A Navy chief petty officer who formerly worked at U.S. Strategic Command faces court-martial in Virginia on charges that he leaked classified information to a Russian national, Navy officials disclosed Thursday.
Chief Petty Officer Charles T. Briggs served as an information systems technician at Offutt Air Force Base from April 2018 to July 2019, according to Navy documents. He has been held since August 2019 at a Navy brig in Virginia near his last duty station at Naval Medical Center Portsmouth.
Briggs is accused of sending an email containing classified information to a Russian national “with reason to believe the information could be used to injure the United States or benefit a foreign nation” while working at Offutt in January 2019, according to a charge sheet.
Other charges include:
Relaying U.S. national defense information to a Russian national from October 2018 to January 2019.
Obstructing justice by telling the Russian national about an ongoing investigation into their relationship in January and February 2019.
Failing to disclose on a security clearance questionnaire about whether he had maintained a “close and continuing relationship” with a noncitizen.
Lying on a leave-request form by falsely claiming he would be staying in Nebraska during an 11-day leave in late 2018.
Violating a general regulation by failing to report a monthlong trip to Serbia in December 2018.
Failing to report connections to Italian and Russian nationals.
Possession of and attempting to view child pornography.
Briggs, who is originally from Wisconsin, enlisted in the Navy in October 1998. If convicted, he could face up to 64 years of confinement and a dishonorable discharge.
A trial date hasn’t yet been set, a Navy Region Mid-Atlantic spokeswoman said.
StratCom officials referred questions to the Navy. Briggs’ civilian attorney, Frank J. Spinner, couldn’t be reached for comment.
Photos: Offutt Air Force Base through the years
Offutt Air Force Base is named for Lt. Jarvis Offutt — the first airman from Omaha killed in World War I.
It’s not yet known how extensive — or expensive — the renovation project will be. It is certain that the renovation will encompass a lot of work on the building’s interior infrastructure. The electrical wiring, plumbing, heating/air conditioning, and communications systems all need major work.
Navy Adm. Charles Richard, the head of U.S. Strategic Command, testified Thursday on President Donald Trump’s proposed military budget and shot down suggestions that it represents the start of an arms race. “No nation has done more than the United States to reduce the reliance on nuclear weapons," he told the Senate Armed Services Committee. "No nation has divested more nuclear weapons than the United States has.”
After years of delays, training and testing are slated to begin on the new aircraft, which will operate among about 440 Minuteman III missile silos in Wyoming, Montana, North Dakota, Colorado and western Nebraska.
“Today we are standing inside a facility that ties our legacy from the days of Strategic Air Command into the future of StratCom,” said Deputy Secretary of Defense David Norquist, the senior civilian Pentagon official at the ceremony. “The LeMay command-and-control facility represents a $1.3 billion investment in the future of your mission. ... It is also a show of commitment to the Offutt community, which remains the home of this mission, now and into the future.”