Another Guilty Plea in Navy Corruption Ring

SAN DIEGO (CN) – A retired Navy lieutenant commander pleaded guilty to federal charges of overcharging the Navy for port services for U.S. ships and using some of the money “to treat Navy officials to lavish dinners, cocktails and entertainment,” federal prosecutors said.

Edmond A. Aruffo, 45, who retired in 2007, is the seventh defendant charged, and the fourth to plead guilty, in what the U.S. Attorney’s Office called an “expanding corruption scandal” involving defense contract Glenn Defense Marine Asia (GDMA).

Aruffo, who became manager of GDMA’s Japan operations in 2009, pleaded guilty to conspiring to defraud the United States. He faces up to 5 years in prison at his Oct. 3 sentencing.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office said in a statement that Aruffo, of San Diego, was “part of a massive fraud and bribery scheme that cost the U.S. Navy more than $20 million.”

Continue reading “Another Guilty Plea in Navy Corruption Ring”

Ukraine’s Navy refuses orders from Kiev, defects to Russia


Saturday, 01 March 2014

Ukraine’s Navy flagship, the Hetman Sahaidachny frigate, has reportedly refused to follow orders from Kiev, and come over to Russia’s side and is returning home after taking part in NATO operation in the Gulf of Aden flying the Russian naval flag.

There has been conflicting information on where exactly the vessel is, but a Russian senator has confirmed to Izvestia daily that the frigate defected to the Russian side.

“Ukraine’s Navy flagship the Hetman Sahaidachny has come over to our side today. It has hung out the St Andrew’s flag,” Senator Igor Morozov, a member of the committee on the international affairs, told Russia’s Izvestia. Continue reading “Ukraine’s Navy refuses orders from Kiev, defects to Russia”

US Army Studying Replacing Thousands of Grunts with Robots

Jan. 20, 2014 – 04:21PM   |  By PAUL McLEARY
A US soldier drops an unmanned ground vehicle over a wall during an exercise at White Sands Missile Range, N.M., in 2010.

A US soldier drops an unmanned ground vehicle over a wall during an exercise at White Sands Missile Range, N.M., in 2010. (US Army)

WASHINGTON — The postwar, sequestration-era US Army is working on becoming “a smaller, more lethal, deployable and agile force,” according to Gen. Robert Cone, head of the service’s Training and Doctrine Command.

But just how much smaller might come as a surprise.

During remarks at the Army Aviation Symposium in Arlington, Va., on Jan. 15, Cone quietly dropped a bomb. The Army, he said, is considering the feasibility of shrinking the size of the brigade combat team from about 4,000 soldiers to 3,000 over the coming years, and replacing the lost soldiers with robots and unmanned platforms. Continue reading “US Army Studying Replacing Thousands of Grunts with Robots”

Navy’s second-in-command investigated in corruption scandal forced to resign

Published time: January 15, 2014 22:25                                                                            

Robert Martinage (Navy)Robert Martinage (Navy)

The US Navy has forced the second-highest ranked civilian official to resign as a result of a growing investigation into an alleged contracting conspiracy, which revealed sexual misconduct with a subordinate officer.

Robert C. Martinage, who was acting undersecretary of the Navy,  was asked to step down by Navy Secretary Ray Mabus “following  a loss of confidence in [his] abilities to effectively perform  his duties.” The Navy announced the news Wednesday in an  official statement. Continue reading “Navy’s second-in-command investigated in corruption scandal forced to resign”

Another US Navy officer suspended in widening corruption probe

Another US Navy officer suspended in widening corruption probe

The US Navy said on Thursday it has suspended the deputy commander of a unit responsible for port and harbor security as a result of allegations in connection with a widening corruption probe involving Singapore-based Glenn Defense Marine (Asia).

Continue reading “Another US Navy officer suspended in widening corruption probe”

Feds: Navy Secrets Bought With Hookers, Gaga Tix

SAN DIEGO November 4, 2013 (AP)
By JULIE WATSON Associated Press

Nicknamed “Fat Leonard,” the gregarious Malaysian businessman is well known by U.S. Navy commanders in the Pacific, where his company has serviced warships for 25 years.

But prosecutors in court papers say Leonard Francis worked his connections to obtain military secrets by lining up hookers, Lady Gaga tickets and other bribes for a U.S. commander, in a scandal reverberating across the Navy.

The accusations unfolding in a federal court case in San Diego signal serious national security breaches and corruption, setting off high-level meetings at the Pentagon with the threat that more people, including those of higher ranks, could be swept up as the investigation continues. A hearing Nov. 8 could set a trial date.

Navy commander Michael Vannak Khem Misiewicz passed confidential information on ship routes to Francis’ Singapore-based company, Glenn Defense Marine Asia Ltd., or GDMA, according to the court documents.

Misiewicz and Francis moved Navy vessels like chess pieces, diverting aircraft carriers, destroyers and other ships to Asian ports with lax oversight where Francis could inflate costs, according to the criminal complaint. The firm overcharged the Navy millions for fuel, food and other services it provided, and invented tariffs by using phony port authorities, the prosecution alleges.

“It’s pretty big when you have one person who can dictate where ships are going to go and being influenced by a contractor,” said retired Rear Adm. Terry McKnight, who has no direct knowledge of the investigation. “A lot of people are saying how could this happen?”

So far, authorities have arrested Misiewicz; Francis; his company’s general manager of global government contracts, Alex Wisidagama; and a senior Navy investigator, John Beliveau II. Beliveau is accused of keeping Francis abreast of the probe and advising him on how to respond in exchange for luxury trips, prostitution services, etc. All have pleaded not guilty.  Defense attorneys declined to comment.

Senior Navy officials said they believe that more people would likely be implicated in the scheme, but it’s too early to tell how many or how high this will go in the naval ranks. Other unnamed Navy personnel are mentioned in court documents as getting gifts from Francis.

Francis is legendary in military circles in that part of the world, said McKnight, who does not know him personally. He is known for extravagance. His 70,000-foot bungalow in an upscale Singapore neighborhood drew spectators yearly since 2007 to its lavish, outdoor Christmas decorations, which The Straits Times described as rivaling the island city-state’s main shopping street with replicas of snowmen, lighted towering trees, and Chinese and Japanese ornaments.

