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Royal Navy Submarine Service appointed first female submariners

May 6, 2014 14:30 IST

Royal Navy Submarine Service of United Kingdom for the first time appointed female submariners.

Pioneering lieutenants Maxine Stiles, Alex Olsson and Penny Thackray on 5 May 2014 have become the first women to serve in the Royal Navy Submarine Service.The move was taken for the first time in the 110-year history of the Submarine Service.

All the three have earned their Dolphins after months of training. During training, all the 3 female officers conducted operations on HMS Vigilant, a Vanguard Class submarine.

A ban on women submariners based on health fears was lifted in 2011.

A review of concerns that submarines higher levels of carbon dioxide could carry risks to female health decided the fears were unfounded.

The role of women in the Royal Navy has changed drastically over the years. In 1994, women began to serve at sea in surface ships. In 2011 UK Government lifted the ban preventing women from serving on board submarines.

Women can now serve in all of the Royal Navy’s seagoing branches.

Following the arrival of woman officers, female ratings (non-commissioned personnel) will start training in the end of 2014 with a view to serving on Vanguard submarines in 2015.

Female personnel will also be able to serve on Astute-class submarines from around 2016.

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