Navy Allows Women On Submarines In 2011
The United States Navy will let women serve on submarines starting in 2011. Female officers will start training for submarine duty next year, but will still not be allowed on attack submarines.
According to the Navy, women were not allowed to serve on submarines before due to the "limited habitability and privacy" aboard a submarine. But Secretary of the Navy, Ray Mabus, said he has been working together with Chief of Naval Operations Administrator Gary Roughead since March to allow women the same opportunity to serve on submarines as men have.
At first, women will be serving on larger ballistic- and guided missile submarines. The Navy will work on getting women on attack submarines in the future.
Women and men were segregated on all surface combat ships and aircraft until the early 1990s, but concerns about mixing women and men for long periods of time under water in closed quarters has kept women off submarines. There is only one lavatory on most submarines, and Gary Roughead suggested the Navy may have to implement time-sharing agreements when it comes to using setting up a system to use them with two sexes on the boat.
"We are moving out aggressively on this. I believe women should have every opportunity to serve at sea, and that includes aboard submarines."