Female Navy personnel are to be allowed to serve Royal Navy submarines after it was announced that twenty female ratings and officers had been assigned to the Vanguard-class submarines that carry Trident nuclear missiles.
The announcement has caused concern amongst some of the Navies senior officers who fear that Wrens and male sailors living together in close quarters will break the strict no touching rule, and ultimately lead to sexual harassment claims.
According to the MoD, five women officers will be deployed with each of the four Vanguard-class nuclear subs' 135 crew.
The main concern to the Navy is if there was to be any issues raised would not be possible for personell to be taken off until the submarine returned from its highly secret three month patrol. The Navy will go to great lengths to make sure that the first women are officers with impeccable credentials.
High ranking officers remember the alleged scandals during the early 1990's following the introduction of Wrens into sea going craft and some fear a repeat of such allegations.
Female crew have been barred from subs due to fears that three months underwater could cause pregnant women to miscarry. But year-long tests have proved there is no risk.
Designers say Vanguard subs can be easily converted to give women their own area with showers and bunks.
The change to the ruling has been brought about mainly because the Navy has struggled to recruit submariners
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