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Chief Culinary Specialist Dominique Saavedra, assigned to the USS Michigan, is pinned with her enlisted submarine qualification at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, Aug. 2, 2016. The Navy has extended the deadline for female enlisted sailors to convert to submarine force ratings.
Chief Culinary Specialist Dominique Saavedra, assigned to the USS Michigan, is pinned with her enlisted submarine qualification at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, Aug. 2, 2016. The Navy has extended the deadline for female enlisted sailors to convert to submarine force ratings. (Kenneth G. Takada/U.S. Navy)

The Navy has extended the deadline for female enlisted sailors to convert to submarine force ratings.

Sailors in ranks E-1 to E-8 now have until June 1 to apply, the Navy announced this week. The deadline had been April 11.

This is the fourth round of female sailor selections for conversion to submarine force ratings. The Navy said selections from this round of applications would be for initial integration of the USS Georgia in 2019, an Ohio-class submarine from Kings Bay, Ga.

Selections will also go to fill openings on the previously integrated subs, Florida and Michigan, because of the rotation of personnel to shore duty.

The USS Florida, an Ohio-class cruise missile submarine, is also home-ported in Kings Bay, while the USS Michigan, an Ohio-class nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine sails out of Bangor, Wash.

The Navy lifted the ban on women serving on submarines in 2010. Soon afterward the service began bringing female officers on board. The first group of enlisted women started serving on board the Michigan in 2016, followed by the Florida.

The Navy says that by 2020 it plans to have about 550 enlisted women serving on board seven Ohio-class subs, comprising 20 percent of crews.

Officials say the transition has mostly gone well, except for an incident aboard the USS Wyoming, where male sailors were prosecuted in 2015 for secretly videotaping female officers and trainees in the shower and changing rooms.

Sailors from all communities are eligible to apply for submarine service as part of the latest announcement, the Navy said. Applicants are urged to submit applications as soon as possible since available rating quotes will be filled as applications are processed.

svan.jennifer@stripes.com Twitter: @stripesktown

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