News

Wheelhouse Weekly – June 23, 2006

June 23rd 2006

 

– Bridging the Information Gap With E-News You Can Use –

Volume 10 . . . . . Number 25. . . . June 23, 2006

STORIES COVERED

Also

REMINDERS

T-AGS Oceanographic Survey Ships Info

Required Coursework

Security Clearances

MSC Physicals

MM&P Health & Benefit Plan News

Notice to Members who are taking Vioxx

NMHC Mail-Order Prescriptions Website Updated & Improved

WWII USCG Veterans Outreach

Company Gives Bucks Back for buying Safe Shoes

Website Offers Union-Made Goods and Services




Did you miss a week? Back editions of the Wheelhouse Weekly are available in the section.





 

PERSONAL NOTE FROM MM&P INTERNATIONAL PRESIDENT TIM BROWN

“MM&P was informed this morning that Charles “Chuck” Robert Pillsbury passed away late yesterday evening or early Friday morning. Capt. Pillsbury served as the Executive Director of MITAGS in the early 90’s following a successful career as a ship’s master with Sea-Land sailing mostly in the Alaskan trade. Capt. Pillsbury was a member of the MM&P since graduation from Kings Point in 1968 and sailed steadily thereafter except for teaching assignments at MITAGS.

Capt. Pillsbury, prior to his death, was teaching at MITAGS in a licensed advancement program and any other courses for which he was needed and qualified. He was assisting with MERPAC, the Coast Guard and the Ship Operations Cooperative Program “SOCP” for both MITAGS and the MM&P. Capt. Pillsbury, prior to his going into the hospital, was involved with formulating policies for the Transportation Workers Identification Card “TWIC”.

Capt. Pillsbury was often accused of taking extreme positions in his battles with the Coast Guard and Homeland Security; however, the reason for his taking extreme positions was that he heartily believed that his position would protect American Merchant Mariner Sailors. This was always first and foremost on Capt. Pillsbury’s mind.

Today, I have lost a friend and the MM&P has lost a great advocate. A larger obituary will be carried in the next issue of the MM&P’s paper. Capt. Pillsbury is survived by his daughter, Gwendolyn, and his many friends in the maritime community.”

There will be a viewing on Monday, June 26th from 3-5 PM and from 7-9 PM at the McCully-Polyniak Funeral Home, 3204 Mountain Road, Pasadena, MD 21122. Phone: 410-255-2381. At 11 AM on Tuesday there will be a service at the funeral home. At 11 am on Thursday, there will be a graveside service at North Beverly Cemetery in Beverly, MA with a reception to follow. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that you may make a contribution in memory of Charles Robert Pillsbury to: USMMA Alumni Foundation, Inc., Babson Center, Kings Point, NY 11024.




 

DOT SECRETARY MINETA RESIGNS EFFECTIVE JULY 7th

Late on Friday afternoon, it was announced that Dept. of Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta is resigning his position effective July 7, 2006. In his resignation letter to President Bush, Mineta wrote that, “After serving as your Transportation Secretary for over five productive and memorable years, it is time for me to move on to other challenges.” No details were released as to what lies ahead in Mineta’s future or to his potential successors at DOT.


MM&P ENCOURAGES MEMBERS TO SUBMIT COMMENTS ON TWIC CARD

MM&P has analyzed the regulations proposed by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for issuance of the “TWIC” card. The issues surrounding “TWIC,” which stands for “Transportation Worker Identification Credential,” are of vital importance to all MM&P members, American seafarers and port workers. A number of the union’s concerns are outlined below. MM&P members are encouraged to submit comments of their own before the comment period ends July 6. Instructions for submitting comments appear at the end of this article.

MM&P’s major concerns regarding the TWIC program as currently proposed are as follows:

