The Royal Navy has appointed Lt Cdr Sarah West the command of HMS Portland, a Type 23 Duke Class Frigate launched in 1999. When she takes command on April 2012, she will be the first woman to command a Royal Navy warship. West previously served in the Gulf and was commander of HMS Ramsey, a minesweeper.
Royal Navy appoints first female warship commander
A Ministry of Defence spokesman said Lt Cdr West would complete a commanding officer designate course before taking up the position.
Women have been able to serve in the Royal Navy since 1994 and now make up just under 10% of the force. They remain barred from some areas of service, such as the Royal Marine Commandos. Lt Cdr West’s previous naval experience has included serving in the Gulf.
She grew up in Lincolnshire and studied maths at the University of Hertfordshire before joining Britannia Royal Naval College in 1995.
Thanks to Alaric Bond for passing the news along.