Friday, March 5, 2010

Females On Submarines ... You've Got to be Kidding

The Navy's leadership, pushed by the Obama Administration, has declared that submarines will now be staffed ay female as well as male sailors. What kind of rocket scientist thought this pile of dog excrement up? Surely it was someone who has no concept of what a submarine does or how it operates.

Now, don't get me wrong. I am in no way saying that females are not capable of doing the jobs on submarines just as well as males. That is not my point.

The point is practicality.

Submarines are very cramped quarters. There is so little room, even in the biggest ones, that there are not enough bunks (beds for you ignorant Obama Admininstration members) for all of the sailors. The enlisted personnel 'hot bunk' - that is they share a bunk with others. When someone is on duty, someone else is sleeping in that bunk. Shifts change, they swap. Hence hot bunk ... the bedding doesn't have a chance to cool off between occupants. Heads (or bathrooms) are communal, and very limited in space. Use of the facilities has to be coordinated to keep from chaos breaking out. The only way this works is that everyone is the same sex (and supposedly the same sexual orientation). The point is, there isn't much living space for the crew.

Now, add females to the equiation. You can't make the submarine bigger. You can't make males and females share berthing spaces or heads (which would be the only way to really achieve equality). So, you have to take communal space away and dedicate it to female use only. There have to be seperate, lockable berthing spaces, showers, toilets - and the only way those can be provided is to cut down on the communal spaces. So, the male crew members will get even less space, even less access to facilities, and endure more problems in their daily life onboard.

This will create animosity between the male and female crew members. This will put a finite limit on the number of females that can be in the crew. You will end up with 100+ male enlisted crew losing half of their living space to 3-4 females. How can the Navy not know of the problems this will cause?

Problems will be compounded by the nature of the sub missions ... underwater, cooped up for weeks and months on end. There will inevitably be issues with onboard romances, pregnancies, and hard feelings.

These problems have been run into when women were introduced to surface combatant vessels, but the problems weren't nearly as serious. There is a lot more room on a surface ship, a lot more opportunity to 'get away' from the tension.

In addition to the practical issues listed above, there is the matter of money. It is going to cost millions upon millions of dollars to retrofit submarines to accomplish this. For what? What is this going to accomplish?

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