  • The comment period should be extended: DHS has limited the comment period on this far-reaching proposal, which has tremendous implications for everyone who works in the maritime industry, to 45 days rather than the customary 60 days for regulations put out for comment in The Federal Register. The comment period on the TWIC card must be extended to allow mariners who are at sea enough time to examine the proposal and submit comments.
  • Measures must be taken to ensure the TWIC card is accepted nationally and internationally. Mariners who are legitimately present in any U.S. port should not be required to possess additional state or locally issued identification above and beyond the TWIC. To ensure international acceptance, the TWIC must be in compliance with ILO Convention 185, regarding the Seafarers Identity Document (SID). International compatibility is necessary to ensure mariners access to foreign terminals and ports for shore leave.
  • Under the current proposal, mariners and other maritime sector workers are required to bear the initial start-up costs of the TWIC program. Since the system is intended to safeguard public facilities and the welfare of the public, the federal government should make the initial investment necessary to launch the system, which is ultimately expected to involve between 10 and 35 million transportation industry workers. It is unfair to expect the 750,000 maritime sector workers to provide the financial base for its implementation. TWIC fees for individuals should be limited to the costs of individual enrollment and card production and equally divided among the transportation sectors affected by the TWIC program.
  • The card readers envisaged under the current proposal, designed to be interactive with a database maintained by the Transportation Security Agency (TSA), are not practical for use aboard ships. Vessels in international trade will face database connectivity issues as well as difficulties dealing with members of foreign port worker populations who do not possess TWIC-compatible cards or TSA clearance. TWIC card readers should be used exclusively for access to terminals. Following the initial screening at port/terminal access points, visual verification of the TWIC card by vessel personnel should suffice in U.S. ports.
  • Given the current manning levels on board ships, the “escort provisions” for non-TWIC holders are impractical. Non-TWIC holders should be issued a badge in U.S. ports; without severely limiting the efficiency of the crew, the badge would identify persons who require greater scrutiny from TWIC holders in the port or aboard a vessel.
  • The recordkeeping requirements in the proposal are unduly onerous. It is impractical to require that records be retained for two years on all persons boarding ships, their time of boarding and the names of escorts if they have been assigned an escort. The regulatory burdens placed on ships’ crews have already created a significant increase in workloads and fatigue that can jeopardize the safety of ship operations. In U.S. ports, recordkeeping on board ships should be limited to non-TWIC holders; in foreign ports, recordkeeping should be limited to persons without port worker identity cards.
  • The “threat assessment standards” in the criminal background check as proposed by DHS are not in compliance with the congressionally authorized standards on TWIC established by the Maritime Transportation Security Act. Proposals regarding use of criminal records, which have been “borrowed” from HAZMAT driver regulations, are overly broad and place an unreasonable burden on maritime workers.
  • MM&P has significant concerns about the safety of its members and other maritime industry workers if the TWIC proposal is implemented as currently worded. The DHS proposal does not clearly state how emergency response crews will be treated with regard to TWIC requirements. Will firefighters or paramedics be turned away from a burning vessel or an injured crewmember if they do not possess a TWIC?
  • In addition, the US Coast Guard’s failure to enforce the ISPS terminal access provisions is of major concern. A port facility security plan that does not allow shore leave or crew change is in violation of laws and regulations intended to protect the human rights of mariners. The USCG should not approve terminal security plans that are not in compliance with ISPS provisions on terminal access.
  • DHS has not yet determined the final format of its proposed “Merchant Mariner Credential” for licensed officers, which is being established in tandem with TWIC. MM&P believes that merchant mariner documents should be separate from identification cards such as TWIC. The MMC for officers should remain a license — it should not be made into a “credential” with an endorsement that the holder is qualified to serve in an officer’s position aboard ship.
  • As soon as possible, and in any case before the deadline on Thursday, July 6, all MM&P members are encouraged to send comments on the TWIC and the MMC to the Department of Homeland Security, Transportation Security Administration Docket No. TSA-2006-24191, and or US Coast Guard Docket No. USCG-2006-24196. Submit your comments through only one of the following channels:
    1) over the Internet, by clicking on http://dms.dot.gov
    2) by mail, by writing to Docket Management Facility, US Department of Transportation, P.L.-401, 400 Seventh Street SW, Washington, DC 20590-0001
    3) by fax, to 202-493-2251.


PRESIDENT BUSH DELIVERS USMMA’S COMMENCEMENT ADDRESS

President Bush made national headlines on June 19th when he became the first US President to ever deliver a commencement address at the United States Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA) in Kings Point, New York. The USMMA was the only national service academy not to have had a President deliver a commencement address. President Bush delivered a lengthy address that contained many comments specifically directed toward the history and the importance of USMMA and its graduates. The balance of the speech reflected on the importance of the President’s European summit in Vienna, along with issues relating to the ongoing war on terror and Iran’s continued development of its nuclear capabilities.

The President told the graduates that with the United States being a “great maritime power, … our Merchant Marine has a vital role to play.” He told the graduates that, “In times of peace, the Merchant Marine helps ensure our economic security by keeping the oceans open to trade. In times of war, the Merchant Marine is the lifeline of our troops overseas, carrying critical supplies, equipment, and personnel.” Some of the President’s most important comments revolved around the Kings Point motto — Acta Non Verba –“Deeds, Not Words.”

Here are some excerpts from the text of President Bush’s commencement address:

“I’m honored to be the first President to address the United States Merchant Marine Academy. I know that a presidential visit to Kings Point has been a long time in coming. And, Admiral, I hope it’s worth it!”

“This is a proud moment for the Class of 2006. You have worked hard for this day. You sweated through the
hardest indoc in Academy history; you braved the Jamaican beef patties of Delano Hall — You spent a year when your classroom was a ship and your campus the Seven Seas; you’ve made it through endless drills on the Grinder; you’ve survived the restriction musters that come with missing the train back from Manhattan. This fall, your football team brought home the Secretaries Cup by beating the Coast Guard. You’ve rung the bell outside Wiley Hall. And the words etched in your class ring affirm your commitment to teamwork: ‘Not for you, not for me, but for us.’ Your parents are proud of you, your teachers are proud of you, and this Academy is proud of you. On behalf of the American people, I congratulate you on a fine achievement, and I thank you for choosing to serve the United States of America.”

“This morning, I flew here on Air Force One with my friend, Andy Card. You might remember Andy — he was my former chief of staff and he attended this Academy in the 1960s. It just so happens when he was a plebe, he was stuffed in a duffel bag and run up the flagpole. I know he appreciates the much warmer welcome he received here today. Secretary Card also reminded me that the President of the United States has the authority to lift all demerits and restrictions. So I bring you a graduation present. In keeping with the longstanding tradition at our nation’s service academies, I hereby absolve all midshipmen who are on restriction for minor conduct offenses — I leave it to Admiral Stewart to define exactly what ‘minor’ means.”

