First Woman takes command of a Navy Warship

#1
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/mai...9.xml&sSheet=/portal/2004/01/29/ixportal.html

First woman takes charge of a Navy warship
By Nicole Martin
(Filed: 29/01/2004)


A female officer has made Royal Navy history by becoming the first woman to command an operational British warship.

Lt Charlotte "Charlie" Atkinson, 32, has taken charge of Brecon, a 200ft, 750 tonne Hunt class mine counter measures vessel, 14 years after the Navy admitted female officers on equal terms with their male counterparts.


Lt Charlotte "Charlie" Atkinson aboard the Brecon
The 5ft 2in officer from Dorset, whose father also served in the Royal Navy, is the only woman among the 35-strong crew and is responsible for the vessel's "safe and effective operation".

She has already completed her first duty as commanding officer - preventing the smuggling of explosives during a three-week patrol of waters around Northern Ireland - and was yesterday in Faslane, Helensburgh, preparing for another patrol.

Born on Oct 21 or Trafalgar Day - which commemorates Lord Nelson's victory in 1805 - Lt Atkinson was only 11 when she decided she wanted to join the Royal Navy.

She enrolled in 1994 after graduating from the University of Swansea and has since used her skills aboard Dumbarton Castle in the Falklands and Endurance in the Antarctic.

It was last year during a two-year exchange with the Royal New Zealand Navy that she was offered the position of commander of Brecon.

Speaking aboard the Brecon yesterday Lt Atkinson said: "To be in charge of a warship is the most challenging and exciting job I think there is to officers in the Navy and to get it at this stage in my career is tremendous."

She said she was not intimidated by becoming the first woman to command an operational British warship because she was supported "100 per cent" by her crew.

"When you are at work, you do your job and I've got an excellent team on board and I enjoy working with them," she said. Lt Atkinson added: "I hope this will send out a signal to other women in the Navy that they can go up the ranks." Of the prospects of one day going to war, she said: "We have the confidence in knowing that everyone has been extremely well trained for the job."

Her appointment is widely regarded as a significant milestone for the progress of women in the Services. Until now, only eight women, including Lt Atkinson, have taken charge of command vessels attached to university Royal Navy units used for training student recruits. But they are much smaller ships with an average crew of five.

Women account for nine per cent of the 41,348 personnel in the Royal Navy with 1,145 serving at sea. There are only 635 female officers, eight per cent of the officer corps. But the crew aboard Brecon said they were happy working under the command of a female officer.

"This is the first vessel I've been in where a woman has been in charge. I don't mind it at all," said Brian Cashman, 24, an operator mechanic. "If anything, Lt Atkinson seems a bit more chilled out than previous captains I have worked with, which is a good thing."
Well done her, but Nelson must be spinning like a top.

Mind you, not the first time the Navy has taken the lead.

Seem to remember reading about the Royal Navy being the first Military service to appoint a Black man to command of a Warship, a Frigate to be exact.


...and that was in 1798.
 
#2
just wait till her navigating officer crashes her into something the tabloids will have a field day.
 

Ventress

LE
Moderator
#3
HMS Brecon isn't a warship, it's a poxy minehunter. HMS Cardfiff and Invincible are WARSHIPS. Women have been IC the small things for ages, why the 'gasps' Its hardly 'Master and Commander'
 
#4
first commands usually are small ships like Minehunter though isn't brecon one of the NIPS vessels
 
#5
I have no problem with women in command. The Navy usually appoints the right Officer as the "old man" or in this case "young woman".

There is a problem with the Telegraph's reporting though.

She has already completed her first duty as commanding officer - preventing the smuggling of explosives during a three-week patrol of waters around Northern Ireland
So now the "smugglers of explosives" know a lot about the CO of the minor war vessel that gives them the sh1ts.

Hopefully Nurse is correct and Brecon is not NIPS.

She enrolled in 1994....
Enrolled :?: She joined the Royal Navy, not a pottery class at the church hall.

........Oct 21 or Trafalgar Day - which commemorates Lord Nelson's victory in 1805.
No sh1t 8O But if Telegraph readers need a history lesson they could have added; "over the French!" :D

Alas, the Telegraph have muppets working for them like every other news media. Even with John Keegan and Toby Harnden on the staff, they make some howlers on matters naval/military/crustacean. Howlers to some but unfortunately the public take it as gospel.
 
#7
Sorry Nurse, confused
isn't Becon...?
with: Brecon is'nt. :oops:

So confused in fact, I could be a journalist. :wink:
 

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