In the spotlight this week is Main Propulsion (MP) Division. Manned by Gas Turbine System Technicians (Mechanical and Electrical), or GSMs and GSEs, MP division provides the essential services that make everything else possible aboard RUSSELL. Working in arguably the most arduous conditions on the ship, the temperature in their work spaces can reach or exceed 100 degrees, and the noise levels can be over 1000 louder than an average conversation.
MP maintains and operates RUSSELL's four marine gas turbine engines - jet engines adapted to provide torque instead of thrust - that provide over 100,000 shaft horsepower to two controllable pitch screws. With all four running, they can propel the ship to speeds in excess of 35 mph. I know, you're saying, "My ride can go faster than that." But, your ride isn't made of over 18 million pounds of fighting steel. That's like making a 135,000 square foot office building go 35 mph. In addition, with another three gas turbines powering the ship's generators, MP can make enough electrical power to supply a town of 4,500.
So, here's a little pop quiz:
Q: What's the difference between these two pictures?
A: The second has a little more "MP" added. And yes, that rooster tail is about 24 feet tall.