“Life at this Academy is demanding — and it is meant to be. America is a great maritime power, and our Merchant Marine has a vital role to play. In times of peace, the Merchant Marine helps ensure our economic security by keeping the oceans open to trade. In times of war, the Merchant Marine is the lifeline of our troops overseas, carrying critical supplies, equipment, and personnel. For more than six decades, the mission of this Academy has been to graduate highly skilled mariners to serve America’s economic and national security needs. To train you for these responsibilities, this Academy sharpens your mind, it strengthens your body, and builds up your character. The Academy has made you strong and instilled respect for the Kings Point motto — Acta Non Verba — “Deeds, Not Words.”

“Deeds, Not Words” was the hallmark of this Academy in World War II. In the early years of the war, America’s efforts to supply our allies in Europe were threatened by the U-boats that were sinking American ships faster than we could build them. The need to arm and defend our merchant ships was urgent, and King Pointers answered the call. One of them was an 18-year-old named Edwin O’Hara, whose statue stands not far from here. In September 1942, Cadet
O’Hara was serving on the USS STEPHEN HOPKINS when it came under attack from two Nazi raiders. After the entire gun crew of the HOPKINS was killed by enemy fire, O’Hara single-handedly served and fired the last five shells in the ready box, scoring direct hits on the German warship STIER. Cadet O’Hara was mortally wounded in the action, but not before he helped send the STIER to the bottom of the South Atlantic. Edwin O’Hara is one of 142 Academy graduates who gave their lives in the Second World War.”

“Today Kings Point is still the only one of our five service academies that sends its students into the theaters of war — and for that reason, it is the only Academy authorized to fly a Battle Standard.”

“Deeds, Not Words” was your response on the morning of September the 11th, 2001. From this campus, every man and woman could see the black smoke rising from the Twin Towers. Within hours, your midshipmen were working side-by-side with the Coast Guard and marine division of the New York City Fire Department. Over the next nine days, you moved firefighters and police and emergency response teams into Ground Zero. You moved tons of food and water and supplies. The heroic response to that terrible day showed the spirit of America — and the spirit of this fine Academy. And I thank you for your service.”

“Deeds, Not Words” defines the Academy’s role in the global war on terror. Your cadets are forward deployed in the Middle East, where they’re supporting operations in Afghanistan and Iraq. Your Global Maritime and Transportation School is providing advanced training in areas from marine engineering to port security for military units like the Navy Seabees and Surface Warfare Officers. And your graduates are serving our nation in every branch of our Armed Services, as sailors projecting American combat power across the Earth; as Marines and soldiers leading platoons from Khandahar to Tikrit; as Coast Guard officers securing our homeland; and as airmen delivering justice to terrorists hiding in safe houses and caves. In the global war on terror, the men and women of this Academy are making a difference on every front — and the American people are grateful for your service.”

“The advance of freedom is the calling of our time — and the men and women of the United States Merchant Marine Academy are answering that call. In a few moments, you’ll walk through Vickery Gate and leave the Academy that’s been your home. You leave with a bachelor’s degree, a license as a Merchant Marine officer, and a commission in one of the branches of our Armed Services. And you leave with something else: The great truth that duty and honor and courage are not just words; they are virtues that sustain a free people, people who are determined to live under self-government. They’re the virtues that will be your anchor and compass in a life of purpose and service. These are the virtues that America demands of those entrusted with leading her sons and daughters in uniform. And these are the virtues that America has come to expect from the blue and grey.”

“We see the devotion to duty and honor and country in the life of one of this Academy’s finest graduates, Aaron Seesan. Aaron was an Ohio boy who grew up dreaming of being a soldier. He brought that dream with him to this Academy — and when he walked through these gates three years ago, he carried on his shoulders the gold bar of a second lieutenant in the United States Army. After entering the Army, Lieutenant Seesan trained as a combat engineer. And he was serving at Fort Lewis, Washington, when a group of soldiers who were based at the fort were struck by a suicide bomb in Iraq. Two of the men were killed. And that’s when this young lieutenant volunteered to go to Iraq to take the place of a wounded platoon leader.”

“When Lieutenant Seesan arrived in Iraq, some of his fellow soldiers wondered what was the Army thinking. His platoon sergeant said, “I didn’t know what the hell a Merchant Marine graduate was doing here in the 73rd Engineering Company.” The sergeant quickly changed his mind when he saw Lieutenant Seesan in action, taking care of his men as they patrolled the most dangerous roads in and around Mosul. In May 2005, he was leading a routine sweep of a city street when a bomb exploded and hit the fuel tank of his Humvee. Those who were with him recall his last words: “Take charge, Sergeant Arnold, and take care of the others.”
He died on May 22 — on National Maritime Day. For his act of bravery, Lieutenant Seesan was awarded the Bronze Star. And the campus memorial that bears his name will remind all who come here of Kings Point commitment to service above self.”