“He’s a larger-than-life figure,” McKnight said. “You talk to any captain on any ship that has sailed in the Pacific and they will know exactly who he is.”

Navy spokesman, Rear Adm. John Kirby said Navy Criminal Investigative Service agents initiated their probe in 2010, but declined to comment further, citing the ongoing investigation.

That same year, Misiewicz caught the world’s attention when he made an emotional return as a U.S. Naval commander to his native Cambodia, where he had been rescued as a child from the violence of the Khmer Rouge and adopted by an American woman. His homecoming was widely covered by international media.

Meanwhile, Francis was recruiting him for his scheme, according to court documents.

Misiewicz’s family went to a Lion King production in Tokyo with a company employee and was offered prostitution services. Within months, the Navy commander was providing Francis ship movement schedules for the USS George Washington Carrier Strike Group and other ships, according to the criminal complaint.

Shortly after that, the manager wrote to Francis: “We got him!!:),” according to court documents.

Misiewicz would refer to Francis as “Big Brother” or “Big Bro” in emails from a personal account, while Francis would call him “Little Brother” or “Little Bro,” according to the complaint.

The company bilked the Navy out of $10 million in just one year in Thailand alone, U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy said.

In December 2011, the two exchanged emails about the schedule of the USS Blue Ridge, investigators say. According to court documents, Francis wrote Misiewicz: “Bro, Slide a Bali visit in after Jakarta, and Dili Timor after Bali.”

The complaint alleges Misiewicz followed through on the demands: In October 2012, the USS George Washington was scheduled to visit Singapore and instead was redirected by the Navy to Port Klang, Malaysia, one of Francis’ preferred ports where his company submitted fake contractor bids.

After Francis offered Misiewicz five tickets to a Lady Gaga concert in Thailand in 2012, Francis wrote: “Don’t chicken out bro we need u with us on the front lines,” according to court documents.

The federal government has suspended its contracts with Francis.

The defendants face up to five years in prison if convicted of conspiracy to commit bribery.


Associated Press writers Lolita C. Baldor in Washington and Satish Cheney in Singapore contributed to this report.

Aircraft carrier sold for 1 cent


Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Here’s a penny for your thoughts: One red cent could’ve landed you the Navy’s first supercarrier, the decommissioned Forrestal.

The U.S. Navy sold the 1,067-foot behemoth to a Texas company, All Star Metals, to be dismantled, scrapped and recycled, Navy officials announced. It’s an inauspicious fate for a ship with a colorful — and tragic — history. It’s perhaps best known for a 1967 incident in which stray voltage triggered an accidental explosion that struck a plane on the flight deck whose cockpit was occupied by a young John McCain. A chain reaction of blasts and fires ultimately killed 134 men and injured more than 300.

But its rich past and nearly four decades of service are not enough to spare it. The Navy tried to donate the historic ship for use as a memorial or a museum, but no “viable applications” were received.

“It’s something that the Navy is caught between a rock and a hard place,” said Ken Killmeyer, historian for the USS Forrestal Association and a survivor of the 1967 incident. “They have to have these vessels no matter how big or small they are, and they use them as you would your car until they’re no longer financially viable. So, they decommission them.”

The company plans to tow the aircraft carrier from its current location at the Navy’s inactive ship facility in Philadelphia to its facility in Brownsville, Texas. All Star Metals anted up the token purchase price based on its anticipated cost of moving and dismantling the ship and the value of the scrap metal it will yield, according to a Navy press release.

Senior officer, NCIS agent are among those arrested in Navy bribery scandal

By  , Published: October 19

The U.S. Navy is being rocked by a bribery scandal that federal investigators say has reached high into the officer corps and exposed a massive overbilling scheme run by an Asian defense contractor that provided prostitutes and other kickbacks.

Among those arrested on corruption charges are a senior agent for the Naval Criminal Investigative Service and a Navy commander who escaped Cambodia’s “killing fields” as a child only to make a triumphant return to the country decades later as the skipper of a U.S. destroyer. The investigation has also ensnared a Navy captain who was relieved of his ship’s command this month in Japan.

The chief executive of the Singapore-based defense contractor, Glenn Defense Marine Asia, and another company official were arrested last month at a San Diego harborside hotel after federal investigators lured them to the United States by arranging a sham meeting with Navy officials, according to court records and people involved in the case.

The unfolding investigation is shaping up as the biggest fraud case in years for the Navy. Federal prosecutors allege that Glenn Defense Marine, which has serviced and supplied Navy ships and submarines at ports around the Pacific for a quarter-century, routinely overbilled for everything from tugboats to fuel to sewage disposal.

Investigators are still assessing the scope of the alleged fraud, but federal court records filed in San Diego cite a handful of episodes that alone exceeded $10 million. Since 2011, Glenn Defense Marine has been awarded Navy contracts worth more than $200 million. The company also services ships from several navies in Asia.

The U.S. military has never been immune from contracting scandals, but it is extremely rare for senior uniformed commanders to face corruption charges.

“Allegations of bribery and kickbacks involving naval officers, contracting personnel and NCIS agents are unheard of,” said retired Adm. Gary Roughead, a former chief of naval operations who is a distinguished visiting fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University.

Roughead recalled meeting the chief executive of Glenn Defense Marine, Leonard Glenn Francis, nearly a decade ago while serving as commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet. He said he was unfamiliar with details of the investigation, but he called the allegations “extremely serious, disconcerting and surprising.”

According to court papers filed by federal prosecutors in San Diego, Francis and others in his company targeted Navy personnel serving in Asia and plied them with prostitutes, cash, luxury hotel rooms, plane tickets and, on one occasion last year, tickets to a Lady Gaga concert in Thailand.

In exchange, Francis sought inside information on ship deployments and pressed at least one high-ranking commander to steer aircraft carriers and other vessels to ports where his firm could easily overcharge the Navy for pierside services, the court documents allege.

