Task force to study integration of enlisted women into sub force

Groton — Rear Adm. Kenneth Perry, the commander of Submarine Group Two, will lead the group that is charged with figuring out how to bring enlisted women aboard submarines.

Vice Adm. Michael J. Connor, commander of the submarine force, stood up the task force of senior officers in May to specifically look at best integration practices for ballistic-missile submarines, guided-missile submarines and Virginia-class submarines, the Navy said Friday.

The Navy lifted its ban on women serving aboard submarines in 2010 and started assigning female officers first to the larger, ballistic-missile and guided-missile submarines. The Navy announced in January that female officers will begin reporting to attack submarines in fiscal year 2015, and, as the next step, enlisted women would be considered for sub duty.

Perry took over command of the submarine group, which includes all of the attack submarines on the East Coast, in April. He will lead the task force as it develops a comprehensive "Plan of Actions and Milestones" by January 2014.

The plan will mirror the previous process used to integrate female officers on submarines and will include feasibility studies, potential courses of action and candidate timelines, according to the Navy. A detailed implementation plan is scheduled to be presented to the Chief of Naval Operations by March 2015.

A new ballistic-missile submarine, which Electric Boat is currently designing, will accommodate officers and enlisted sailors of both genders, the Navy said.

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