Intriguing Story Gets Stranger: Part III - Two Albuquerque Deserters
The Strange Case of FT3 Ariel J. Weinmann (USS Albuquerque deserter) just got stranger: The first count alleged that in March 2005, Weinmann attempted to communicate classified information relating to national defense to a representative of an unidentified foreign government.
Enlisted July, 2003
Finished sub school October, 2004
Deployed on USS Albuquerque (SSN-706)
Deserted submarine in July 2005 source
Picked up at the DFWI Airport March 26, 2006
Held in secret at Norfolk brig for 4 months (until late July 2006) source
Will face court-martial in November
From Part I - Most Intriguing Story: biographical information "at the classified level." posted August 14, 2006 - here Molten Eagle predicted:
Expect disciplinary actions against more than one of the then Albuquerque crew.
Then, in Part II - "Weinmann Submarine Espionage: Unraveling a Mystery" posted September 12, 2006 - here Molten Eagle asked readers:
2- Which countries would be 'worst case' nightmares for the U.S. in the Weinmann case?
Now: Following his Sept. 21 general court-martial in Groton, Conn. Lt. Robert J. Loomis III pleaded guilty to desertion with intention to avoid hazardous duty and dereliction of duty.
Commissioned in December 2001 (ROTC - University of Michigan)
Spent almost 3 years aboard USS Albuquerque SSN-706 (est. 2002-5)
Reported for Groton instructor duty in Target Motion Analysis (in 2005)
----Loomis timeline after PO3 Weinmann was picked up after his desertion:
Selected individual augmentee (IA) for duty in Afghanistan June 26, 2006
On July 6, Loomis failed to report and was placed in an unauthorized absence status.
On July 8, Loomis turned himself in to the Naval Submarine School in Groton
----Loomis key event after Weinmann "held in secret" story broke
Court-martial Sept. 2006 source
So, Molten Eagle asks rhetorically:
Could there have been any relationship between Loomis' and Weinmann's "desertions"? They seemed to have barely overlapped on the USS Albuquerque (during 2005). Was Lt. Loomis Albuquerque's Weapons Officer with Weinmann in his division? Was Lt. Loomis the source of the sensitive biographical information Weinmann secreted to a foreign government?
If not, Loomis' desertion is yet another black eye for the modern submarine service. The Navy's Lt j.g. Karl Lettow said Loomis is believed to be the only one [sailor who had failed to report for or deserted from PRT duty]. Astute readers will find links above that could suggest an entirely undisclosed motive.
Please, no one pretending to be from Albuquerque's crew should bother posting a comment. Crews remain under strict orders of silence in such matters.
By the way, the public blood letting is probably over, but someone higher up has probably been encouraged to leave the navy early by now. Just a few thoughts, because submarines are always silent and strange.