Francis’s defense attorney, Edward Patrick Swan Jr., declined to comment on the allegations but said he expects the government will file additional charges.

“I think this is just the opening,” he said.

Federal prosecutors in San Diego declined to answer specific questions. But Laura E. Duffy, the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of California, said the investigation was continuing.

“The allegations described in this complaint describe a bribery case with all the sexy elements of a TV drama,” Duffy said in an e-mailed statement. “But the significance of the case is that it involves huge sums of money, a wide range of players, a long period of time and a number of countries.”

‘Big Bro’ and ‘Little Bro’

In May 2010, according to court papers filed by federal investigators, Francis and an unnamed manager from his firm “began targeting” Cmdr. Michael Misiewicz, a graduate of the Naval Academy in Annapolis, “as someone who might be susceptible to providing favor . . . in return for things of value.”

Misiewicz was born Vannak Khem in Cambodia, but he was adopted as a 6-year-old by a U.S. Embassy worker. He moved to Illinois in 1973, just before Cambodia plunged into a bloody communist revolution.

In December 2010, as commander of the USS Mustin, Misiewicz returned to Cambodia for the first time in 37 years as the destroyer made a port visit in Sihanoukville. Although Misiewicz had lost his father and a sister in the killing fields — an estimated 1.7 million people died at the hands of the Khmer Rouge — other long-lost relatives boarded the ship for a tearful reunion.

About the same time, Misiewicz was forging a close relationship with Glenn Defense Marine, court papers allege. Shortly after the Cambodia visit, the commander took an influential job as deputy operations manager for the Navy’s 7th Fleet, overseeing all naval activities in the western Pacific and Indian oceans.

In March 2011, according to court documents, Francis hired four prostitutes to entertain Misiewicz and another unnamed Navy commander during a three-day visit to Singapore.

The trip was postponed because of a tsunami. But Glenn Defense Marine officials soon became more familiar with Misiewicz and e-mailed one another about how the commander “liked Japanese women.” They later provided tickets and female escorts for Misiewicz and four co-workers to attend the Lady Gaga concert in Thailand and paid for shore leave in Singapore and other cities, according to court records.

“Take care gents, thank you for the best leave (w/o kids that is) ever!” Misiewicz, a married father of four, wrote in an e-mail to Francis and another company official after a visit to Cambodia in June 2011, according to court documents.

In his e-mails, Misiewicz fondly called Francis “Big Bro” — the executive is 6-3, weighs 350 pounds and is known in Navy circles as “Fat Leonard,” the court papers say. Francis in turn called Misiewicz “Little Bro,” reflecting how the commander stood nearly a foot shorter and almost 200 pounds lighter.

In exchange for prostitutes, travel and other favors, federal authorities allege, Misiewicz provided Francis with classified information about ship movements and steered vessels to specific Asian ports.

Misiewicz was arrested Sept. 16 by Defense Criminal Investigative Service agents at the Colorado Springs airport. The commander has been assigned to the U.S. Northern Command in Colorado since leaving the 7th Fleet last year. He was released on $100,000 bond and confined to home detention pending trial. His attorney, Wendy Gerboth of San Diego, did not return a phone call or e-mail seeking comment.

Court papers make references to other, unnamed Navy officers who accepted favors from Francis, an indication that the investigation remains in its early stages.

Navy officials have identified Capt. Daniel Dusek, former commander of the USS Bonhomme Richard, as another target of the investigation. He has not been charged, but the Navy relieved him of command Oct. 2, citing the investigation.

Dusek, who remains under suspension, declined to comment through a Navy spokesman.

NCIS leaks alleged

The Naval Criminal Investigative Service has opened multiple investigations into Glenn Defense Marine since 2010. Until last month, none had resulted in charges.

Court documents allege that Francis was receiving regular tip-offs from inside the agency about the state of investigations. The information, prosecutors say, was being supplied by John B. Beliveau II, a onetime NCIS agent of the year, who was arrested at Joint Base Anacostia-
Bolling in Southeast Washington on the same day that Misiewicz was taken into custody.

Beliveau is the supervisory agent in charge of the NCIS office in Quantico. Prosecutors have charged him with conspiracy to commit bribery, saying he fed Francis confidential information about pending criminal investigations into Glenn Defense Marine from March 2011 until shortly before both were arrested.

In return, according to charging documents, Francis supplied Beliveau with prostitutes and free travel, including a three-week trip to five Asian countries.

Court records show that Beliveau met Francis when he was stationed in Asia with the NCIS and allege that the pair began exchanging regular e-mails in 2008.

In e-mails included in the charging documents, Beliveau playfully pressed for returns from the Navy contractor. “You give whores more money than me ;)” he wrote to Francis in April 2012. “Don’t get too busy that you forget your friends. . . . Let me know . . . I can be your best friend or worst enemy.”

“You are a sore Bitch and I have not forgotten you Bro,” Francis replied, according to court papers. “How do I send you a gift?”

Beliveau was not assigned to the NCIS team scrutinizing Glenn Defense Marine, but court papers allege that he downloaded scores of reports from the case file by accessing the agency’s internal databases.

Investigators say Beliveau took many of the copied files home and exchanged more than 1,000 text messages with Francis over 15 months. Beliveau’s attorney, Gretchen Von Holmes of San Diego, did not return phone calls or e-mails seeking comment.

Trap laid for Francis

On Sept. 16, as federal agents arrested Beliveau in Washington and Misiewicz in Colorado Springs, they also laid a trap for Francis in California.

Navy officials summoned him from Singapore to California, saying they wanted a face-to-face meeting to discuss business. Francis brought two business associates with him to San Diego, where he was arrested in his hotel room at the Marriott Marquis, according to court records, his attorney and another person familiar with the case.

Arrested in San Diego at the same time was Glenn Defense Marine’s general manager for global government contracts, Alex J. Wisidagama. He was charged with fraud and remains in federal custody. His attorney, Knut Johnson, did not return a phone call seeking comment.

Last month, the Navy terminated three major contracts with Glenn Defense Marine worth nearly $200 million total.

