Navy Nominates RADM Elizabeth Train For 3rd Star/Relieve VADM Ted Branch As Naval Intelligence Chief
Current Chief of Naval Intelligence, VADM Ted Branch recently had his security clearances pulled; and, has been in a kind of purgatory and legal limbo for potential ties to the disgraced Naval contracting firm — Glenn Defense Marine Asia, “the husbanding firm at the center of one of the Navy’s biggest bribery scandals in decades,” wrote David Larter in the November 26, 2014 edition of Defense News. Mr. Larter writes that “Navy Secretary Ray Mabus made the decision to nominate RADM Train, a career intelligence officer who commands the Office of Naval Intelligence-Integration-Office, because there has been no indication from the Justice Department as to when the investigation to wrap up,” according to a senior Navy official familiar with the decision.
VADM Branch, “confirmed Train’s nomination in a statement to the Navy Times,” Mr. Larter noted. “I have been advised this nomination is going forward now — because my access to classified information has been restricted as a result [of] an ongoing investigation concerning work performed by Glenn Defense Marine Asia, during my command of the aircraft carrier Nimitz ten years ago,” Branch said in a November 26 statement. “I am disappointed, as I have always hoped, and expected my access to classified information would be restored — so that I can continue as the Deputy CNO for Information Dominance, and Director of Naval Intelligence. The investigation has been pending for over a year, and I welcome its conclusion so I can resume in full — my service to the Navy and the country.”
Mr. Larter writes that “Secretary Mabus decided to nominate RADM Train, after his concern that Branch’s temporary suspension (of his security clearances) has now passed a year with no end in sight. That forced Branch to miss important meetings where classified information was being shared; and, left the Naval Intelligence community feeling underrepresented during briefings with the three-star intelligence heads of the other services.” [Mabus] needs to have an experienced officer in this key position who is able to address the full spectrum of duties required,” the senior official said.
According to Mr. Larter, “the senior naval official went on to say that Secretary Mabus’s decision had nothing to do with any new evidence, or information regarding Branch’s guilt or innocence. Indeed,” Mr. Lartet writes, “officials have told the Naval Times that the Justice Department’s source may have confused Branch with another officer and that the lack of any charges against Branch made the decision to replace him especially difficult. Mabus will withdraw Train’s nomination, if Branch is cleared of charges between now and when Train is confirmed — which Navy officials estimate will take place early 2015; after the new Congress is sworn in. If Train is confirmed and replaces Branch next year, it’s possible he would have to retire as a two-star; but, a final determination would come later,” Mr. Larter wrote. V/R, RCP