tuna” Berner was sworn in as the new commander of ONR Global in a ceremony at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland. Berner replaced Captain Matthew Farr.

Rear Admiral Kurt Rothenhaus, Chief of Naval Research, served as chairman of the change of command ceremony, as well as award presenter.

“Learning from our partners and allies around the world is critical to our mission of innovating for the Sailors and Marines we are privileged to serve,” said Rothenhaus. “Thanks to a partnership initiated by ONR Global, our Seafarers and Marines have access to the latest in naval research and development from around the world.”

“The last two and a half years under Captain Farr’s stewardship have been nothing short of extraordinary,” he continued. “He’s leading the charge to expand partner experiments and start new collaborations.”

ONR Global’s mission is to strengthen the Department of the Navy’s partnerships with strategic allies around the world. The origins of the command begin 80 years ago in London, England, its current headquarters. Through educational outreach, research sponsorship, and collaboration with allied fleet/force command, ONR Global meets the current and future needs of Seafarers and Marines by developing, sponsoring, and discovering innovation at home and abroad.

ONR Global spans five continents with its headquarters in London and offices in six other naval bases — Singapore; Tokyo, Japan; Santiago, Chile; Prague, Czech Republic; São Paulo, Brazil; and Melbourne, Australia. Executive officers and other parts of command reside within ONR headquarters in Arlington, Virginia.

While serving as head of naval research from 2020-2023, Rear Admiral (retired) Lorin Selby worked with Berner and Farr, and was guest speaker at the ONR Global command changeover ceremony today.

“In recent years, I have seen firsthand the impact ONR Global has within the Department of the Navy,” said Selby. “We partner with our global allies to drive naval innovation forward, discover new technologies, and enhance combat capabilities.”

“Because of the leadership of Captain Farr, and now Captain Berner, we work with the best minds in the world to keep our Sailors and Marines a technological advantage over our adversaries, and to find solutions to the most difficult challenges they face. above, above, and under water.”

Berner is in familiar territory as ONR Global’s new commander. He has served as the commanding executive officer since May 2021 and said he looks forward to carrying on his esteemed legacy.

“I want to thank Captain Farr for his outstanding leadership over the last two years,” said Berner. “ONR Global is recognized as a world leader not only in naval research but in enhancing capabilities that impact us all, and I look forward to advancing that important mission.”

Prior to joining ONR Global, Berner was commander of the Naval Information Warfare Systems Command Room Field Activities, where he headed the Naval Element of the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), served as co-chair of the NRO Naval Coordination Group and received the NRO Gold Medal.

He graduated in 1996 from the US Naval Academy, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in systems engineering and a minor in Spanish, and was a member of the Pikers rowing crew. Berner also holds a Master of Science degree in operations research and defense systems and technology. He is VS-8 space operations officer and a member of the information warfare community.

Berner succeeded Farr, who had a memorable tenure as commander of ONR Global. Farr oversees Global-X Challenge, an initiative that fosters multi-disciplinary science and technology partnerships on naval-relevant topics and has awarded more than $2 million in prizes to six international winners to date.

Farr also helped launch the London Technology Bridge, a collaboration between the US Navy and Royal Navy to sponsor dialogue, co-investment and development cooperation between the two navies.

“It is an honor to serve the Navy, Marine Corps, and the nation as a global ONR leader,” said Farr. “I know the command will continue to explore and discover new capabilities for our Sailors and Marines, and I look forward to following their always great work.”

Farr left ONR Global to become military director of Webster Outfield Field in Maryland, part of the Naval Air Warfare Central Aircraft Division.


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