At the company’s headquarters in Singapore, phone calls in recent days have gone unanswered. Reached via e-mail, Valeriane Toon, vice president for global communications, declined to comment.


Julie Tate contributed to this report.

Navy hit with bribery scandal as high profile commander charged with accepting Lady Gaga tickets and prostitutes in exchange for classified information

  • Also charged were Leonard Glenn Francis,  the CEO of defense contractor Glenn Defense Marine Asia Ltd
  • And John Bertrand Beliveau II, a special  agent with the Naval Criminal Investigative Service – NCIS

By  James Nye

PUBLISHED: 00:20 EST, 22  October 2013 |  UPDATED: 00:58 EST, 22 October 2013

Arrested: Michael Vannak Khem Misiewicz has been charged with accepting paid travel, the services of prostitutes and Lady Gaga concert tickets in a devastating bribery case for the US Navy  

Arrested: Michael Vannak Khem Misiewicz has been charged  with accepting paid travel, the services of prostitutes and Lady Gaga concert  tickets in a devastating bribery case for the US Navy

A high profile U.S. Navy commander has been  charged with accepting paid travel, the services of prostitutes and Lady Gaga  concert tickets from a Singapore-based defense contractor in exchange for  classified information according to federal prosecutors.

Commander Michael Vannak Khem Misiewicz, who  was born in Cambodia during the Vietnam War and gained media attention for his  rise to captain of a U.S. Navy destroyer, has been arrested on federal bribery  charges – in what some are calling the worst scandal to hit the Navy in  decades.

Also taken into custody and charged in  criminal complaints unsealed in U.S. district court in San Diego were Leonard  Glenn Francis, the CEO of Glenn Defense Marine Asia Ltd, and John Bertrand  Beliveau II, a special agent with the Naval Criminal Investigative  Service.

Prosecutors accuse Misiewicz, 46, of sending  Francis classified information, including ship movements, and helping arrange  visits by U.S. Navy vessels to ports where Francis’ company, Glenn Davis Marine  Asia Ltd, had contracts worth $200 million to provide tugboats, security, fuel,  waste removal and other services.

CBS News reported that maintenance for one  ship, the aircraft carrier Stennis, cost the Navy $2.7 million, which is about  double the average price charged by other ports.

In exchange, Francis furnished Misiewicz with  such gifts as travel, entertainment, luxury hotel stays and prostitutes,  prosecutors alleged.

Public Face: In this photo taken Dec. 3, 2010, U.S. navy officer Michael  

Public Face: In this photo taken Dec. 3, 2010, U.S. navy  officer Michael “Vannak Khem” Misiewicz smiles as he delivers his welcome speech  on the deck of the U.S. Navy destroyer USS Mustin at Cambodian coastal  international see port of Sihanoukville


According to the charges, the defense  contractor provided Misiewicz with five tickets to a Lady Gaga concert in  Thailand in May 2012.

‘Allegations of bribery and kickbacks  involving naval officers, contracting personnel and NCIS agents are unheard of,’  retired Adm. Gary Roughead to The Washington Post,  describing the accusation as ‘extremely serious, disconcerting and  surprising.’

The complaint also described the two men as  developing a close friendship in which Misiewicz referred to Francis by such  terms as ‘Big Brother,’ ‘Big Bro’ or ‘BB’ and the defense contractor called him  ‘Little Brother,’ ‘Little Bro’ or ‘LB.’

At the time, Misiewicz was deputy operations  officer for the U.S. commander of the Seventh Fleet, which oversees operations  over some 48 million square miles extending from Japan to Diego Garcia in the  Indian Ocean and from Vladivostok, Russia, to Australia.

The Washington Post also alleges that Glenn  Defense Marine has over-billed the Navy for the entire 25-years that it serviced  ships and vessels attached to the service.

CBS News reported that maintenance for one ship, the aircraft carrier Stennis, cost the Navy $2.7 million, which is about double the average price charged by other ports.  

CBS News reported that maintenance for one ship, the  aircraft carrier Stennis, cost the Navy $2.7 million, which is about double the  average price charged by other ports.


‘The allegations described in this complaint  describe a bribery case with all the sexy elements of a TV drama,’ Laura E.  Duffy, the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of California said in an  e-mailed statement.

Lured to his arrest: Also taken into custody and charged in criminal complaints unsealed in U.S. district court in San Diego on Tuesday were Leonard Glenn Francis 

Lured to his arrest: Also taken into custody and charged  in criminal complaints unsealed in U.S. district court in San Diego on Tuesday  were Leonard Glenn Francis


‘But the significance of the case is that it  involves huge sums of money, a wide range of players, a long period of time and  a number of countries.’

Prior to his assignment at the Seventh Fleet,  Misiewicz had been commanding officer of the USS Mustin, a forward-deployed  guided-missile destroyer.

A separate criminal complaint charged Francis  with providing Beliveau, 44, travel, entertainment, prostitutes and other gifts  in exchange for information about an NCIS investigation into his  company.

Prosecutors charged Beliveau with downloading  confidential reports about that probe from the agency’s database and conveying  that information to Francis.

Francis was arrested in San Diego last month,  while Misiewicz was taken into custody in Colorado and Beliveau in Virginia –  all mast month.

Francis, a Malaysian national, was allegedly  arrested in the United States after being duped into coming to San Diego by Navy  officials who arrested him in a sting-operation.

All three face a maximum of five years in  federal prison if convicted at trial.

According to a 2010 U.S. Navy release,  Misiewicz grew up near Phnom Penh during the Vietnam war and was adopted by an  American woman shortly before the Khmer Rouge came to power in 1975.

Reunion: Navy Cmdr. Michael V. Misiewicz, then commanding officer of the guided-missile destroyer USS Mustin, is greeted by a member of his family as the Mustin arrives in Sihanoukville, Cambodia on Dec. 3, 2010 

Reunion: Navy Cmdr. Michael V. Misiewicz, then  commanding officer of the guided-missile destroyer USS Mustin, is greeted by a  member of his family as the Mustin arrives in Sihanoukville, Cambodia on Dec. 3,  2010


He escaped the notorious ‘Killing Fields’ and  was heralded publicly for his successful rise to become the skipper of the USS  Mustin – and made an emotional returen to Cambodia in 2010, which was given huge  media attention.