“Aaron Seesan gave his life freely. While still in high school, he wrote a poem that now seems prophetic. He wrote, “Mourn not my terrible death, but celebrate my cause in life.” Aaron’s cause in life was freedom, and as you take your place as officers in our Armed Forces, I ask you to celebrate the freedom for which Aaron fought and died. America has invested in you, and she has high expectations. My call to you is this: Trust your instincts, and use the skills you were taught here to give back to your nation. Do not be afraid of mistakes; learn from them. Show leadership and character in whatever you do. The world lies before you. I ask you to go forth with faith in America, and confidence in the eternal promise of liberty.”

“In all that lies ahead, I wish you fair winds and following seas. As I look out at the men and women before me, I will leave here knowing that you will bring honor to our nation, and to this Academy that has prepared you for the challenges you will face. May God steer thee well, Kings Point. And may God bless America.”


MM&P AND MIRAID’S JIM PATTI INTERVIEWED ON MARITIMETV.COM

An interview with our own Jim Patti was shown on MaritimeTV.com during their webcast of President Bush’s commencement speech at King’s Point on June 19th. That interview is now available online. Just click on the link below and scroll to the very bottom of the page where it says “Jim Patti Interview.” The interview will be available on the site for a year and will be linked to the MM&P home page. The Jim Patti interview is up on the site:
http://www.tvworldwide.com/events/maritimetv/060619/ (The archives are toward the bottom of the page).

Patti spoke on the importance of maintaining a strong US Merchant Marine and the critical need of having US-crewed, US-flagged ships available to meet America’s military’s sealift needs. He also addressed the growing importance of LNG to the US energy market and how vital it is to have these highly sophisticated tank vessels crewed by members of the US Merchant Marine, who are the world’s best-qualified and trained mariners. Patti also spoke about how MM&P and MIRAID work diligently in Washington to support legislation that is vital to the interests of the US-flag maritime community.


USNS LEWIS AND CLARK DELIVERED TO MILITARY SEALIFT COMMAND

On June 20th, USNS LEWIS AND CLARK, (T-AKE 1), a dry cargo/ammunition ship, was delivered from the General Dynamics/NASSCO shipyard in San Diego to the US Navy’s Military Sealift Command. The ship’s Master is Capt. Randall Rockwood, who is a member of MM&P’s Government Employee Membership Group. The vessel is the first in a new class of Combat Logistics Force ships and is able to deliver ammunition, provisions, stores, spare parts, potable water and petroleum products to the Navy’s carrier strike groups and other naval forces worldwide.

In commenting on the delivery, Capt. Rockwood said, “That morning, 118 civilian mariners, including Chief Mate Sean Tortora, a long time MM&P offshore member, and 12 navy personnel moved aboard and commenced to live, eat, sleep and work aboard MSC’s newest ship. At 1205 PST, upon formal delivery from NASSCO, the officers and crew went from no legal or literal responsibility for the ship to total responsibility for the ship.”

Capt. Rockwood continued by reporting that in a matter of minutes, “Watches commenced on deck and in the engine room, light switches were found, internal phone numbers were discovered and emergency systems reviewed. The positive attitude and the excitement of the officers and crew was palatable. It is quite an honor and responsibility to command a brand new ship, first in class, with a diverse group of mariners ready for the dynamic training challenges necessary to bring USNS LEWIS AND CLARK into the fleet.”

According to the MSC, an advantage of this new type of ship is its ability to carry multiple products such as cargo, food and spare parts. The T-AKE class will replace aging, single-mission ships such as T-AE ammunition ships and T-AFS combat stores ships that are about 40 years old and near the end of their service lives. Designed to operate independently for extended periods at sea while providing underway replenishment services, the T-AKE class will directly contribute to the ability of the Navy to maintain a forward presence.

USNS LEWIS AND CLARK is the first of nine ships of this class. The US Navy has awarded NASSCO six contracts valued at approximately $2.8 billion for the design and construction of the nine ships in the T-AKE program. The USNS LEWIS AND CLARK will operate from the East Coast.


HOUSE VOTES NOT TO FUND NATIONAL SECURITY PERSONNEL SYSTEM

Unions opposed to the Bush Administration’s National Security Personnel System (NSPS) scored a major victory earlier this week when the House of Representatives voted not to fund controversial portions of the program. The Congressional rebuke of NSPS was led by Representatives Inslee (D-WA), Van Hollen (D-MD) and Jones (R-NC), who successfully offered an amendment to HR 5631, the Fiscal Year 2007 (FY07) Defense Appropriations Bill. The amendment, which called for not funding the illegal portions of NSPS, passed without opposition on a voice-vote.

Here are some comments from some union leaders on the House vote:

Ron Ault, President of the AFL-CIO Metal Trades Department, offered the following comments: “It goes without saying that today’s victory is a huge step toward putting this blatant attack on DoD’s workforce to rest.”

Gregory Junemann, President of the International Federation of Professional & Technical Engineers (IFPTE): “Today the House officially recognized the NSPS for exactly what it is — a costly personnel system not geared toward national security, but intended to strip the rights and pay from hundreds of thousands of civilian personnel working at DoD.”

John Gage, President of the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) stated, “I am pleased to see the House of Representatives show its support for the findings of the court that the department has overreached in its labor relations and appeal rights regulations.”

David Holway, President of the National Association of Government Employees (NAGE-SEIU) provided the following: “While it’s unfortunate that the Department of Defense chose to ignore the law that Congress passed authorizing NSPS, it is inspiring that Congress voted not to allow itself to be bullied or fooled into believing that wasteful spending on an illegal personnel system is a wise use of fiscal resources.”

