The next phase of the Silent Service's five-year integration effort has arrived as women report to the the attack submarine force for the first time.
Another group of women — two nuclear-trained submarine officers and a supply lieutenant there to act as a mentor — will report to the Groton, Conn.-based Virginia.
The first woman to report to Minnesota was the supply officer, said Submarine Force Atlantic spokesman Lt. Cmdr. Tommy Crosby.
In addition, officials expect to announce two Virginia-class attack subs to get mixed-gender crews in the coming years.
This is all prep toward the ultimate goal: bringing enlisted women into the force, which could come as soon as the end of the year -- faster than the previous goal of 2016.
"We're expecting integration for our enlisted female sailors to begin in late 2015," Crosby said.