The Navy said in the release that a visit by  the USS Mustin to Sihanoukville, Cambodia, in December 2010 marked his first  return to that country since his adoption 37 years earlier.

On Sunday, a senior Navy spokesman deflected  inquires into the status of the still-unfolding investigation.

‘We don’t comment on ongoing investigations,  except to say that we are committed to supporting the investigation,” the  spokesman told Fox News. “We hold our leaders to — and expect them to uphold —  high standards of conduct and professionalism.’

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Singapore firm barred from U.S. contracts over bribery case -( Navy ) Three charged in case, including Navy officer

Source: Reuters – Tue, 22 Oct 2013 12:06 AM

Author: Reuters


* Three charged in case, including Navy officer

* Captain of U.S. amphibious assault ship relieved of duty

* Travel, prostitutes and Lady Gaga tickets

WASHINGTON, Oct 21 (Reuters) – A Singapore-based company involved in a U.S. Navy bribery scandal has been barred from doing business with the federal government and has had nine Navy contracts worth $205 million terminated for cause, a Navy official said on Monday.

Glenn Defense Marine Asia Ltd and its chief executive, Leonard Glenn Francis, were barred on Sept. 19 from contracting with the U.S. government and from receiving benefits of federal assistance programs, the official said on condition of anonymity.

GDMA was the U.S. Navy’s chief husbanding agent in the Pacific Rim, organizing logistics such as tugboats, security, fuel, waste removal and other services for port calls by Navy ships in the region.

The Navy suspension came in response to a criminal complaint in the U.S. District Court in southern California in September that accused Francis of bribing government employees in exchange for confidential information related to Navy contracts.

Francis was arrested in mid-September as were Navy Commander Michael Misiewicz and John Beliveau, a Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) agent. The three were charged with conspiracy in a bribery scheme, the Navy said.

Separately, Captain Daniel Dusek, commander of the amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard, was relieved of duty on Oct. 2 due to a loss of confidence in his ability to command. Dusek has not been charged with a crime but is under investigation in the case, the Navy has said.

Misiewicz, who was born in Cambodia during the Vietnam War and rose to become captain of a U.S. Navy destroyer, was charged with accepting paid travel, the services of prostitutes and Lady Gaga concert tickets from GDMA, prosecutors in southern California said last month.

Prosecutors accused Misiewicz, 46, of sending Francis classified information, including ship movements, and helping arrange visits by U.S. Navy vessels to ports where GDMA had contracts.

At the time, Misiewicz was deputy operations officer for the U.S. commander of the Seventh Fleet, which oversees operations from Japan to Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean and from Vladivostok, Russia, to Australia.

Before that assignment, he had been commanding officer of the USS Mustin, a forward-deployed guided-missile destroyer.

A separate criminal complaint charged Francis with providing Beliveau, 44, travel, entertainment, prostitutes and other gifts in exchange for information about an NCIS investigation into his company.

Prosecutors charged Beliveau with downloading confidential reports about that probe from the agency’s database and conveying the information to Francis.

Francis was arrested in San Diego last month, while Misiewicz was taken into custody in Colorado and Beliveau in Virginia. All three face a maximum of five years in federal prison if convicted at trial. (Reporting by David Alexander and Dan Whitcomb. Editing by Christopher Wilson.

No. 2 US nuke commander suspended amid probe

Associated Press

ROBERT BURNS 16 minutes ago
This image provided by the U.S. Navy shows Navy Vice Adm. Tim Giardina in a Nov. 11, 2011, photo. The U.S. strategic Command, the military command in charge of all U.S. nuclear warfighting forces says it has suspended its No. 2 commander, Giardina, for unspecific reasons, and he is under investigation by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service. (AP Photo/U.S. Navy)

This image provided by the U.S. Navy shows Navy Vice Adm. Tim Giardina in a Nov. 11, 2011, photo.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The No. 2 officer at the military command in charge of all U.S. nuclear war-fighting forces has been suspended and is under investigation by the Naval Criminal Investigation Command for issues related to gambling, officials said Saturday.

The highly unusual action against a high-ranking officer at U.S. Strategic Command was made more than three weeks ago but not publicly announced.

Air Force Gen. Robert Kehler, who heads Strategic Command, suspended the deputy commander, Navy Vice Adm. Tim Giardina, from his duties on Sept. 3, according to the command’s top spokeswoman, Navy Capt. Pamela Kunze. Giardina is still assigned to the command but is prohibited from performing duties related to nuclear weapons and other issues requiring a security clearance, she said.

Kehler has recommended to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel that Giardina be reassigned, Kunze said. Giardina has been the deputy commander of Strategic Command since December 2011. He is a career submarine officer and prior to starting his assignment there was the deputy commander and chief of staff at U.S. Pacific Fleet.

Two senior U.S. officials familiar with the investigation said it is related to gambling issues. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because the probe in incomplete.

Strategic Command oversees the military’s nuclear fighter units, including the Navy’s nuclear-armed submarines and the Air Force’s nuclear bombers and nuclear land-based missiles. It is located near Omaha, Neb.

Kunze said Strategic Command did not announce the Sept. 3 suspension because Giardina remains under investigation and action on Kehler’s recommendation that Giardina be reassigned is pending. The suspension was first reported by the Omaha World-Herald.

The spokeswoman said a law enforcement agency, which she would not identify, began an investigation of Giardina on June 16. Kehler became aware of this on July 16, and the following day he asked the Naval Criminal Investigation Service to begin a probe.

The suspension is yet another blow to the military’s nuclear establishment. Last spring the nuclear missile unit at Minot Air Force Base, N.D., pulled 17 launch control officers off duty after a problematic inspection and later relieved of duty the officer in charge of training and proficiency. In August a nuclear missile unit at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Mont., failed a nuclear safety and security inspection; nine days later an officer in charge of the unit’s security forces was relieved of duty.–politics.html


How did killer get security pass?

