Gulfport machinist's mate helps propel USS George Washington forward

US NAVYJune 28, 2014 

SOUTH CHINA SEA -- The U.S. Navy's forward-deployed aircraft carrier USS George Washington operates effectively through the support of its sailors.

Machinist's Mate 2nd Class Curtis Rosenbaum of Gulfport and other mechanics maintain the ship's propulsion plant and lend their hands to complete the puzzle at the heart of every nuclear-powered aircraft carrier.

"If you removed all mechanics who work in the propulsion plant from the ship, George Washington would cease to operate," Rosenbaum said. "It is the same for all other rates because it is a team effort to keep the ship mission ready."

Rosenbaum joins other sailors to provide steam for ship services and to move turbines that turn shafts to propel the ship forward.

"I love my job," he said. "I love to operate pumps, turn valves, perform maintenance and especially serve my enlistment on board George Washington."

He said his father is a retired senior chief petty officer who told him stories about serving in the Navy and being stationed in Japan.

"My father inspired me with stories about working in the middle of the ocean and the importance of working in a rate you enjoy," he said. "He said that if you hate where you work, it is called a job; but if you love it, then it is a career."

Rosenbaum has spent two years in school for his rate and entertains the idea of becoming a chief petty officer before earning a commission.

"I enjoy traveling and working with my hands," he said. "The Navy provides me many opportunities and has already taught me a lot."

Nuclear technicians such as Rosenbaum are sent through school to learn everything they need to maintain a ship's propulsion plant. They learn math, physics, nuclear and mechanical theory, and much more, to qualify them to work with shipboard components.

"I like to work on cars back home and I thought it would be awesome to perform maintenance on a 1,092-foot-long ship," he said. "There are endless activities and maintenance on board George Washington to keep me motivated to learn."

Rosenbaum also acts as his division's hazardous material petty officer.

As George Washington patrols the western Pacific Ocean, Rosenbaum stands in the ranks of more than 400 highly trained personnel who ensure the fleet can conduct sustained combat operations anywhere in the world.

George Washington and its embarked air wing, Carrier Air Wing 5, provide a combat-ready force in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.

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