Sarah West To Become First Woman To Command Major Royal Navy Warship

05/22/2012 07:47 am ET | Updated Jul 22, 2012

LONDON -- The first woman to command a major Royal Navy warship is taking up her post.

Britain's Ministry of Defense says Commander Sarah West will take control of the frigate HMS Portland Tuesday.

The 40-year-old has served in the Royal Navy for 16 years.

The ship is being refitted and will be based in Devonport.

Officials say women first went to sea with the Royal Navy in 1990 and have served as pilots and mine clearance divers in addition to other posts.