Navy opening submarine force to women

GROTON, Conn. (WTNH) — The Navy is looking to open the doors of opportunity for women a little wider and get more of them interested the submarine force.

They are planning to ask every single female sailor if she wants to serve on a submarine. News 8’s Tina Detelj went to the Naval Sub Base in Groton to get reaction.

Since this is a submarine base, there are not too many female sailors for us to survey. We were able to speak to some women in the community and someone who served on a submarine himself.

The silent service has people talking. Soon, more women will be stationed aboard these underwater fighting machines alongside men like veteran Ray Hamilton.

“I don’t think any of the jobs on a modern day submarine are beyond them physically or emotionally, so I think it’s time’s come,” said Hamilton.

The navy apparently feels the same and is lifting the ban on women serving on board submarines in 2010.

“I think women can do whatever men can do, sometimes just as good if not better,” said Kate Casagrande, Groton.

“A lot of people don’t think we are as equal to men and so I think it’s going to empower a lot of women and show we can do whatever we put our mind to,” said Meghan Beatty, Clinton. 

The first women to climb on board ballistic and guided missile submarines have been officers. Enlisted sailors will be next and that is why every female sailor will be asked whether or not she is interested.

“There are no draftees on submarines, you have to volunteer to be a submariner, so it makes eminent sense to poll the community yeah,” said Hamilton.

“Do you think that you’d have any interest in going into a situation like that? No not me. And why not? I’m not usually the brave one I”d rather stay home and take care of my family,” said Casagrande.

“I definitely would because I am pretty at least I think I”m pretty strong and I have a big character so I think I’d be able to handle whatever tough situations were thrown at me,” said Beatty.

Six female officers who will be serving here in Groton, three on the USS Virginia and three on the USS Minnesota, are expected to arrive here by next January.

 

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