In rounding out the comments, United DoD Workers Coalition Chairman Byron Charlton provided the following comments:
“Today’s voice vote in support of the Inslee/Van Hollen/Jones amendment made clear that the current plan to disenfranchise 700,000 DoD workers nationwide is as unacceptable to Congress as it is to the Federal courts.” To learn more about NSPS and the UDWC, visit www.uniteddodworkerscoalition.org .


CONTRACTORS LOSE JOBS OVER ROCK THROWING INCIDENT IN ALASKA

Responding to a sarcastic remark by a supervisor, workers from an oil spill contractor at the marine crude oil terminal in Valdez, Alaska, pelted an approaching USCG boat with rocks at the terminal’s small-boat harbor. As reported in the Maritime Executive’s online MarEx newsletter, the incident occurred earlier this month when a USCG patrol raft from the cutter NAUSHON unexpectedly arrived near where the workers were working in the harbor. The first throw missed its intended target, but the second rock hit an officer on the USCG patrol raft, injuring his arm. The workers were said to be employees of Tatitlek Chenega Chugach LCC, an oil spill response contractor.

Reportedly, the workers were checking the status of an oil spill boom when the incident occurred. After returning to the berth, they noticed that the Coast Guard was in the harbor. After asking their supervisor why the USCG might be visiting, he supposedly joked about throwing rocks, and incomprehensibly, the workers complied. The three men involved with the incident were terminated immediately after news of the event reached TCC management.

Police in Valdez, along with the USCG, are investigating the incident. Alyeska and TCC management are conducting their own investigations, and both said they are disappointed by the conduct of their employees. The USCG said the cutter NAUSHON, based in Ketchikan, was patrolling the federal security zone they oversee.


MITAGS ACADEMIC NOTES

 

CLASS OPENINGS: Between January and the end of September 2006, seats are available in the following courses:

JUST ADDED: CMM-ADVSTB – 8/21


ARPA – Automatic Radar Plotting Aids: 7/24, 9/11, 9/24
AZIPOD-KAM-2 – Two-Day Azipod and Kamewa Steering and Propulsion Systems: 9/19, 9/23

BRMP – Bridge Resource Mangement for Pilots: 8/7, 9/27
BST – Basic Safety Training: 6/26, 8/28, 9/26

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]
CMM-ADVWX – Advanced Meteorology: 6/26, 9/11
CMM-ADVSTB – 8/21, 9/11
CMM-CHS I – Advanced Cargo Handling (week 1): 9/25
CMM-CHS II – Advanced Cargo Handling (week 2): 9/18
CMM-ECDIS – Electronic Chart and Display Information System: 9/18
CMM-MPP – Marine Propulsion Plants: 6/26, 8/7
CMM-SHMGT-I – Ship Management I (week 1): 7/10, 8/21
CMM-SHMGT-II – Ship Management II (week 2): 8/14
CMM-SHS-ADV-I – Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 7/24, 8/7
CMM-SHS-ADV-II – Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 7/31
CMM-VPEN – Voyage Planning and Electronic Navigation: 7/24
CMM-WKP – Watchkeeping: 8/28

COMP-OPSYS – Basic Computer Operating Systems: 6/26
CONT-PLNG – Contingency Planning: 7/14
CSE-AASE – Confined Space Entry: 8/28

FF-BADV – Combined Basic and Advanced Fire Fighting: 6/26, 8/28, 9/25

HAZ-Hazardous Materials (5-day): 7/31, 9/11

LAP-License Advancement Program (5 weeks including USCG Exam): 7/24

MEDIA-RSP – Media Response: 7/13
MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Trans Drug & Alcohol Testing: 7/14, 7/24, 8/12, 9/24
MED-PIC – Medical Person-In-Charge: 7/24, 8/14, 9/11
MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 7/24, 8/14, 9/11


[MSC – Military Sealift Command]
MSC-CBRD-1 (Chemical Biological Radiological Defense Orientation): 8/23
MSC-DC (Damage Control): 8/24
MSC-SMA – Small Arms: 8/28
MSC-SMA-R – Small Arms Re-Qualification (2-day): 9/1 (must have proof of passing all 3 weapons within 2 years)

ROP-5 – Radar Observer Original and Renewal (5-day): 8/28
ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal: 7/15, 7/24, 9/11, 9/25

SEC-OFF-VCF – Security Officer, Vessel, Company & Facility: 7/10
SHS-BAS -Basic Shiphandling: 7/10
SHS-EMR – Emergency Shiphandling: 6/26, 7/31, 8/28, 9/5

TPIC – Tankerman Person-In-Charge: 9/25


Check the MITAGS website at www.mitags.org for course descriptions associated with the course title abbreviations, and schedule revisions. For class availability or info on MITAGS courses and programs, contact admissions toll-free at 866-656-5568 or Email: admissions@mitags.org.


