Machinist Repairman 2nd Class (SW/SCW) Eddie Pastoral works on a piece of metal in the Machinery Shop on board USS Bunker Hill.
Machinery Repairman Makes Much Needed Parts

ARABIAN SEA – Powering a naval ship for a crew of 300 plus Sailors requires a vast amount of electricity. On April 02, 2011, the number one gas turbine generator on board USS Bunker Hill (CG 52) was shut down temporarily, due to an emergency fault with the generators equipment.  In the current Perform to Serve Navy sailors can find it difficult to demonstrate why they Navy cannot due without them.  This story leaves no doubt. 

After the generators lube oil alarm sounded, the engine room operators investigated further and confirmed suspicions. The generator lube oil pump shaft couplings had shattered, leaving the generator out of commission and the ship in a very compromising position. Weeks away from a replacement part and with no spares on board, it looked as if the generator was going to remain shut down.

In comes Machinery Repairman 2nd Class (SW/SCW) Eddie Pastoral.  Pastoral, a Sailor attached to Engineering Departments Repair Division said there was a knock on his shop’s door. On the other side of the door was Chief Gas Turbine System Mechanic (SW) Daniel Collins, beckoning Pastoral down to the ship’s main engine room.

“I was taken to the generator and that’s when I saw the shattered couplings,” said Pastoral.

Collins stressed the importance of the couplings to Pastoral in regards to the ship’s limited power supply without a replacement.

“We (Gas Turbine Mechanics) don’t like when things break down,” said Collins. “Those guys (Repair Division Sailors) strive under pressure when things break.”

Pastoral began his work. Using a band saw he cut metal to a workable length. From there he used a machine lathe to diametrically trim the metal according to previous measurements, matching and defining the edges of the couplings using various files to rid them of any excess metal and burs.
Working throughout the night, Pastoral completed the project in less than two days. His initial start fabricating the couplings was slower going than the second go around due to a lack of detailed schematics, but with a little measuring, math and ingenuity, Pastoral was able to match the original coupling pieces to technical specification and measurements, successfully completing what no other sailor might have been able to.  “It sounds complicated, but it’s not,” said Pastoral. “It’s just a little math.”

According to Collins, Pastoral matched the weight, size and dimensions of the couplings perfectly resulting in a satisfactory operational test bringing the generator back to life and allowing USS Bunker Hill to continue her critical mission unabated.

“He’s the reason why the ship’s number one generator is still running,” said Collins. “It’s the most amazing thing I’ve seen a Machinery Repairman do in my entire naval career.”

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