Sen. McCain praises Salisbury’s Loeblein on his promotion to Navy rear admiral

James. T. Loeblein
James. T. Loeblein

U.S. Navy Capt. James T. Loeblein, a Salisbury native, will be promoted to a rear admiral and become deputy commander of the Fifth Fleet.

Loeblein, 50, is expected to take on his new responsibilities in mid August. The Fifth Fleet is based in Manama, the capital city of Bahrain.


Bahrain is a small island country near the western shores of the Persian Gulf. It is connected to Saudi Arabia by the King Fahd Causeway.

For the past three years, Loeblein has served as director of the Navy Senate Liaison Office.

He is son of Bob and Anne Loeblein and brother of Tom Loeblein and Carolyn Bird, all of Salisbury.

Earlier this month, U.S Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., paid tribute to Loeblein on the Senate floor.

“Today I honor a superb leader, liaison and warrior,” McCain said. “... Capt. James T. Loeblein is very deservingly moving on and moving up to assume the responsibilities of a rear admiral, lower half.

“On this occasion, I believe it is fitting to recognize Capt. Loeblein’s distinguished service and dedication to fostering the relationship between the U.S. Navy and this Chamber.”

With the Navy Senate Liaison Office, McCain said, Loeblein led 37 congressional delegations to 47 different countries. He escorted 44 members of Congress, 48 personal and professional staff members, “and I have had the pleasure of traveling with Capt. Loeblein on many of these trips,” McCain said.

“He has distinguished himself by going above and beyond the call of duty to facilitate and successfully execute each and every trip, despite any number of weather, aircraft and diplomatic complications,” McCain said. “The Chamber will feel Capt. Loeblein’s absence.”

McCain said Loeblein showed unwavering support of the missions of the Navy, the Senate Armed Services Committee, Senate Foreign Relations Committee and Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.

The senator ended his tribute by wishing Loeblein and his wife, Carol, who is a captain in the U.S. Naval Reserve, “fair winds and following seas.”

Loeblein is a 1981 graduate of Salisbury High. He then entered the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md., and received his commission in May 1985.

Loeblein also earned a master of science in electrical engineering from the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, Calif., in 1992 and a master of arts degree in national security and strategic studies at the Naval War College in Newport, R.I., in 1997.

Here’s a look at Loeblein’s service at sea and on shore over the past 28 years:

• Completed his division officer tour aboard USS Meyerkord, based out of San Diego, Calif., from 1987-90, participating in two Western Pacific deployments.

• Studied weapons systems engineering at the Naval Postgraduate School from 1990-92.

• Served his department head tour aboard the USS Conolly, based in Norfolk, Va., as chief engineer officer from 1993-96, participating in both Red Sea and Mediterranean Sea deployments.

• Served as executive officer aboard the USS John S. McCain as part of the Forward Deployed Naval Forces, based in Yokosuka, Japan, from 1998-1999, completing an Arabian Gulf deployment.

• Assigned to Joint Staff (J5 Directorate) in Washington, D.C., 1999-2002, where he served as an Asia Pacific political-military planner.

• Attended the Asia Pacific Center for Security Studies in Honolulu, Hawaii, as a U.S. fellow, May-August 2002.

• Commanded the USS Thach, based in San Diego, Calif., from 2003-2005, participating in two Strike Group deployments to the NAVCENT AOR, in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom/Enduring Freedom.

Served as executive assistant to commander, Third Fleet, from 2005-2007.

• Commanded Destroyer Squadron Nine, which included five ships, from 2007-2009, serving as sea combat commander for the Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group also executing deployed operations to the NAVCENT AOR in support of Operations Iraqi Freedom/Enduring Freedom.

• In March 2009, reported as chief of staff, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command/ Fifth Fleet, in Manama, Bahrain.

• Director of Navy Senate Liaison Office, 2010-2013.

Bob Loeblein said his son’s new assignment for now is supposed to last two years.

“It’s been a long, hard road,” he said.

Contact Mark Wineka at 704-797-4263.

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