USA — Navy Announces First Sub Officer Assignments for Women

WASHINGTON, Oct. 21, 2010 — Two dozen women will begin report­ing to four sub­marines by the end of next year, mark­ing a new mile­stone in the 110-year his­to­ry of the sub­ma­rine force, Navy offi­cials announced today.

Six female offi­cers each will join the crews of the USS Wyoming, USS Geor­gia, USS Maine and USS Ohio, Navy Sub­ma­rine Group 10 offi­cials announced in a news release. 

Three female offi­cers will be assigned to each of the subs’ two crews. 

The Wyoming and the Maine are nuclear-pow­ered bal­lis­tic mis­sile sub­marines, and the Geor­gia and Ohio are nuclear-pow­ered cruise mis­sile sub­marines. Sub­marines of these two class­es are assigned two full crews, known as blue and gold crews, which rotate between sea and shore duty to max­i­mize the time a sub­ma­rine can spend in its assigned area. 

Two of the women in each crew will be sub­ma­rine offi­cers, and the third female offi­cer will be a war­fare-qual­i­fied sup­ply offi­cer. They will be assigned to their first sub­ma­rine duty sta­tion after nuclear pow­er school, pro­to­type train­ing and the Sub­ma­rine Offi­cer Basic Course. They are expect­ed to report to their assigned sub­marines begin­ning in Decem­ber 2011. 

Navy Lt. Rebec­ca Rebarich, the sub­ma­rine group’s pub­lic affairs offi­cer, said today the new sub­ma­rine offi­cers were com­mis­sioned through the U.S. Naval Acad­e­my, ROTC pro­grams and Offi­cer Can­di­date School. All 24 women have been iden­ti­fied and will join their new crews at about the same time, but the Navy is not releas­ing their names while they under­go training. 

“We want them to be able to focus on what they’re doing while they’re in train­ing,” Rebarich explained. “Today’s announce­ment is part of the process of inte­grat­ing women into sub­ma­rine crews. This is just anoth­er step.” 

Sub­ma­rine Group 10 is com­mand­ed by Rear Adm. Bar­ry Bruner, who leads the Navy’s Women on Sub­marines Task Force. 

The Navy’s inte­gra­tion of women into sub­ma­rine crews has been under way since Defense Sec­re­tary Robert M. Gates noti­fied Con­gress in Feb­ru­ary the ser­vice want­ed to add women to its sub­ma­rine crews. Fol­low­ing a con­gres­sion­al review, Navy offi­cials announced April 29 they would begin accept­ing women’s appli­ca­tions for sub­ma­rine offi­cer training. 

Navy Sec­re­tary Ray Mabus, a for­mer Navy sur­face war­fare offi­cer, declared his goal of inte­grat­ing women into the sub­ma­rine forces soon after tak­ing office in May 2009. Adm. Gary Roug­head, chief of naval oper­a­tions, sec­ond­ed Mabus’s ini­tia­tive. The admi­ral said in a state­ment released in Sep­tem­ber 2009 that his expe­ri­ence com­mand­ing a mixed-gen­der sur­face-com­bat­ant ship makes him very com­fort­able inte­grat­ing women into the sub­ma­rine force. 

The Navy first allowed women to serve on sur­face non­com­bat­ant ships in 1973 and on sur­face com­bat­ant ships in 1993. 

U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs) 

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