Espionage aboard Nuclear Sub SSBN-734 “Tennessee” (Part I: COVID-19 and America’s Nuclear Deterrent)

Espionage aboard Nuclear Sub SSBN-734 “Tennessee”
(COVID-19 and America’s Nuclear Deterrent)

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Max P. Este (WokeIntel & Azazel News)
April 15th, 2020

You may have seen some interesting headlines recently related to turmoil within the US naval community. Some of the stories include the USNS Mercy coming under “train derailment attack” in Los Angeles, where Eduardo Moreno, a 44 year old train engineer allegedly ran the train off the end of the tracks in an attempt to ram the medical ship. He has been charged with one count of “train wrecking” — and perhaps, not surprisingly, little else has been reported on the incident. Another story taking up valuable headline space took place aboard the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt, where Commanding Officer Captain Brett Crozier was relieved of command after sending a letter (via non-secure unclassified email to a “broad array of people”) requesting resources to combat the coronavirus outbreak within his ranks. The fallout lead to the resignation of the Acting Secretary of the Navy, Thomas Modly, after making a boneheaded statement to the entire crew about Captain Crozier being either “too naive or too stupid to be a commanding officer” — a statement he would later retract and apologize for making. The sad irony of the situation is Captain Crozier wrote, “Sailors do not need to die. If we do not act now, we are failing to properly take care of our most trusted asset — our sailors.” A sailor assigned to the Roosevelt was admitted to intensive care on April 9th and succumbed to the virus in the following days. Citing a defense official, a mainstream news source reported that more than 500 sailors have tested positive for Coronavirus aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt and four more personnel were admitted to the hospital last weekend (April 11-12, 2020).

While those two stories are definitely worth discussion, there appears to be evidence of a much larger issue on the high seas — one that NOBODY IS TALKING ABOUT yet. This is a delicate subject and requires a bit of finesse to navigate. Open source tracking of espionage is dangerous when done improperly. Shit. It’s dangerous when done properly, given the implications of what I am about lay out for you in the next few minutes.

Let’s dig into this by first setting the scene and an appropriate frame of reference.

I am going to need you to mentally take the role of the US Admiral responsible for maintaining the operational security of our nuclear deterrent aboard American Ohio-Class submarines.

First, consider your current location. As a high ranking Pentagon official, responsible for critical elements of national security, you have been moved to the deep underground base (NORAD) inside Cheyenne Mountain, Colorado. Your role is so valuable to national defense that your command has deemed it necessary to place a classified amount of rock and earth between you and the rest of the world; a world actively retreating from the COVID-19 threat. That wire is one of the most secure we could see on the front lines of this battle.

Command hierarchy protected.
Great.

Next, let’s talk about the men and women under your command, those facing active threats and foreign intelligence surveillance outside of the NORAD wire. You are responsible for the lives and payload aboard 18 Ohio-Class submarines. These subs have been featured in the movies Abyss, The Sum of All Fears, and Crimson Tide. You’ve seen them. They are the largest submarines ever built for the Navy and also carry the largest payload of all navies in the world (24 Trident Missiles each). According to Wikipedia, “The Ohio-class submarine was designed for extended strategic deterrent patrols. Each submarine is assigned two complete crews, called the Blue crew and the Gold crew, each typically serving 70-to-90-day deterrent patrols.” Given each sub maintains two crews, you are responsible for the safety and operational security of 36 full crews, a fleet of 18,750 ton submarines, and 432 guided or ballistic nuclear missiles. No small feat given the importance of this deterrent. Your area of operation is considered one of the three forces in our “nuclear-deterrent triad” alongside the Air Force’s strategic bombers and intercontinental ballistic missiles. Your force may be the most important of the three however. Bombers need to be scrambled and are far more vulnerable (once airborne) than a submarine could ever be. And ICBMs have an array of problems once activated. They basically serve as our threat of mutual assured destruction and a weapon of “last resort”. Can you see the importance of stealth and secrecy for your Ohio-class submarine fleet starting to develop? If the Pentagon put you underground to protect you from the COVID threat, what would you do to protect your crews from receiving a novel viral load? What if the inevitable happened and cases started popping up? What level of secrecy would be placed on that information?

