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Women to Join U.S. Navy Attack Sub Crews

More opportunities for females on subs

The U.S. Navy has selected two Virginia-class attack subs to join the six ballistic missile/guided-missile submarines to have female crew members. Six female officers will join the Groton, Conn.-based USS Virginia (SSN 774) or USS Minnesota (SSN 783) by January 2015.

“Female officers serving aboard Virginia-class submarines is the next natural step to more fully integrate women into the submarine force,” says Mabus.

There are now 43 women serving aboard six Ohio-class ballistic missile (SSBN) and guided-missile submarines (SSGN), including USS Florida (SSGN 728), USS Georgia (SSGN 729), and USS Wyoming (SSBN 742), homeported in Kings Bay, Ga., and USS Ohio (SSGN 726), USS Louisiana (SSBN 743), and USS Maine (SSBN 741), homeported in Bangor, Wash. The Ohio-class ships have rotational Blue and Gold crews.

Women Submariners

Lt. j.g. Jennifer Noonan, assigned to the Blue crew of the ballistic missile submarine USS Maine (SSBN 741), receives her submarine warfare officer device from former shipmate Lt. Jason Brethauer during a ceremony at Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor, Wash. Noonan is one of three sailors to become the first female unrestricted line officers to qualify in submarines. Women will join the crews of two Virginia-class attack subs by January 2015. U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Ahron Arendes

“My plan is to begin by integrating four Virginia-class attack submarines, with the second set of two units being integrated in fiscal year 2016,” says Vice Adm. Michael Connor, commander, Submarine Forces Atlantic. “Since Virginia and Minnesota are both Atlantic Fleet submarines homeported in Groton, Conn., I intend to select two Pacific Fleet submarines homeported in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, early next year.”

“There are extremely capable women in the Navy who have the talent and desire to succeed in the submarine force,” says Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus. “Enabling them to serve in the submarine community is best for the submarine force and our Navy. We literally could not run the Navy without women today.”

“My plan is to begin by integrating four Virginia-class attack submarines, with the second set of two units being integrated in fiscal year 2016,” says Vice Adm. Michael Connor, commander, Submarine Forces Atlantic.

“Female officers serving aboard Virginia-class submarines is the next natural step to more fully integrate women into the submarine force,” says Mabus. “Our Navy has proven over the years that one of our greatest advantages is our diversity. This is an advantage we should capitalize on across all platforms, including submarines.”

The Navy changed its policy prohibiting women serving on submarines on April 29, 2010.

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Capt. Edward H. Lundquist, U.S. Navy (Ret.) is a senior-level communications professional with more than...