Eighteen female officers of the US Navy have started the training for the service on board nuclear submarines. Ten female submariners will start the service in November of this year, The remaining eight will undergo a course of additional education for service on US submarines. Their service will begin in February of next year.
The women's names have not been exposed. The women will be trained together with 74 men.
This seems to be a strange piece of news for many Russians. In other countries, in NATO member-states, first and foremost, this is not a novelty at all. Women can serve on board nuclear cruisers in Norway and in Canada. In the UK, 20 women underwent training for service on four Vanquish-class submarines.
As for the USA, the above-mentioned female submariners will be allowed to service on such classes of submarines as Wyoming, Georgia and Ohio. Like in the Russian navy, each of those American submarines have two crew teams known as Blue and Gold. The teams serve on submarines on a rota basis so that a sub stays at sea as long as possible. This organization of service raises the so-called combat employment coefficient. The women will serve in both of the crew teams of the submarines.
On average, a sortie lasts for 77 days. Afterwards, submariners spend 35 days on navy bases for technical servicing. The command of the US navy plans to introduce the crew service for female submariners because there is enough space on board the submarines to arrange separate cabins for the women. In the USA, women serve on auxiliary fleet of the US Navy since 1973 (on combat vessels - since 1993).
The US Defense Secretary notified the Congress about the intention of the navy to allow women for service on submarines back in February of 2010. Congressmen did not say anything against it. As soon as it became known that women's health will not be damaged during service on new nuclear submarines, the discussion about female submariners took a sexual turn.
What if the initiative will become a starting point for numerous sex scandals in the US navy? The wives of US submariners do not welcome the idea either. Needless to say that if two submariners, a man and a woman, want to have sex on board a sub, they will face a big problem of finding some room for it. Anyway, the command of the US Navy hopes that women's presence on nuclear subs will not result in an eruption of sexual activity.
The author of this article, a former submariner of the Russian navy, recollected a story, which happened on board a nuclear submarine of the Northern Fleet. The story took place at the end of the perestroika period, when sex toys began to appear in small commercial stores in the country. The submarine was navigating for two months, when it suddenly became known that submariners started to catch a sexually transmitted infection one after another.
It was later revealed that the wife of an executive officer submariners gave him a sex toy - a rubber woman - prior to his departure. The officer had a separate cabin, so he could please himself with a toy woman from time to time. A young submariner found the appealing toy when he was cleaning the officer's cabin. The young man decided to give the toy a try.
The news about the toy was spread on the submarine very quickly. Apparently, one of the submariners was already infected with a veneral disease, which the rubber woman subsequently spread among the others.
One may say for certain that Russian women will never serve on Russian submarines. No one can say, of course, what is going to happen in 100 or more years, but for the time being it seems absolutely unacceptable and out of the question.