PMI ACADEMIC NOTES

Spring – Fall 2006

June 2006

6/26-30 Radar Observer Unlimited
6/26-30 Basic Shiphandling

August 2006
31 Jul-4 Aug Basic Shiphandling
7-11 ECDIS
7-11 Basic Safety Training
7-11 Meteorology – Basic
8-11 Survival Craft / Lifeboatman
14-18 Able Bodied Seaman
14-18 Basic and Advanced Firefighting
14-25 GMDSS
14-25 Shiphandling – Advanced
21-25 Ship Construction & Basic Stability
21-25 Tankerman Person-In-Charge
28-1 Sep Cargo Handling & Stowage – Basic

September 2006
5-9 (tu-sa) Medical Care Provider
5-9 (tu-sa) Emergency Shiphandling 5-day
5-15 Medical Person-In-Charge
11-12 Search and Rescue
11-15 Basic Safety Training
11-23 100 Ton OUPV
12-15 Survival Craft / Lifeboatman
13-15 Emergency Procedures
18-22 Radar Observer Unlimited
18-22 Shiphandling – Basic
18-22 Able Bodied Seaman
18-6 Oct Terrestrial & Coastal Navigation with Compasses
25th Radar Recertification
25-29 ARPA
25-2 Oct Watchkeeping & BRM

October 2006
10/2-4 Ship Security Officer
10/2-4 Basic Safety Training
10/2-13 Shiphandling – Advanced
10/9-13 ECDIS
10/9-13 Radar Observer Unlimited
10/9-20 GMDSS
10/10-13 Survival Craft / Lifeboatman
10/16-20 Basic & Advanced Firefighting
10/23 Flashing Light
10/23-27 ARPA
10/23-27 Cargo Handling & Stowage – Basic
10/24-25 Simulation Assessment

For registration call Jennifer Fowler 888-893-7829

PMI MERCHANDISE FOR SALE!!!

High quality with embroidered PMI logo.
Navy or Khaki Hats : $16 / includes tax
———————————-
Button Down Long Sleeve Dress Shirts
Blue or Khaki: $38 / includes tax
———————————-
Pocket t-shirts with Logo: $12 / includes tax
————————————
15oz. Cobalt Blue Ceramic Mug: $8 / includes tax

Call DeeDee Lazik 206-838-8328 or e-mail dlazik@mates.org.


MM&P MARKET WATCH AS OF 6-22

 

 D O W  N A S D A Q  S & P 500
10,989.09 -25.30 for the week 2,121.47 -24.92 for the week 1,244.50 -11.66 for the week

 

Fund Name & Trading Symbol
Closing
Price
 Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX)
115.18
 Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund (VEXMX)
34.61
 Vanguard International Growth Fund (VWIGX)
21.95
 Vanguard Morgan Growth Fund (VMRGX)
17.47
 Vanguard Windsor II Fund (VWNFX)
32.52
 Vanguard GNMA Fund (VFIIX)
9.91
 Vanguard High Yield Corporate Fund (VWEHX)
6.00
 Vanguard Total Bond Index (VBMFX)
9.68
 Chase Growth Fund (CHASX)
18.87
 Fidelity Asset Manager (FASMX)
16.00
 Fidelity Growth and Income (FGRIX)
34.03
 Fidelity Magellan Fund (FMAGX)
84.81
 Fidelity Small Company Instl (FMACX)
21.09
 Fidelity Value Fund (FDVLX)
76.67
 Spartan US Equity Index Fund (FUSEX) 44.22
 Domini Social Equity Fund (DSEFX)
29.29

 






~ Reminders ~





 

T-AGS OCEANOGRAPHIC SURVEY SHIPS MANNING REQUIREMENTS

REQUIRED COURSEWORK

All MM&P members are reminded that to sail aboard the T-AGS ships that MM&P-contracted Horizon Lines will be operating, you must have the required training certification and your certificates must be current in accordance with Military Sealift Command requirements. Members are also required to have had a MSC pre-employment physical and to possess Ship Security Clearance (see below).

The MSC Contract calls for all training certificates required for manning of these vessels to be no older than 5 years and that all STCW-95 courses be renewed every 5 years, or annually, as applicable.

Five-year renewable courses include, but are not limited to:

  • Advanced Fire Fighting
  • Basic Safety Training, and
  • Damage Control

Small Arms certificates must be less than 1 year old and MUST NOT expire during your tour of duty.

Members interested in applying for one of the positions onboard the T-AGS vessels are advised to make sure your certificates are up to date. If not, contact Mary Matlock or Diane Ford at MITAGS Admissions, email: admissions@mitags.org, and schedule to take the course(s) needed.

Those MM&P members interested in obtaining more information and facts about the T-AGS Oceanographic Vessels are asked to email the Director of Special Projects requesting the “facts sheet”. It will be provided by return email in an Adobe Acrobat PDF format.

Members interested in employment on the T-AGS ships are asked to provide a 1-2 page resume. Please list the desired position you are seeking along with the certificates of training you possess and their dates. Upon receipt it will be forwarded to Horizon Lines and a confirmation sent back to the member. Vessel turnover commenced Oct.17, 2004. Positions for all ratings remain open.

The point of contact for sending a resume for employment on the Horizon Lines T-AGS Oceanographic Vessels is Richard Plant, MM&P’s Director of Special Projects. Send resumes in an email or as a Word file attachment to him at: rplant@bridgedeck.org, by fax to 410-850-0973 or by mail to:

Richard Plant, Director of Special Projects

IOMM&P
700 Maritime Blvd.
Linthicum Heights, MD 21090



SHIP SECURITY CLEARANCE NEEDED

Members who want to sail for Horizon Lines on the T-AGS Oceanographic Survey vessels the company is set to begin operating for MSC must have Ship Security Clearance before going aboard.

