Skimmer CJCS Supports Women On Submarines

According to this Fox News article, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff ADM Michael Mullen (a known skimmer) has come out in support of women on submarines in written testimony to Congress:
Female sailors can broaden their role in the Navy by serving on submarines, an activity currently prohibited by the Armed Service, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff has advised the Senate Armed Services Committee...
..."I believe we should continue to broaden opportunities for women. One policy I would like to see changed is the one barring their service aboard submarines," he added... reported that Mullen, a former chief of naval operations and a surface warfare officer, wrote his endorsement of women serving in subs in his response to questions submitted by senators preparing for Mullen's confirmation hearing for a second term as chairman of the JCS. That hearing was held Sept. 15...
...Mullen spokesman Navy Capt. John Kirby told the Web site that the chairman had previously asked the Navy to look into overturning the rule, but did not want to get too involved in managing the force.
More on ADM Mullen's comments can be found here. My thoughts are that it's a change that's going to happen eventually, but with the submarines we have now, it's not the right time. Due to berthing constraints, you'd really need to design a whole new class of submarine to handle female berthing, and you'd have to go into it knowing that you'd be reducing combat effectiveness in order to do it. (Because, no matter what, the extra space you'd need for extra berthing compartments could be better used for combat or survivability systems.) And, for those who say we need it to keep "manning" numbers up, being co-ed sure hasn't helped our Aussie allies in that regard.

What do you think? Will we see women serving as permanent crew members aboard U.S. submarines before January 2013?

Update 1641 24 Sep: The new SecNav is also supporting women on submarines, according to this Navy Times article. He doesn't know yet that he has no actual power to make policy in the face of opposition from Naval Reactors. He'll soon learn.

Update 0916 26 Sep: There are several more news articles on this controversy, including this one in the San Diego Union-Tribune that mentions the comments in this thread.

Update 2322 05 Oct: Here's an article in the Honolulu Advertiser that says the change is a done deal, and that women will start showing up on Ohio-class boats in 2011. Not sure I believe it.