And what would the implications be if a foreign source started accurately reporting, in open source format, on the movements and Coronavirus cases aboard one of your highly protected boats? It could only mean one thing — something far worse than a letter from the Captain of an aircraft carrier being leaked to the public…

That appears to have happened to one of the more “special” of the 18 Ohio-class submarines in the fleet, SSBN-734 Tennessee out of Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay, Georgia (remember this location for “Part II”). What makes this sub special is that it may be the only one patrolling the Atlantic armed with low-yield tactical nuclear weapons. According to the Department of Energy (as reported by NPR), the navy took custody of W76-2 tactical warheads in November of 2019. A post by the Federation of American Scientists stated that when The Tennessee went on patrol in late 2019, it carried one or two of these weapons. While the specifics remain justifiably confidential, the weapon is said to have a relatively small yield of 5 kilotons, or one third the size of the Hiroshima blast. These would be the first tactical nukes ever deployed on an American submarine in response to Russian deployment of similar weapons. A recent “nuclear posture review” stated that Russia intended to use such weapons as “a coercive advantage in a crisis” where America’s larger strategic missiles would cause regional conflict to boil over to full scale nuclear war.

So, of the billions of dollars of fleet under your command, the Tennessee now becomes the only submarine in the Atlantic capable of deterring current Russian nuclear capabilities. Now imagine someone in Russia or China starts accurately posting on Twitter or Reddit about the movements and medical status of those aboard the Tennessee…scary, no?

Here’s Part One of what appears to have happened:

Twitter account @atokeneric posted April 13, 2020 at 7:57am the following,

战略核潜艇是美国最重要的装备,负担着美军战略核力量的重任,受到最高级别的保护。此前人们普遍认为,由于战略核潜艇很少接触外界且防护森严,即使美国的疫情严重也不至于令战略核潜艇部队受到影响。但现在看来,即使是美国的战略核潜艇部队也不安全,美国的国之重器也中招了!

据美国纽约时报等多家外媒消息报道,美国海军在SSBN-734“田纳西”号战略导弹核潜艇上发现新冠肺炎的确诊病例,随后美军紧急召回了这艘出航执行战备任务的潜艇。其一回到港口,就被大量救护车团团围住,潜艇上的出现症状的人立刻被送去住院。而整艘潜艇上的150名舰员都被立刻隔离,就连这艘潜艇所在基地中的接触者也被隔离,约有700多人在隔离行列。

对于美国海军来说,这艘潜艇出现疫情,是仅次于罗斯福号航母因疫情隔离的巨大打击。美军俄亥俄级弹道导弹核潜艇一共有18艘,其中四艘被改装,只有14艘继续作为美国海军的战略核打击力量基石存在。

The strategic nuclear submarine is the most important equipment of the United States. It bears the heavy responsibility of the US military ’s strategic nuclear forces and is protected by the highest level. Previously, it was generally believed that, because strategic nuclear submarines rarely contact the outside world and have strong protection, even if the epidemic in the United States is serious, it will not affect the strategic nuclear submarine force. But now it seems that even the United States ‘strategic nuclear submarine force is not safe, and the United States’ national power is also a move!

According to several foreign media reports such as the New York Times, the US Navy found a confirmed case of new coronary pneumonia on the SSBN-734 “Tennessee” strategic missile nuclear submarine. Subsequently, the US military urgently recalled this submarine sailing for combat readiness. As soon as he returned to the port, he was surrounded by a large number of ambulances. People with symptoms on the submarine were immediately taken to hospital. The 150 crew members of the entire submarine were immediately isolated, and even the contacts in the base of the submarine were also isolated. About 700 people were in isolation.

For the US Navy, the outbreak of this submarine was the second biggest blow to the USS Roosevelt’s isolation due to the outbreak. A total of 18 US-class Ohio-class ballistic missile nuclear submarines, of which four were converted, only 14 continue to exist as the cornerstone of the US Navy’s strategic nuclear strike force.”

The submarine DID return to port on Monday the 13th, the same day as this post, however crew aboard these boats are not allow to even report publicly that they’ve made it home until 48 hours AFTER they return. Too specific and too coincidental to be a lucky guess made by a twitter account in China, especially since the State controlled media in the country started reporting the exact same story 24 hours later (https://junshi.china.com/retie/37516450.html).

An anonymous insider said that the most disturbing part of this whole fiasco was that this was a major violation of National Security. “How did he predict an American submarine would be infected with COVID-19? When it just arrived in port yesterday (Monday)?”

For many reasons, we share this elevated level of concern — but this is just the tip of the metaphorical iceberg of disturbing events taking place in the Atlantic and with Russian forces across the globe. We have multiple intercepted war fighting aircraft, more examples of leaked nuclear intelligence, and something far more sinister that has been lurking off the east coast of the United States. All things that we will delve into much more detail in Part II. (End, Part I)