Special software must be downloaded from the US Government’s Defense Security Service to complete the Security Clearance application. You must have an Internet connection and a Windows-based computer to retrieve the application and run the program.

Go to https://sclient.dss.mil/download/w9xfull.htm to download the software titled “EPSQ SUBJECT2_2”.

After the software is installed and the program is launched, select “Create” from the menu bar at the top of the screen. You will be required to enter your Social Security Number and a case-sensitive password. A window titled “Type of Form” will appear.

All Deck Officers should select the first button titled “Request for Security Clearance (SF86)” and then click “OK” to go to the next screen, “Type of Investigation”.

From the “Type of Investigation” screen:

  • Masters and Radio Officers should select the first button, “Single Scope Background Investigation (SSBI)”.
  • All other Deck Officers (C/M, 2/M, 3/M) should click on the second button, “National Agency Check (NAC or NACLC)”.

After selecting the appropriate investigation type, click on “OK” to begin filling in the forms.

 



MSC PHYSICALS

Horizon Lines requests all mariners seeking employment aboard the T-AGS Oceanographic vessels to take their MSC Physical at specially-designated facilities only after being advised to do so by the Company. This is to assure that all requirements of the MSC Physical are properly met.

 


MM&P FCU NEWS

GET NEW WHEELS OR LOWER EXISTING PAYMENTS WITH MM&P FCU VEHICLE FINANCING

Is it time to replace that car you’re driving? Vehicle loan rates are looking great at MM&P FCU.

Drive away in a new or used vehicle for a standard loan rate of:

4.75 percent for terms up to 24 months.
Standard loan rates for longer-term loans are:

5.00 percent for 25-48 months;
5.75 percent for 49-60 months ($20,000 minimum); and
6.25 percent for terms extending from 61-72 months ($25,000 minimum).
You can lower your loan rate even more — by 0.75 percent — by becoming a Preferred Borrower.

Are you paying a higher rate on your current vehicle loan at another institution? Consider refinancing your outside loan at the MM&P FCU and taking advantage of our lower loan rates.

MM&P FCU will finance up to 100 percent of your new vehicle loan, and up to 90 percent of NADA Book Value on a used vehicle. Maximum vehicle loan amount is $30,000.

PREFERRED BORROWERS GET LOWER LOAN RATES
MM&P FCU members can reduce the interest rate they pay on any new loan even further by becoming a preferred borrower. What is a preferred borrower? That’s a member who deposits at least 10 percent of the original loan amount into their MM&P FCU savings account and keeps those funds on deposit until the loan is paid in full. By doing this you save twice – first, your deposit works for you by earning our regular dividend savings rate, and second, you save money by reducing the interest rate on your loan by 0.75 percent.

Contact the MM&P FCU for full details on all loan programs by email to mmpfcu@bridgedeck.org or call 1-800-382-7777 toll-free.



 

MM&P HEALTH & BENEFIT PLAN NEWS

NOTICE TO MEMBERS WHO ARE TAKING VIOXX

On Sept.30, Merck & Co. voluntarily withdrew Vioxx, a popular anti-inflammatory medication, from the market. As a result, individuals who are currently taking the drug have been asked to contact their health care professionals to discuss discontinuing use of Vioxx and possible alternative treatments.

MM&P Plans Administrator Valerie Verrecchio reports that, “We have gotten a number of calls from members who want to know what to do with their remaining supply of Vioxx and whether the Plan or NMHC will refund their co-pay for the unused portion.

“Unfortunately, neither NMHC nor the Plan was aware of the Merck decision prior to the public announcement on Sept.30. As of that date, all deliveries of Vioxx to our members was suspended in accordance with Merck’s announcement. Orders that had already been processed and were in transit could not be stopped.

“In regard to refunds, Merck has set up a website at www.vioxx.com where members can obtain information on how to recover refunds from Merck for the unused portion of medication. Members can also call following toll free number for information: 1-888-368-4699.

“We are sorry for any inc onvenience this may have caused to members currently taking this medication, however, the matter is out of the control of the Plans.”



NMHC MAIL-ORDER PRESCRIPTIONS WEBSITE UPDATED & IMPROVED

MM&P Plans Administrator Valerie Verrecchio reports, “Good news! NMHC mail has finally gotten their website upgraded and functioning properly. I went in and tested it myself and found it to be quite user friendly.”

To use NMHC’s upgraded service, go to the NMHC Mail website at www.nmhcmail.com and click on “MEMBER LOGIN” at the bottom of the screen.

First-time and Registered users may bypass the welcome screen and go directly to the log-in page at https://members.nmhcrx.com/Login/Login.aspx.

  • First-time users should then click on the link marked “NEW USER: REGISTER HERE”.
    This will take you to a page titled “MEMBER REGISTRATION” where you will need to enter demographic information and submit it by clicking on the
  • “CREATE ACCOUNT” button.

After creating your account, NMHC will email you a password to gain entry into your records. With your first sign-in, the NMHC system will prompt you to change the NMHC password to one of your own choosing.

