Monday, August 08, 2011
Warship to be commanded by a woman for the first time in Navy's 500-year history
A woman is to command a frontline warship for the first time in the history of the Royal Navy, it has emerged.
Lieutenant Commander Sarah West, 39, is taking charge of HMS Portland - a 5,000-ton Type 23-Frigate which is prepared for 'total warfare'.
Women, who were first allowed to go to sea with the Navy in 1990, have until now only commanded small non-fighting ships www.mannastores.com.
Lt Cdr West is said to have won the role from male officers because of her 'leadership, confidence, moral courage, sound judgment and excellent people skills'.
The Ministry of Defence, who confirmed the appointment to Mail Online, says she will now have to undertake a commanding officer course to prepare for the role.
Originally from Lincolnshire, the 39-year-old - who is single - studied Maths at the University of Herefordshire. She joined Britannia Royal Naval College in 1995 as a Warfare Officer.
Her initial training included stints on HMS Battleaxe, HMS Sandown and HMS Sheffield which was deployed in the Gulf.
She went on to become the Public Works Officer on HMS Cornwall in 2003 after further training and was involved in missions in the eastern Atlantic before moving on to HMS Norfolk a year later.
In 2006, the officer was appointed to the Commander Amphibious Taks Group as the under-water warfare specialist which including planning and carrying out exercises around the world including a NATO Reaction Force.