October 2, 2017

The Love Sub

Based on a October 1, 2017 report by Mikey Smith of the (UK) Mirror, October 1, 2017.

The UK Royal Navy (RN) has suffered two vessel love affairs in recent years, one relating to a frigate, the other to a submarine. Intimate relationships of any kind on a RN ship or a submarine are banned. 

Details of the possible frigate affair go back to 2014 when Sarah West (above), the RN's first female warship captain, was removed from her command of the frigate HMS Portlandwith the RN just citing an "internal matter". She was reassigned to another post.


The submarine affair is current and more serious because the Vanguard class sub involved is an SSBN specifically designed to launch the nuclear weapons on board. 

Senior naval officers have been sent to the SSBN, deployed in international waters, to deal with claims there was an “inappropriate relationship” between a male and female officer. The female officer is apparently innocent of wrongdoing. RN woman were banned from serving on submarines until the rules changed in 2011.


My limited knowledge is that the Royal Australian Navy works on a less formal "don't ask, don't tell" basis, with far less publicity.



MHalblaub said...

Dear Pete,
for Germany exist a “Zentrale Dienstvorschrift” (joint service regulations) sexual behavior of and between soldiers. A relation with a married person could have consequences. All other relations are OK but no sex on duty.



Anonymous said...

Hi Pete

Criticism against only woman in this kind of intimate relationship or scandal is sexual discrimination. I believe there are many male-to-male sexual scandals, but just hidden.

In Japan, Captain Miho Otani works for JS Yamagiri DD-152 [1].

[1] https://www.google.com.au/search?q=%E5%A4%A7%E8%B0%B7%E4%B8%89%E7%A9%82&hl=ja&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiQsYWc1NHWAhUDyLwKHfVMA3kQ_AUICigB&biw=1022&bih=591#imgrc=s09ZHkL8MuKbTM:&spf=1506937656700


Anonymous said...

It is understandable that in a mix working environment that these relationships happen, however having an affair with a subordinate clearly show a lack of leadership and judgement. How do you know it is not a case of sexual harassment?

Peter Coates said...


Yes, on the sub it could have been sexual harassment along the lines "if you (the woman) don't have sex with me I'll give you a poor work performance assessment.

Some may argue that having just a few usually younger woman on board (of a SSBN with 3 months of no permitted sex) causes this temptation and situation.

Also the many wives left at home of the males on the SSBN are worried about the risk of a few usually younger women being with their husbands for 3 lonely months...

Older ex-submariners from the US Navy take a particularly dim view of women on subs.