Story by MCSA Carla Ocampo
Photo by MC3 Benjamin Crossley

While operating in the middle of the ocean hundreds of miles from land, if an essential machine or part malfunctions, Sailors don’t have the luxury of waiting for a part to be shipped. Luckily, the Navy provides the ship with a team of Machine Repairmen (MR).

Machine Repairmen work in the machine shop and have three important jobs aboard the ship; manufacturing machine parts, performing locksmith duties, and engraving.

Manufacturing parts is essential to keeping Stennis afloat and combat ready. MRs have the ability to fix parts or recreate them from just a sample. Rather than having to order a part from an outside source and wait until it’s shipped, MRs can often do it in a matter of hours.

“If there’s a major part that the ship needs for a catapult or an elevator and they’re unable to get it on a timely basis, then we’re able to make it based on measurements,” said Machine Repairman 2nd Class (SW) Frances Hinojosa, machine shop work center supervisor.

Repairing locks is another important role MRs play on the ship. Often people lock themselves out of their spaces and safes, and MRs are the ones that know how to help.

“We are able to change combinations, open safes and doors, and install cipher locks,” said Hinojosa

MRs work with engraving as well and are responsible for making plaques, such as the ones the commanding officer presents to dignitaries and distinguished visitors.

The machine shop aboard Stennis contributes to the ship with more than the provided services.

“The machine shop is important because we help the ship save money, instead of ordering a new part, they can come here and we can remake it as long as we have the materials,” said Hinojosa.

There are a lot of ups and downs to everything, but each job has its own rewards.

“It’s cool that MRs save the day sometimes,” said Interiano. “Requestors can come to us sometimes with a part that they can’t find anywhere else and we make it,” said Interiano. “The coolest part is all the skills we acquire.”

MRs make their contribution by providing functioning parts and unlocking doors on a timely basis. Without them many shops would have to play the waiting game and things wouldn’t run as smoothly.