The ACINT Specialist Training Program takes about 24 months to complete and includes serving at ONI as an on-call collection of experts, advisors, and instructors backed by analysts and a vast acoustic intelligence database.
“It was by far the hardest thing I’ve had to do in my naval career, but it was worth it,” Haynes says of the program that has a 50 percent attrition rate. Haynes is the 64th surface ACINT specialist to qualify and the 290th to complete the program since it was established in 1962.
In addition to Haynes, only one other woman has qualified; Senior Chief Sonar Technician Joy Chase was the first woman to become an ACINT Specialist in 2017, just seven years after women were first allowed to work on submarines.
Now that she’s qualified, Haynes joins a highly select group of Sailors who excel at the complex task of identifying and classifying acoustic signals in the ocean environment. “I want to make as much of an impact as possible and really help progress ASW,” she says. Haynes plans to make that impact through the ACINT program tradition of leadership and mentorship. She sees her new career milestone as an opportunity to inspire young Sailors, especially women. “Be the change you want to see in the Navy, don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t accomplish something, and be the best you can be at your job.”
This summer, Haynes will go underway as one of two female ACINT Riders in the U.S. Navy, in support of the Navy’s ASW mission.