Gas Turbine Systems Technician (Mechanical) 3rd Class Darel McGee, from Savannah, Ga., assigned to the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Halsey (DDG 97), tests a fuel sample.

October 7, 2020 - A Savannah, Ga. native and 2016 Woodville Tompkins Technical and Career High School graduate is serving in the U.S. Navy aboard the guided-missile destroyer, USS Halsey.

Petty Officer third class Darel M. McGee is a Gas Turbine Systems Technician (Mechanical) (GSM) serving aboard USS Halsey, homeported out of Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Halsey is underway in 7th Fleet conducting operations in the Indo-Pacific while assigned to the forward deployed Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 15.

Gas Turbine Systems Technicians make up a part of the ship’s Main Propulsion Division that maintain gas turbine engines and generators which provide propulsion and electrical power to the ship. They on-load and test fuel which is used for the ships engines, generators and helicopter operations.

“GSMs are the life-blood of the ship,” said McGee. “We wouldn’t be able to carry out the ships tasking without propulsion and electricity.”

Gas Turbine Mechanical Systems Technicians operate ship service gas turbine generators (SSGTG), support systems, maintain synthetic and hydraulic oil systems, operate electric plant controls and main propulsion equipment. They perform hundreds of maintenance checks each week to ensure the ship is able to successfully carry out any tasking from 7th Fleet.

“Growing up in Savannah I always dreamed of working in the engineering field, and the Navy provided me with the opportunity,” said McGee. “It’s an honor to serve my country and help keep our ship in the fight.”

A U.S. Navy destroyer is a multi-mission ship that can operate independently or as part of a larger group of ships at sea. The ship is equipped with a vertical launching system, tomahawk missiles, torpedoes, guns and Phalanx close-in weapons systems.

Halsey is underway conducting operations in support of security and stability in the Indo-Pacific while assigned to Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 15, the Navy’s largest forward-deployed DESRON and the U.S. 7th Fleet’s principal surface force.

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