Submarine Matters provides an expanding database on submarines worldwide. Australia should contract in 2016 to only buy a batch of 6 Shortfins - then, in the 2030s, decide whether to buy: 6 more Shortfins or 6 Barracuda SSNs or 4 Virginia SSNs. With increasing numbers of Chinese, Russian and Indian SSNs in Australia's region Australia's Shortfins cannot attain any 2016 Defence White Paper goal of being "regionally superior". Australia would need to buy SSNs to be "superior".
December 7, 2015
Women in US subs seemed promising - But then...
While the most controversial issue for the UK RN seems to be Trident submarine replacements, women in submarines seems the USN's most public submarine issue.
24 women "pioneering the way toward gender equality"
Target:Lt. Britta Christianson and the other 23 women who took part in submarine officer training
Goal: Congratulate the first women to serve on a Navy submarine and thank them for pioneering the way toward gender equality
The Navy first began to allow women to serve on ships in 1994. However, until recently they were not allowed to serve on submarines. It was believed that allowing women to serve on submarines, where the tour of duty is 90 days in a confined space, would be too distracting for the other soldiers aboard the ship. The ban was lifted in 2010, but the first woman was not certified to work on a sub until June 2012. Congratulate Lt. Britta Christianson on being the first woman to serve on a Navy submarine and for earning her dolphin pin.
The lieutenant spent more than a year training aboard the USS Ohio where she was required to become proficient in basic submarines operations, engineering fundamentals, damage control functions, and qualify as a diving officer. Part of the training involved spending six months deployed on a submarine...
Lt. Christianson is one of the first 24 women who were selected to begin submarine officer training since the Navy reversed the ban in 2010. The women were divided among four of the largest submarines in the Navy. These women were chosen to jump start the pilot program that eventually hopes to integrate women on Navy submarines...[see WHOLE ARTICLE]
"I would probably expect that most of the women are going to get
out," Lt. Jennifer Carroll told Navy Times. "I don’t know
exactly what everyone’s personal reasons are for it, but I think a lot of it
has to do with co-location." Carroll, 28, was one of the first women to earn her dolphins in 2012 as
a junior officer aboard the ballistic missile sub USS
Maine (SSBN-741) and today works with the Submarine
Force's integration office in Norfolk [Virginia]...
[SUBFOR spokesman Cmdr. Tommy Crosby replied]…three of
the original 24 women selected for submarines have signed up for their department
head tour, and noted that the window for the bonus is still open.
When assessing officer retention, Crosby said officials factor in losses
and time served. Five officers have washed out of the program for medical
issues, academic failures and other reasons. Something
as simple as a shellfish allergy could disqualify a person from
submarine service. The service also only counts those who have reached three
years of commissioned service.
Factoring in those unplanned losses leaves the retention rate at 16
percent for the first submarine officers, Crosby said.
Crosby noted that retention for nuclear-trained women in
surface warfare stands at 14 percent, and pointed out that one women from the
2011 year group has already committed to being a submarine department head…
Couple that with the fact that many more female sailors are married to
male sailors than the other way around, and keeping a dual-service family
together is a challenge. Carroll said that's the issue for her and many of her colleagues. She
said her options to be stationed with her husband for sea duty are limited to
Norfolk and the Los Angeles-area Naval Base Ventura County...
Another important factor is the commanding officer. In her case, Carroll
said, her skipper made it clear to everyone on the boat that they were all
equal and would be expected to do the same things…
The goal is to get women through the initial shock of joining a force
where they are still a rarity and then convincing them to stick around for
Sweetening the deal
The Navy Department is trying to tackle that issue, for officers in
general and women in particular, with a slew of new measures announced earlier
this year. Among them is a fully-funded, in-residence graduate school program,
expansion of the service's career intermission program and — in the
future — getting rid of officer year groups altogether.
Officers can take up to three years off with Career
Intermission Program (CIP) to raise children, or possibly work in
new parenthood during a graduate school stint. But for those staying on
active-duty, the Navy extended both installation child care hours and maternity
leave this year. Eighteen
weeks of maternity leave sounds great in theory, one female officer
told Navy Times, but there are still concerns about how it will affect careers...[see WHOLE ARTICLE]