Once you are registered at NMHC, you can check the status of open orders by logging-in to the system through the “MEMBER LOGIN” page and going into the “MAIL ORDER” menu. You can look up all prescriptions and get the price our members will pay for any medication. You can also view an order history of all of your medication transactions (both retail and mail) for the last 24 months, locate 24-hour pharmacies in your zip code region as well as access other helpful member education information.

“We hope this welcome improvement will assist our members. Although you cannot order refills on line if you don’t provide a credit or debit card number, you can phone in your refill. Once you register on the website, you will still have access to all of the other information including checking the status of your order once it is phoned in,” said Ms. Verrecchio.



WWII USCG VETERANS OUTREACH

The U.S. Coast Guard has announced an initiative to identify and collect the oral histories of its World War II veterans. Coast Guard WWII veterans, including SPARS and merchant mariners, are encouraged to record their histories online with the Library of Congress Veterans History Project at www.loc.gov/folklife/vets.

Those veterans needing assistance in recording their stories can receive help from their local Coast Guard Auxiliary public affairs contact by leaving a message at 1-877-875-6296, a toll-free call.




 

COMPANY GIVES BUCKS BACK FOR BUYING SAFE SHOES

LMS Ship Management, the company that manages vessels for Central Gulf, Sulphur Carriers and Waterman Steamship, wants to remind MM&P members that they offer their crewmembers a $75 reimbursement on the cost of purchasing certain slip-resistant shoes and boots for use aboard ship.

This offer has been in place for some time and LMS reports that “we have been pleased with the participation to date, but feel a reminder may be in order.” Their goal is for every crewmember to wear slip resistant footwear during working hours aboard their vessels.

The $75 reimbursement is available to each crewmember who provides LMS with an original receipt for the purchase of slip resistant footwear. In order for the crewmember to obtain the reimbursement, they must wear the shoes while on duty. Upon presentation of the receipt, the crewmember will be reimbursed on their pay voucher. The receipt will be retained by the Master and will remain aboard the vessel.
 
 

Vessels in the LMS footwear reimbursement program are:

  • Green Cove
  • Green Dale
  • Green Lake
  • Green Point
  • Atlantic Forest
  • Sulphur Enterprise
  • Energy Enterprise
  • SGT Matej C. Kocak
  • MAJ Stephen W. Pless, and
  • PFC Eugene A. Obregon

LMS notes that in order to receive reimbursement, crewmembers must purchase one of the following recommended brands:

  • WORX by Red Wing Slip Resistant Footwear
  • Caterpillar (must have steel toe & slip resistant sole)
  • Wolverine (must have steel toe and slip resistant sole)
  • Dunham Sierra Work Boot EH
  • Steel Toe Voyager
  • Georgia Boot 6- or 8-inch Safety Toe Boot
  • Dr. Marten’s (must have steel toe & slip resistant sole)

LOOK FOR THE UNION LABEL:

Of the boots listed above, Red Wing, Caterpillar and Wolverine boots are produced by US union labor.

Redwing’s Union-made products are: Red Wing shoes and boots, Red Wing motorcycle boots and Craftsman (Sears).

Wolverine World Wide manufactures boots under the Caterpillar brand using US union labor. (Other union made safety-shoe brands by Wolverine are the company’s Hy-Test, Durashock and Bates Military labels. The company’s Wolverine brand combat boots are also produced using US union labor.)

Most Dr. Marten’s shoes and boots are produced in the UK.

To find US, union-made products, visit the AFL-CIO Union Label Service and Trades website at www.unionlabel.org and click on “Union Made Product Search”. To shop for union-made products online, go to www.ShopUnionMade.org.




 

WEBSITE OFFERS UNION-MADE GOODS AND SERVICES

The Union Label recently went digital with a new website offering shoppers an array of union-made gifts, from clothing and chocolates to computers, games and greeting cards.

The website, www.shopunionmade.org, launches on the eve of the fall and winter holidays, when shoppers will spend an estimated $1 trillion on gifts, food, drinks and other seasonal items, explained Matt Bates, Secretary-Treasurer of the AFL-CIO Union Label & Service Trades Department. The all-union shopping site, however, will be a year-round operation because that is what consumers demand, he added.

“Shoppers spent $56 billion in Internet sales last year, and on-line spending is doubling every two to three years. Everyday we receive Email and calls from people who want to support good jobs by buying union-made goods and services. The website will reach millions of people, 24 hours a day, with a quick convenient way to shop union,” Bates said.

“The public is ready for this. People have seen millions of good jobs disappear and they are looking for ways to take a stand and make a difference,” he added.

The AFL-CIO will target the peak of the holiday shopping season by promoting “Buy Union Week” Nov. 26 through Dec. 5. The newly-launched, all-union shopping site will be a cornerstone of that campaign. MM&P has a link to the Shop Union Site on this website under “Links and Other Sources”.



The MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly is the official electronic newsletter of the International Organization of Masters, Mates, and Pilots, ILA, AFL-CIO, 700 Maritime Blvd., Linthicum Heights, MD 21090-1941. Phone: 410-850-8700; Fax: 410-850-0973; Email: iommp@bridgedeck.org. For further info or to subscribe contact John Peige at jpeige@bridgedeck.org. The Wheelhouse Weekly is sent via Email to MM&P-contracted vessels at sea, broadcast worldwide via FEC marine telex and is posted on our web page.