Maintaining Submarines

Submarines undergo regularly-scheduled maintenance and overhaul at shipyards, but they are also served by submarine tenders. These "factories afloat" perform countless repair and maintenance jobs to keep the boats operational. During the Cold War, each ballistic missile submarine spent 30 days alongside a tender between patrols. Tenders, unlike the submarines they serve, have in recent years added women to their crews. Women, like men, serve as welders, wood and metal workers, doctors, dentists—all jobs required to support submarines.

Servicing Submarines at Overseas Bases
The submarine tender USS Canopus (AS-34) services three boomers, a fast attack, and a diesel-electric submarine at Holy Loch, Scotland, 1971. U.S. Navy photo by PH 2 C. W. Blankenship


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