Two years ago, Australia was having problems crewing submarines despite a policy of recruiting volunteer seamen and women
(from within the Royal Australian Navy). So, it began a new program:
The navy has such a shortage of engineers and marine and electronic technicians to crew its submarines, it has been forced for the first time to recruit straight off the street. Sydney Morning Herald Mar 27, 2006
Underlying psychology (of Australia's potential male recruits): Why volunteer for a job that females now do? Answer: The young males do not volunteer; glamour has been compromised. For married submariners, moreover, the divorce rate among submariners is huge - about 80 per cent, the Aussies report.
This has now come to pass: September 11, 2008 - The Australian
, Another navy sub forced to dry-dock because of crew shortages - 'THE Royal Australian Navy is set to move the fourth of its six Collins-class submarines into dry dock because of crew shortages, undermining Kevin Rudd's plans for a massive upgrade in naval resources to counter a military build-up inAsia.'
Young, red-blooded, male reality has caught up with RAN political expedience. As to retention of male submariners, competition from the mining sector is (remember this?) not unique
to Australia. Once open, the Pandora box of female service is not only problematic on subs, its hard to get closed again.
Submarines are always silent and strange.
Labels: Australia female submariners