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US carrier crew board a Glenn Defense vessel on a Phuket visit

Phuket's US Warship Visits Likely To Go On Hold Until Corruption Probe Ends

Thursday, October 3, 2013
UPDATING All Day, Every Day

US NAVY ship visits will continue throughout ports in Thailand as they always have, a US Embassy spokesperson said today. He added that he could not comment on any ongoing investigations.

Original Report

PHUKET: The days of US warships visiting Phuket may be over for the time being, Phuket Navy League members fear, as the ripples spread from a scandal involving kickbacks and payoffs.

The Phuket spokesperson for Glenn Defense Marine Asia Ltd, which provides visiting US vessels with support when they anchor off Phuket, was not prepared to comment today.

Accusations made against top US Navy brass and the Glenn Marine CEO have left ports throughout Asia uncertain about future liberty leave visits by aircraft carriers and warships.

Glenn Marine is reckoned to have perhaps the largest private navy in the world, with vessels capable of providing support to the US Navy across as many as eight countries at the same time.

''It's a rust-free fleet,'' said one informed Phuket source today. ''The Glenn Marine vessels are immaculately maintained.''

When warships anchor off Phuket and other ports around the region, it's Glenn Marine that provides the transport for docking, for transferring crews to shore and for ferrying them around Phuket.

It's Glenn Marine that facilitates the loading of fresh provisions and the disposal of the trash. The cost of the husbandry service runs into hundreds of millions - hence the American Government's concern at the latest serious accusations of corruption.

Another vital concern is security. Without Glenn Marine being involved in the process, warships would not be able to anchor off Phuket unless the vessels involved passed all US security checks.

''Yes, it's unclear what the future holds for now,'' the informed source said. ''I guess it must be the same in all the ports where US crews take shore leave.''

One option might be to restrict all shore leave to Singapore for now. Glenn Marine has its home base in the island-nation.

Phuketwan revealed exclusively earlier this week that US investigators were on Phuket, pursuing their probe into the allegations.

Today came news of another development with the sacking of Captain Daniel Dusek of the USS Bonhomme Richard, a vessel that has made frequent visits to Phuket since 2001.

According to The Times, naval investigators boarded his ship after his superior officer said he no longer had confidence in Captain Dusek's ability to command.

Although Captain Dusek, the holder of multiple service awards, has not been charged, he is being investigated by the US Justice Department.

Arrested last month were Navy Commander Michael Vannak Khem Misiewicz, Naval Criminal Investigative Service Supervisory Special Agent John Bertrand Beliveau II and contractor Leonard Glenn Francis, the CEO of Glenn Defense Marine Asia Ltd.

No visits by US vessels have been recorded in the 'News' section on the Glenn Marine online site since the end of August.

The last Phuket port call listed is by the USS Higgins from August 8-13. The aircraft carrier USS Nimitz and the warship USS Princeton visited in May.

Comments

Comments have been disabled for this article.

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USN ship arrived Phuket this morning (Thursday) at 0900 hrs. RMA group is handling the inbound ships currently replacing Glenn Defense as local Handler..The US Navy does not stop inbound ship traffic/visits due to a single dishonest company it appears...

Posted by pat on October 3, 2013 13:37

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As President of the Navy League Phuket, I request the title to your Glenn Defense story be changed and that any reference to the Navy League source be omitted. the information in the story is far from being factual regarding future and current Navy ship arrivals with assumptions being made that had zero foundation of truth. Your swift attention to this matter is most welcome. Of Note:I was on a newly arrived Navy ship this morning with the new handling company RMA, replacing Glenn Defense.

Posted by pat James on October 3, 2013 14:59

Editor Comment:

More than happy to publsh your comment, Pat, but we stand by our story and look forward to the arrival of the next warship. There is no formal comment from the Navy League in the article.

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Glenn Defense ships were far from rust free. They had a contractual monopoly on USN ship visits in many countries in SE Asia. Their services are no longer being used and each new ship visit is put up for a competitive bid. Navy League Phuket has over 90 members from 14 counties. There can be different viewpoints among members. Most news organizations identify their source and get a collaborating opinion before posting what was a factual incorrect story.

Posted by sailor boy on October 3, 2013 18:28

Editor Comment:

What utter nonsense, sailor boy. Speaking with one voice may apply to the military, and the Navy League may seek to control its members, but fortunately the media is unfettered. We treasure that freedom. So should you.


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