Washington Navy Yard shootings: US facing tough questions over security

The US Navy is facing tough questions after it emerged that the gunman who killed 12 people in the W

ashington Navy Yard was given a security clearance despite a recent history of mental illness and arrests for firing guns in anger.

An armed police officer checks a driver's papers at an entrance to the Washington Navy Yard this morning

An armed police officer checks a driver’s papers at an entrance to the Washington Navy Yard this morning Photo: MARK WILSON/GETTY IMAGES

By Raf Sanchez, and Peter Foster in Washington

8:35PM BST 17 Sep 2013

Senior members of Congress demanded answers over the failed vetting of Aaron Alexis and called on the military to explain to explain how the 34-year-old former Navy reservist turned civilian contractor was granted a “secret” level clearance.

As police finished formally identifying the victims of Monday’s shooting rampage, US officials said that as recently as last month Alexis had been treated in a veterans’ hospital after hearing voices in his head.

Police reports also showed that Alexis had spent time in jail for disorderly conduct in 2008 and twice been arrested for shooting a gun in a moment of rage — in one incident sending a bullet through the roof of his flat in Texas after a row with a noisy neighbour.

“How could a man with that kind of a background end up getting the necessary security clearance for a military contractor to go into this navy yard?” Dick Durbin, a senior Democrat demanded to know on the floor of the Senate.

The FBI confirmed that Alexis, who was working as an IT contractor upgrading computers for the Marine Corps, was able to use a legitimate work pass to drive into the Washington Navy Yard, one of the US Navy’s five main command centres.

The US Navy also announced a worldwide review of security at its bases.

Alexis appears to have begun his assault armed only with a shotgun that he purchased legally in the neighbouring state of Virginia last week.

He is now believed to have picked up an AR-15, the same semi-automatic rifle used in the Newtown massacre, and a Glock handgun during the shooting spree. Investigators believe most of the killing was done with the AR-15.

The entrance pass was issued even though Alexis was undergoing treatment for paranoia, sleep disorders and had been hearing voices in his head, according to the Associated Press.

It emerged last night that Alexis had also been cited for misconduct eight times during his four year-career as a Navy reservist, including one incident where he hurled obscenities after being thrown out of a nightclub.

“It really is hard to believe that someone with a record as checkered as this man could conceivably get, you know, clearance to get … credentials to be able to get on the base,” Washington Mayor Vincent Gray While Navy officials had make Alexis tried to kick him out of the service they found it was quicker to let him leave of his own accord with an honourable discharge in January 2011.

The Navy had not declared its defense contract employee mentally unfit, which would have rescinded a security clearance that Alexis had from his earlier time in the Navy Reserves.

The officials also said there has been no connection to international or domestic terrorism, and investigators have found no manifesto or other writings suggesting a political or religious motivation.

He was able to gain a secret-level clearance from the Department of Defence and began work at IT firm called The Experts, a Hewlett-Packard subcontractor, which did work on Navy computer systems.

He did work in Japan and at bases throughout the US before being sent to the Washington Navy Yard in the last week.

The yard was closed to all but essential personnel on Tuesday. Military police were stationed at the four entrances, checking the identifications of the employees who were being allowed back in. Other personnel milled around outside, hoping to retrieve cars that remained locked inside the gates.

“I’ve never ever felt unsafe at this place,” said David Berlin, a civilian who works there as an assistant program manager building weapons systems. “If someone wants to skirt the rules, they can do that, but you trust your colleagues.”

Security at Washington Navy Yard was lax because of budget cuts, official report written weeks before shooting

  • Federal security assessment conducted  over the past year pointed out that contractors were given too much access at  the Navy Yards
  • The report will be released in full  within the next month but early excerpts were leaked today following shooting  that left 12 victims dead
  • Shooter Aaron Alexis was able to get  inside the government building with his ‘legitimate’ ID from his work as a  contractor

By  Meghan Keneally

PUBLISHED: 21:41 EST, 16  September 2013 |  UPDATED: 21:45 EST, 16 September 2013

Budget cuts may have been the cause for lax  security at the Washington D.C. Navy Yards where 12 people were shot dead and  eight others were injured on Monday morning.

A yet-to-be-released government audit reveals  that federal oversight investigators concluded that the reduced security  measures at the base left security risks unaddressed.

A report by the Department of Defense  Inspector General’s office shows that they were concerned about the access that  would be granted to outside contractors- like that of Aaron Alexis, the suspect  who was killed by police during the Monday morning shooting.

Gaining access: A yet-unreleased report shows that officials were aware of possible holes in security procedures at the Navy Yards, where a shooting spree on Monday left 12 victims dead as well as the shooter 

Gaining access: A yet-unreleased report shows that  officials were aware of possible holes in security procedures at the Navy Yards,  where a shooting spree on Monday left 12 victims dead as well as the  shooter


Piecing together information: SWAT agents remained on the scene for much of Monday (pictured), hours after Alexis was shot by one of the responding officers  

Piecing together information: SWAT agents remained on  the scene for much of Monday (pictured), hours after Alexis was shot by one of  the responding officers


The report states that the Navy ‘did not  effectively mitigate access control risks associated with contractor  installation access’ to the Navy Yards.

Caught and killed: Aaron Alexis, 34, was identified as the shooter and had 'multiple engagements' with police firing shots at the officers during the shooting spree Monday 

Caught and killed: Aaron Alexis, 34, was identified as  the shooter and had ‘multiple engagements’ with police firing shots at the  officers during the shooting spree Monday


Time Magazine published excerpts from the report after having been read portions by an  unidentified federal official who had access to the Inspector General’s  findings.

The security risks are placed squarely on the  Navy administrators who were trying ‘to reduce access control costs’.

The process of gaining access to the  administrative facility- where about 3,000 people work- is under severe  scrutiny.

In a Monday night press conference, FBI  assistant D.C. director in charge Valerie Parlave said that they concluded he  had legitimately accessed the building as his status as a contractor would have  given him sufficient credentials to enter unquestioned.

‘He utilized a valid pass,’ Ms Parlave said  during the press conference.

Alexis, 34, became a full-time Navy reservist  in 2007 but was dismissed in 2011 following a series of ‘misconduct’ violations.

