This is a discussion on Women on submarines as soon as next week...sorry not a fan within the Law Enforcement, Military & Homeland Security Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Originally Posted by Doodle I also want to reiterate that every enlisted person and every officer is expected to know how and be able to ...
This just makes me wonder why the Navy, in all of it's "best underwater force in the world" status, just only recently banned smoking? I did a quick google and saw that about 40% of the submariners smoked. It looks like other countries still allow smoking on subs. Statistically, couldn't the risk of fire due to a buddy smoking be equivalent to any of the risks of having females aboard? Wouldn't the health risks of decreased lung function for smokers or nonsmokers be limiting the physical performance under emergencies?
What exactly is the status of smoking on subs? I mean no disrespect to the Navy but this just seems like a problem, more so than having a few qualified, serious, professional women on board.
PS the "some guy from Pizza Hut" was a classic, thanks for that whoever said it.
The pregnancy issue, and another issue (that suprisingly hasn't come up yet in this discourse) that I've pondered since the 90's when 'women on subs' first came up in serious debate is this......... medical treatment.
As for my being for or aginst women on sub's, I'll again refer to my first post on this, #38.
Pregnancy first....... This is a BIG DEAL. Wether it was a wife who unexpectedly 'poped positive' due to an 'Ooops', a rape (which I fear the suspect had better be in jail by the time her shipmates go looking for him.....we ARE submariners), or an unprofessional underway 'relationship' with an equally guilty male shipmate....... regardless, she has to be removed soonest. Submarines are NOT a 'happy place' for a devoloping fetus/child. Now, with her having to go, she will NOT be replaced....at least not right away. The rest of us will have to pick the slack. Not unheard of......I've had to do that with plenty of the guys who've had to be removed.....injury, illness, went coo-coo (that's happened)....whatever. The pregnancy asspect of it just adds another element to be delt with......However, with pregnancy, she is stilled considered a part of the boat and a crewmember..... she WON'T be replaced. She'd be returned onboard after about a year. That's how it works right now. Bad deal indeed. That policy may have to be 'tweaked' if not out-right changed.
Now for medical.......... Women bring a whole 'new' area of medicne onboard that, even now as their checking onboard, we are VERY ill-prepared to meet. Subs only have ONE corpsman onboard.....not a doctor..... just a really good combat medic/nurse. When said male corpsman (for now anyway) HAS to check out a females 'no-no's'.......better hope we have at least two women availiable to 'observe' what's going on. There are NO real medical facilities on a sub...... 'sick-bay' is squeezed into 'where-ever' Women also bring a 'new' set of 'things' that have to be addressede and prepared for.....not much more, but some more, and diffrent, considerations. I'm a husband, father of two daughters, and now a grand-paw of one wonderful grand-daughter...... I have a clue about women's medical needs.... but ONLY a CLUE.
As the submarine force 'grows into' the new role women WILL play, these issues will addressed as best they can, we'll learn from it, and continue moving forward. We're a pretty fluid and adaptable bunch.
Edit: never answered the question. My 378-footer generally stuck to 2-3 months in home port, 2 months away from home port. The longest without any liberty/port call that I experienced was probably 3 straight weeks at sea, but those boats could do longer if necessary. My 110-footer, which could be ready to get underway within six hours, would sometimes do emergency response, in and out on the same night. From our home port in Miami, we would do 2-7 day patrols away, maybe taking a break in Key West or something like that. Then, every few months, we would transfer our AOR to Puerto Rico and be away from Miami for about a month, doing week-long patrols between port breaks (sometimes stopping for fuel or supplies, or to transfer custody of detainees/immigrants/seized vessels, etc.). Once, though, we stayed underway for a looong time--I think maybe 10 days? Let's just say our stores were getting mighty low.
I'll also say this WRT the strength disparity of men/women..... as a sub-sailor who honestly dosn't want change but knows it's comming and is ready for it.... No sailor will stand watch 'alone'. Male or female, as long as our surfacing evolutions EQUAL our diving evolutions AND he/she can sound an alarm when the sanitairy tanks empty into the ventalation..... helps comming!
Wanna see something absolutly funny and completly frightening.......? Call away a REAL fire underwater!
I'll just let ya'll imagination go with that 'vision' for a bit......... just know that putting that fire OUT is priority ONE....even BEFORE getting DRESSED. I've been the first responder for more than a couple of REAL fires........ wearing nothing but skivvies, boots, and a bad attitude.
I've never stepped foot on a active Navy vessel, so maybe I have no idea what I'm talking about, but I could not imagine adding women to the mix of a sub is a good idea. A big ship like a carrier... OK, but a sub? Wow. Maybe they could have an all woman crew on a few cruises. That would be interesting.
Last edited by SIXTO; November 6th, 2011 at 01:08 PM.
"Just blame Sixto"
I reserve the right to make fun, point and laugh etc.
Here's something else .....a semi-serious thought....... fresh water is a comodity. Subs can only make so much. We dudes stink bad enough, but when the fresh-water still decides to give up the ghost.......... no showers, no laundry. The reactor gets first drink, leftover drops are spared for the cooks. That's IT.
Someone asked or posted eariler about 'our special kinda stank' that follows us home after patrol/deployment. SWMBO'd does NOT allow me in the house until I dump all my stuff in the garage and orders me STRIGHT to the shower. COMWIFLANT's (Commander, Wife Atlantic) orders are followed.
Charter Member of the DC .41 LC Society "Get heeled! No really"
“No possible rapidity of fire can atone for habitual carelessness of aim with the first shot.”
Theodore Roosevelt, The Wilderness Hunter, 1893
My understanding is that sub crews are fairly elite. The women who go for that duty are likely to be serious about career advancement, so I don't think this is going to be a rampant issue, nor do I think it will be catastrophic should it occur; a crewman unable to do their job due to a broken leg has pretty much the same impact.
Please don't think that I am taking this concern lightly. In fact, I asked my wife, who is about as strong a woman as you'll know, what she thinks should be the policy. The following is a paraphrase of her proposal:
Given 3-6 month deployments, require every female submariner to take a pregnancy test immediately prior to deployment and if they are pregnant, they are not allowed to go out. If they are not pregnant, they would be required to take a depo-provera shot. This is birth control effective for three months, so short tours would be covered. For six month tours, they could either take a second shot at the three month mark, or choose not to, as a pregnancy of less than three months gestation would be unlikely to affect their ability to perform. Any pregnancy that prevents them from doing their duty once deployed would be a court martial offense. If it can be determined that a sailor on board is the other half, he would also be subject to court martial.
Me again. Seems like it would work. Any comments?