Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Female Submariners?

These Views and Opinions are my own and not those of the Royal Navy

Female Submariners the Pros and Cons

Concerns have been raised for Years about the impact on morale if men and women were to serve together under the seas for months at a time.Most Forums and Social Networks i visit always talk about Equality for Women and why they should not be Excluded from Serving on Boats but very little input comes from the Spouse of the Submariner How do they Feel ? << That is a question we should all be asking ourselves.

There are currently over 3,000 women in the Royal Navy, they have been allowed to serve on surface ships since 1990.They are very Capable of doing their Job and they should be Proud of what they have achieved in a relatively short time.However when it comes to Submarines its a Totally different story as explained below.

Military experts say the particular nature of being under the sea in incredibly enclosed spaces for long periods poses real problems. Anybody who has been on a submarine will appreciate just how difficult the living arrangements are.
On a Submarine, space is limited,Bunk Spaces are small and crew members must fit all of their personal items in a small locker and a four-inch deep Boot locker under their Bunk.
The submarine has a Limited amount of showers and Toilets (Heads). Water is Limited that's why Crew members take "submariners showers." This consists of quickly turning the water on to get wet, turning the water off and lathering up, and then turning the water back on to rinse off.  Deodorants and other Luxury items are banned (Atmospheric Pollutants).

The United States Submarine Service has just recently allowed Female Trainee Submariners and they are now undergoing their Training.They have Limited this to officer Billets at the moment and will look into the Feasability of increasing this to Ratings Billets in the Future, this lets their Navy sidestep the problem of modifying subs to have separate bunks and bathrooms for Rating men and women. The lone bathroom for officers will bear a reversible sign, letting men know it's in use by women and vice versa.

"The policy on women serving in Subs is still under review Here in The United Kingdom".

Q. Why are women not permitted to serve on our submarines?

Well as explained above there is limited space on our Submarines at the Moment which is not condusive to Privacy, our Submarines would need to be Modified To accomodate Female Submariners, the only class i can see capable of that Conversion is the Vanguard Class at the Moment.This will be Expensive to do and i wonder if the British Public would be happy to put their Hands in ther Pockets to fund it ? Submarines are very Expensive to Build,Refit and Run already.

Future Submarine Builds no doubt will be Designed to accomodate Male and Female Submariners, they will be capable of Living and working together but be prepared for a Media Frenzy when it happens.Our Surface Fleet when Female Sailors joined it has shown the way.

Before any Female considers joining the Submarine Fleet they need to Understand a few things about Submariners and the Submarine Service.

(a) Submariners are Drafted to Submarines its not necessarily true that we were all Volunteers.

(b) Once we are commited to serving on Boats we have to give a return of Service (Golden Hello)

(c)  Submarine Pay is not at this point in time Factored as part of the Final Pension settlement  after  (12 or 22) years Service. 

(d) Training is Continual unlike on Surface Ships we have to requalify everytime we join a new Submarine (same class or new class).Be prepared to have to start all over again if you should become Pregnant and have to take time out from the Service.

Those are some of the Things to consider however here is the really BIG one everyone should consider and it was mentioned at the top of the Article :

How would your Spouse (Both Male and Female) react and deal with a mixed Submarine Crew and the thought of you being in a Confined Environement unable to Surface for Months at a time with no contact outgoing with the Surface world?

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