Keeping the blogosphere posted on the goings on of the world of submarines since late 2004... and mocking and belittling general foolishness wherever it may be found. Idaho's first and foremost submarine blog. (If you don't like something on this blog, please E-mail me; don't call me at home.)

Monday, June 20, 2005

The Times, They Are A'Changin...

(Intel source: Rontini's BBS) Check out this photo of "Officers and crew of the Swedish Navy submarine HMS Gotland (A 19) tour(ing)... the Los Angeles-class attack submarine USS Hartford (SSN 768). Check out the young Sailor to the right of the three waiting to go down the WSH. Notice anything? I'll wait until you get back...

Did you see it? OK, it looks like she's a midshipman, so probably not a regular member of the crew. That doesn't really make a difference, though; Sweden is one of the three countries (Norway and Australia are the others) I know of who have removed gender restrictions on submarine service.

Please note that now that I'm no longer on active duty, I really don't have a stake in the "gender integration in submarines" debate, so I can say that I think it would be a pain in the ass, but we'd end up working it out if it was forced on us.

Emergency deep! (To avoid objects being thrown by the active duty submariners)


Blogger Vigilis said...

John M. Brower wrote a substantive article in favor of ending "The Final (Underwater) Frontier" in 2002. Aussie subs (Collins class) have had female crew since 1998. In Sweden, women have served aboard subs for at least 13 years. Norway had its first female submarine commander, Solveig Krey, in 1995.

Otherwise, the coed U.S. space program would certainly have stood the Submarine Force on its head by now. Here's the problem, OSHA standards restrict females of childbearing age to lower, regular exposure to ionizing radiation than males. The nuclear submarine force has then just five alternatives:
a) limit females to forward only duties, including cook. (we can imagine how that would go over)
b) limit female submarine recruits to post-menopausal women (interesting)
c) return to AGSS-555 type diesel boats to accomodate women sailors
d) relax OSHA standards for civilian women (politically untenable)
e) end the protest, accept women sailors on nukes aand incur high court-awards subsequently
(all my lawyer friends like this one best).

Interestingly, Brower mentions four chief problems as 1) pregnancy, which you were forbidden from discussing in the context ship preparedness (missing movement) by a former Secretary of the Navy, 2) ablution, 3) bunking, and 4) posting (same as (a). He mentions none (zero) of the problems (b) -(e).

6/20/2005 8:51 PM

Blogger Robert Schumacher said...

Got no problem with it, personally. I left my thoughts on it at "Ultraquiet", but to me a Sailor is a long as they pull their share I don't care if they are purple, gay, and have tentacles.

Getting relieved on time as RO...that I care about (six hours in the box means ya really need to take a leak!)

6/20/2005 11:43 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

When we stop excluding women, we will learn to accomodate them. When we learn to accomodate them, there will be no more reason to exclude them.


6/21/2005 7:52 AM

Blogger Robert Schumacher said...

(Star Wars geek alert)

What, Twi'lek nukes would be a problem? :)

6/21/2005 8:43 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Being old retired MMC, I feel that woman should not be in the service at all. Being that my daughter is in the Army, when they are in situations of danger, you want them to be safe.
As far as Submarines, the problems are berthing (no room to segregate), Heads (you reduce the 2 heads to 1 for the men?), and team work (what I saw on a Sub tender, there is no team work when females were involved).

When we stop excluding women, we will learn to accommodate them.

When the females have to meet the same standards as the men, we should include them, but the Navy bends over to accommodate them (i.e. lower the standards for females). This is wrong!

In what I saw over the 21 years I was in, is that Woman cause problems when they are with men for long isolated times. On the tender in Norfolk, when they would be getting ready for a long period away from home port, many women got pregnant and did not make the run. You can not have this on a sub, you have fewer people, when you lose 2 or 3 people, the watch standers go port & starboard.
How do you hot bunk with a female?
Women should be put on a pedestal not in the bilge!
Nuc MMC/SS retired

6/21/2005 8:57 AM

Blogger CDR Salamander said...

Heads and showers? I thought "Starship Troopers" showed the way for us?

6/21/2005 10:30 AM

Blogger Skippy-san said...

I'm not a submariner, but I have made my feelings on mixed gender crews quite clear, its a pain in the ass! Its not that it can't be done, its the extra baggage that it brings along with it.

Just say no.

6/21/2005 12:24 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Having done 12 years on the boats, with my remaining 9 years on drydocks and tenders, both as a Chief and an Officer, I can say that females, regardless of their abilities, present a challenge for the Chiefs and Officers that must manage their workforce. Using pregnancy as a tool to not go to sea, 90% of these girls were single, losing 2 to 5 out of a division of 20. While I was on the Holland, we actually made David Letterman's top 10. Something about the amount of pregnancies on board. Then when you think you got it whipped, "that time of the month" comes all at once. When you put women together in a confined environment, their timing will eventually coincide with each other. Therefore, after a month or so, you have them all at that time of the month. Now if this doesn't create problems. Gotta go, will tell you more later.

CWO3 (ret)

6/21/2005 2:03 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you go to the Pentagon and ask about women in submarines they'll say, "That's a fleet issue. Go down to Norfolk." If you go down to Norfolk and ask the same question they'll tell you, "That's a headquarters issue. Go up to the Pentagon."

So I figure the issue is stuck about half-way between - on I95 just north of Richmond. Right about at the King's Dominion amusement park.

6/21/2005 2:13 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

As an OLD bubblehead, I can empathize with those opposing female riders. However, as a father of three daughters, I can accept that there are little or no reasons sensible enough to restrict women in any positon. My daughters are smart enough and strong enough to "enjoy" any of the stresses I experienced during my service years. As one of the first RO's in the fleet, I can certainly appreciate Rob's complaint that 6 hours on the RPCP is long enough without a break. Actualy, the MWS could fill in, but then, where was the closest head?

The good ole boys need to get over their superiority complex.

2/27/2008 6:45 AM


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