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Last Updated: Monday, 26 April, 2004, 14:15 GMT 15:15 UK
Naval base appoints female chief
Carolyn Stait
Captain Stait is the Navy's first female naval base commander
The Royal Navy has appointed a woman as head of a naval base for the first time in its history.

Captain Carolyn Stait, who has been promoted to the rank of Commodore, will take up the post at Clyde Base at Faslane in June.

The base is home to Britain's nuclear deterrent and has long been a focal point of peace campaigners.

Her appointment comes 14 years after the Navy first began admitting female officers on equal terms with men.

Landmark appointment

Captain Stait, 47, will be in charge of 7,000 staff when she takes command at the base, near Helensburgh, Argyll and Bute.

A Royal Navy spokeswoman said Captain Stait, who is currently serving at HM Naval Base, Portsmouth, was delighted to be taking up the post at Faslane.

"Since the integration of the Wrens into the Royal Navy women have been progressing through the ranks," she said.

"We are delighted that Captain Stait has reached the rank of Commodore and will be the first female to take charge of HM Naval Base Clyde, or indeed any naval base."

Proven track record

Captain Stait, from Fareham, Hants, will be serving at Faslane for the second time in her career.

Previously she spent two years there as executive officer, or second in command, of HMS Neptune, the shore-based facility which deals with areas such as accommodation and security.

It is the latest in a series of appointments of women to senior positions within the Royal Navy.

In January naval officer Charlotte Atkinson took charge of the largest Royal Navy vessel ever to be commanded by a woman.

Lieutenant Atkinson took over HMS Brecon - a 60-metre, 750-tonne Hunt class ship.

The 32-year-old, from Dorset, is the only woman among the 45-strong crew of the ship, which is based at HM Naval Base Clyde.

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