About 10% of the female sailors assigned to the San Diego-based destroyer tender Acadia during the Persian Gulf conflict returned home pregnant, Navy officials said Friday.
The Acadia steamed into San Diego Friday, completing an eight-month stint in the Gulf. The ship was the first local vessel to deploy with women crew members after the onset of Operation Desert Shield. Its crew of 1,250 included 360 women.
During the deployment, 36 women were sent home because they were pregnant, said Lt. Cmdr. Jeff Smallwood. Of the 36 pregnant women, nine were pregnant when the ship steamed out last September. Another five, assigned to the ship from another duty station, arrived and discovered they were pregnant, Smallwood said.
The pregnancy rate is lower than than the civilian average--16%--for the age group of 20 to 24 year olds, and it is about half what the Navy would expect to see among its female population, Smallwood said.