WASHINGTON -- The Navy says it will use a new survey to determine whether female enlisted sailors are interested in serving aboard submarines.
A task force was formed last summer to develop options for integrating enlisted women into the submarine force. The survey results will be used to help guide ongoing planning efforts.
"We seek input from professional women Sailors throughout our Navy, even if they aren't interested in serving aboard submarines," said Rear Adm. Ken Perry, a career submariner who leads the task force. "Responses to the survey questions will help shape future Navy policy and are key to getting the integration right."
Female Sailors can access the online survey by logging on the Navy Standard Integrated Personnel System commonly known as NSIPS. Once logged on, personnel can follow these steps:
- Locate the "Employee Self Service" link in the column on the left side of the page titled "Menu."
- Expand the "Employee Self Service" link options.
- Then expand the options under the "Electronic Service Record" link.
- Click the "Tasks" link.
- Then click the "Survey Requests" link.
The survey will be visible under the "Pending Surveys" window if these steps are followed and takes about 15 minutes to complete. It is scheduled to remain open through the spring.
The submarine force is developing plans to integrate enlisted women following the Secretary of Defense's rescission of the 1994 Direct Ground Combat Definition and Assignment rule last year. All positions currently closed to women are to be opened by January 2016 unless granted an exception by the Defense Secretary.
The fast attack submarines USS Virginia (SSN 774) and USS Minnesota (SSN 783)were selected as the first two Virginia-class submarines to integrate female officers. Submarines with women on board are USS Florida (SSGN 728), USS Georgia (SSGN 729) and USS Wyoming (SSBN 742), homeported in Kings Bay, Ga., and USS Ohio (SSGN 726), USS Louisiana (SSBN 743), and USS Maine (SSBN 741), homeported in Bangor, Wash.
Perry emphasized that all survey responses will remain anonymous.
There are 72 nuclear-powered submarines based at seven homeports in the Atlantic and Pacific regions.
The submarine force began integrating female officers into ballistic-missile and guided-missile submarine crews in 2011. Many have since earned submarine qualifications and completed a number of strategic deterrent patrols and missions in multiple theaters of operation.