PACIFIC OCEAN – Engineers aboard the amphibious dock landing ship USS Tortuga (LSD 46) are helping the ship to maintain full employable status during deployment by promoting a safe work environment.
Thanks to the hard work of Tortuga engineers, the ship is able to participate in amphibious integration training (AIT) and a certification exercise (CERTEX).
“I have always felt I was important for the Tortuga and its mission,” said Engineman 3rd Class Randarrius London, assigned to main machinery room one aboard Tortuga. “We keep the ship steaming, which makes me feel like I am contributing to the ship’s mission.”
Tortuga engineers operate, service and repair four diesel engines used to power the ship.
“The reason EN's are so important is because they can be trained to work on such a wide variety of equipment in addition to their original diesel propulsion background,” said Engineman 2nd Class Michael Vizzari.
Enginemen generally work in large engine rooms and spaces that often range from temperatures of 90 to 110 degrees Fahrenheit. These machinery rooms, which are in the lowest decks of the ship, are considered a hazardous environment and require proper personal protective equipment (PPE) for hearing while the engines are running.
“As a space supervisor I always try to make sure that everyone stays safe and maintains proper PPE,” said London. “Safety is essential for our job and PPE can include safety goggles, aprons, gloves or face shields for our day to day maintenance.”
The engineer rating was originally established during World War II as Motor Machinists Mate (MoMM) in 1943. The rating was reinstated as Engineman (EN) in 1948. Enginemen, in addition to their work on engines, also operate and maintain propeller systems and steering engines, refrigeration and air compressors, desalinization plants and small auxiliary boilers.
“The EN rate has taught me how to become a better mechanic and Sailor,” said Vizzari. “Enginemen assist the Navy's mission by working to help the ship run properly while also helping to maintain the living conditions for the other Sailors.”
The foundation of the Navy’s Fleet is its Sailors and their ability to work hard and stay prepared. Enginemen lead by example by being ever ready and dedicated to the Navy’s mission.
Tortuga is part of the only forward-deployed Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) and is currently operating in the 7th Fleet Area of Operations.