Friday, February 13, 2015

Navy hits the road seeking women for sub duty

Ken Stone, Times of San Diego, Feb 12

Under the radar, the Navy has begun recruiting women for the formerly all-male submarine force. Several "scouting" seminars were held this week in San Diego.
Lt. Jennifer Carroll, the Women in Submarines coordinator at Submarine Forces Atlantic, speaks to sailors during an all-hands call at Naval Base San Diego. The Enlisted Women in Submarines Road Show visited different military bases in the San Diego area. (Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Emiline L. M. Senn)The first female sailors to serve on San Diego-based subs won't board until 2020, as a recent U-T San Diego report noted. 
But the deputy commander for the Enlisted Women in Submarines Task Force made the rounds of San Diego bases Monday through Wednesday.
"It's fantastic to see females integrated into submarines," said Seaman Apprentice Renee Vouy, studying to be a sonar technician -surface. "I'm excited for the opportunity to be one of the first enlisted females on a submarine." 
Capt. Rod Hutton, the deputy commander, led the Enlisted Women in Submarines Road Show, spreading the word that the submarine force is now open to female enlisted sailors from grades E-1 to E-8. 
Speakers discussed how junior female sailors could convert to rates in the submarine force and the type of candidates the force is seeking. In addition, they provided insights into life aboard submarines.
Until Jan. 21, enlisted billets in the submarine force were closed to women, Hutton said.
"That policy has now changed," he said, "and there is an opportunity for our female sailors to cross the fleet and conduct rating conversions into the submarine force."
More than 60 female officers now serve aboard the Navy's 76 submarines, the Navy says.
They serve aboard guided--missile nuclear submarines and ballistic--missile nuclear submarines. They are also slated to be integrated aboard the Virginia -class fast-attack submarines and ones based.

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