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Gulfport machinist's mate helps propel U.S.S. George Washington forward

SOUTH CHINA SEA — The U.S. Navy’s forward-deployed aircraft carrier U.S.S George Washington (CVN 73) operates effectively through the support of sailors who commit time and energy to perform their jobs efficiently, and no rate is obsolete when it comes to George Washington accomplishing its mission.

Machinist’s Mate 2nd Class Curtis Rosenbaum, from 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 works in the ship’s propulsion plant as a mechanic. He 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,” Rosenbaum said. “I love to operate pumps, turn valves, perform maintenance and especially serve my enlistment on board George Washington.”

Rosenbaum 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 already 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, like Rosenbaum, are sent through school to learn everything they need to maintain a ship’s propulsion plant. Their school covers topics in math, physics, nuclear and mechanical theory, and much more to qualify them to work hands-on with ship board 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 that the “Spirit of Freedom” can conduct sustained combat operations anywhere in the world. He is trained to answer any challenge and is an example of the skill, integrity and devotion to duty to his country.

George Washington and its embarked air wing, Carrier Air Wing 5, provide a combat-ready force that protects and defends the collective maritime interest of the U.S. and its allies and partners in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.