As a contractor for a group working for a  subcontractor used by Hewlett-Packard, Alexis should not have had the proper  identification to be allowed into Navy Yard’s Building 179 where he began  shooting.

Another problem with Alexis that should have  been flagged up by the security access system is that he had two prior arrests-  one in 2004 for shooting someone’s tires in an anger-fueled ‘blackout’ and  another in 2010 when he said that he accidentally fired into a neighbor’s  apartment while cleaning his gun.

The security assessment report cites the fact  that a number of people with criminal histories were able to bypass the Navy  Yard’s security without any alarm.

Worrying: FBI investigators determined that Alexis gained access to the facility legitimately, using the ID he was given as a sanctioned contractor who was working on the site  

Worrying: FBI investigators determined that Alexis  gained access to the facility legitimately, using the ID he was given as a  sanctioned contractor who was working on the site


Time reports that the audit cited 52  instances where ‘convicted felons received routine unauthorized installation  access, placing military personnel, attendants, civilians in installations at an  increased security risk.’

The research into the security inefficiencies  at Navy Yard began in September 2012 and carried on through August of this year.  The final report will be published within the next 30 days.

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Man who set fire in U.S. nuclear sub gets 17-year sentence: “caused as much as $500 million in damages “

Fri, 15 Mar 2013 16:41 GMT


By Sarah Mahoney

PORTLAND, Maine, March 15 (Reuters) – A civilian painter who twice set fires on a U.S. Navy nuclear submarine last year so that he could get out of work early was sentenced to 17 years in prison on Friday.

Casey James Fury, 25, set two fires nearly a month apart that caused as much as $500 million in damages to the U.S.S. Miami attack submarine that was in the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard for maintenance.

Prosecutors had requested a 20-year sentence after Fury pleaded guilty in November. Fury’s lawyer had argued for a 15-year sentence, reflecting his client’s extreme anxiety, for which he was taking medication at the time.

Fury, of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, started the first fire on May 23 with a plastic bag filled with rags, igniting a blaze that burned for 12 hours, and caused between $400 million and $500 million in damages and injured five people, prosecutors said.

“The fire easily could have been fatal,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Darcie McElwee said at the sentencing hearing at U.S. District Court in Portland, Maine. The fire endangered 50 workers who had been performing maintenance to the submarine and imperiled emergency responders, McElwee said.

Fury also pleaded guilty to setting a second fire on June 16, two days after he had been arrested on suspicion of drunk driving. That fire was put out quickly and caused little damage. On June 19, he pulled a fire alarm, causing another evacuation of the sub.

“The second fire is especially troubling, and displays a callous disregard for property and safety of others, after what he had seen in the first fire,” Judge George Singal said.

Singal also ordered Fury to undergo substance abuse counseling, mental health treatment and to pay $400 million in restitution.

Fury confessed to setting the fires to create a reason for him to leave work early, because he had no available sick or vacation time to claim.

Fury told Navy investigators he was taking a variety of medications for anxiety, depression, allergies and insomnia when he set the first fire.

Repairs to the submarine will not be completed until 2015, and the Navy plans to use the vessel for 10 years after that, the U.S. Defense Department said in August.  (Editing by Scott Malone and Nick Zieminski.


Navy spy prepared threat assessments for Canadian ships


Navy spy Sub-Lt. Jeffrey Delisle, who has pleaded guilty to selling vast amounts of top secret material to the Russians, had access to top-level files while performing his job preparing threat assessments for navy ships.

In his confession interview with the RCMP, Delisle described his job by saying, “I prepare all the threat assessments for the ships when they deploy overseas, to any port.”

A retired naval intelligence officer, who had the same profession as Delisle, said this meant Delisle had access to files and secret information supplied by CSIS, the CIA, FBI and British intelligence sources.

“There is a need to know requirement,” said Hugh Williams. “Based on what he is looking at and based in that area, he would would be looking at information from a wide variety of sources.”

Delisle’s access to high-level information is what makes his betrayal such a concern for Canada and its allies. His job as the threat assessment officer for the Canadian navy in the Atlantic opened secret doors that would be closed to other officers. Delisle gathered and sold information to the Russians for $3,000 a month.

Delisle was posted to the security unit HMCS Trinity, an intelligence facility at the naval dockyard in Halifax. It tracks vessels entering and exiting Canadian waters via satellites, drones and underwater devices.

Delisle, 41, pleaded guilty in a Halifax court Oct. 9 to breach of trust and two counts of passing information to a foreign entity between July 2007 and Jan. 13, 2011, in Ottawa and Kingston, Ont., and Halifax and Bedford, N.S., where he lived.

Delisle will be sentenced for spying in January. He is currently in jail but on full navy pay and maintains his rank in the service.

(CBC News)


Super-sizing the soldier: Is obesity going to pose a huge recruiting problem?: At present, 62 percent of active duty military members over the age of 20 have a body mass index that falls into either the overweight or obese category

Posted By Thomas E. RicksTuesday, October 9, 2012 – 10:22 AM

By Jim Gourley

Best Defense department of physical fitness and national security

Obesity and weight-related health conditions have become a prevalent concern to American policy in the last decade. National military leadership was also exposed to obesity’s potential risks to national security with the release of the report “Too Fat to Fight” by Mission Readiness in 2010. The group’s primary message is that a burgeoning population of overweight American children will drastically reduce an already diminished pool of viable candidates for military service in the next ten years. However, these reports indicate only the most general aspects of the problem and focus on projections of future implications. When the scope of the American obesity epidemic is examined specifically within the context of its impact on the armed forces, data shows clearly that the threat is not imminent, but existential.

At present, 62 percent of active duty military members over the age of 20 have a body mass index that falls into either the overweight or obese category. For personnel under the age of 20, the number stands at 35 percent. That is actually an improvement from a 2005 rate of 46 percent. These statistics are often challenged due to the disputable methods of calculating Body Mass Index (BMI). However, the 2011 Annual Summary of the Armed Forces Health Survey Center cites 21,185 medical diagnoses for overweight, obesity and hyperalimentation (overeating). Research also dispels service culture stigmas. No service is immune to overweight issues. Comparing the relative percentages of overweight/obese service members, the Navy is the fattest service at 62.7 percent, followed by the Army at 61 percent, the Air Force at 58.8 percent. The Marines register the fittest at 55.1 percent, still substantially more than half overweight. Closer examination shows that more than 12 percent of active duty service members in each service are obese. The Marines break the trend more significantly in this category with a 6.1 percent obesity rate.

The increase of girth in the military progressed at a linear rate between 1995 and 2005, but has remained fairly consistent since then. However, emerging data indicates that the overweight population may rise further in the next ten years if the military is to meet recruiting goals. A new study by the Trust for America’s Health predicts that more than half of Americans in 39 states will be obese by 2030. This is disturbing enough, but it becomes even more troubling for the armed forces when individual state recruitment trends are compared to their childhood obesity rates. All ten states that contributed the most military inductees in 2010 have childhood obesity rates greater than 15 percent. Three of them (including Texas, which was second in total recruitment with over 15,000 new military members) exhibit rates between 20-25 percent. The preponderance of our young military members come from the most ponderous states.

The problem is not simply one of cosmetics or intangible metrics of combat performance. The costs of an unfit military carry a real-dollar value. A 2007 joint study by The Lewin Group and TRICARE management activity estimated that the Defense Department spends $1.1 billion annually on medical care for obesity and overweight conditions. This study included dependents and retirees who qualified for TRICARE Prime coverage. More restricted to the active duty component are the costs to manpower. The AFHSC report tallied 245 “bed days” for medical treatment directly linked to weight issues, and 4,555 service members were involuntarily separated for failing to meet weight standards in 2008. The recruiting and initial entry training costs alone represent a loss of $225 million. Adding in specific military job training, logistics, equipment and the cost of lost duty days brings the annual price tag of overweight service members to about $1.5 billion. That exceeds the military’s budget for Predator drones in 2010. Themilitary still fails to grasp the true scale of the problem so long as comorbidities of overweight and obesity remain unexamined. There were more than 42,000 service members affected by hypertension and another 5,700 by diabetes in 2011. Hypertension alone ranks in the top thirty conditions affecting active duty service members. Also overlooked is the expense of XXL chemical warfare suits and development of other plus-sized uniform items.

The military’s response to the problem has been mixed. The Army provided waivers to 1,500 new recruits who failed to meet weight standards in 2007. The program remains in place but the numbers of waivers issued in subsequent years have not been published. The Navy had a similar program until 2010. The Air Force never offered such a program and the Marines actually tightened standards in the 2009-2011 time period. Trends suggest that weight standards are on a sliding scale driven largely by manpower requirements and retention problems in a wartime military.

Therein lies the greatest problem. It seems all but certain that American society will continue gaining weight over the next decade. In this regard, the military may be a kind of canary in the cave given its emphasized dependence on physical fitness for mission success. However, without an established position on the matter of physical fitness standards and given the likelihood that leaders at every level will themselves be at an unhealthy weight, it is possible that the military will experience substantial increases in operating costs and diminished capability in the next decade.

Jim Gourley is a Best Defense jolly good fellow.

Navy submarine commander faked own death to end affair

By David Ferguson Thursday, September 20, 2012 15:14 EDT

Navy sub via shutterstock

On Sept. 5, U.S. Navy Cmdr. Michael P. Ward II was found guilty of conduct unbecoming of an officer and a gentleman, dereliction of duty and adultery (a legal offense in the armed services) for actions he took in a romantic affair with a younger subordinate, not the least of which was faking his own death.

Wired magazine’s Danger Room blog reports that the 43-year-old officer may or may not be kicked out of the service altogether, but that his once-promising career is all but over.  Ward, who was set to take command of the nuclear submarine, the U.S.S. Pittsburgh, but has been reassigned to an administrative position at the Naval Submarine Base New London in Connecticut, home port of the Pittsburgh.

”Commander Ward’s dishonesty and deception in developing, maintaining, and attempting to end his inappropriate relationship … were egregious and are not consistent with our Navy’s expectations of a commissioned officer,” Capt. Vernon Parks, the head of Submarine Development Squadron 12, wrote in an internal report by the Navy (.pdf) investigating Ward’s affair with a 23-year-old Virginia woman which began in October of 2011.

Danger Room used a Freedom of Information Act request to obtain access to the report, in which the woman’s name is redacted.

Ward met the woman through a dating website.  Using the name “Tony Moore,” he never disclosed to her that he was married with children. At the time, he was working for the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and would visit the woman when he traveled to the Joint Chiefs of Staff College in Norfolk, Virginia.

According to Connecticut newspaper The Day, which first broke the story, when Ward received his commission to take command of the Pittsburgh, he chose to end the affair by constructing another false identity, “Bob,” a friend of Tony Moore’s, who wrote to the younger woman explaining to her than Tony had died unexpectedly.

“He asked me to contact you if this ever happened,” the email says. “I am extremely sorry to tell you that he is gone. We tried everything we could to save him. I cannot say more. I am sorry it has to be this way.  He loved you very much.”

Three days later, the woman drove with her mother and sister to Ward’s home in Burke, Virginia to pay their respects, only to find a new owner in the residence, who explained that the family had moved to Gales Ferry, Connecticut, near New London so that Ward could command a nuclear submarine.

Ward renewed contact with the woman when she revealed to him that she was pregnant.  The two met in Washington, DC for medical appointments and to discuss how to handle the pregnancy.

The baby didn’t survive to term and shortly after, the relationship ended.  It was only when a relative of the woman’s contacted the Navy Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS), at which point Ward was removed from his post at the helm of the Pittsburgh, one week after taking over.

Lt. Cmdr. Jennifer Cragg, a spokesperson for the submarine group told Wired, “Cmdr. Ward’s actions directly contradict Navy standards, especially the high standards of conduct expected of our commanding officers.  Leaders who fail to meet these standards, like Cmdr. Ward, are removed from leadership positions and referred for appropriate disciplinary or administrative action.”

Raw Story (