Wheelhouse Weekly – April 23, 2013

April 23rd 2013



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

Volume 17 . . . Number 17. . . April 23, 2013

(Look in the archives for this weeks Special Edition.)



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


APL has announced that it will phase out and scrap the four C-10s now operating in the SZX Service: the PRESIDENT ADAMS, PRESIDENT JACKSON, PRESIDENT POLK and PRESIDENT TRUMAN. APL President Eric Mensing said the company had made the decision because of market pressures related to the global economic downturn and the wind-down of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The C-10s will be phased out of U.S.-flag service on arrival in Singapore according to the following schedule: ADM – 5 June; POK – 3 July; JAX – 17 July; TRM – 24 July.

With the C-10s’ scrapping will come a reconfiguration of the service that connects the U.S. East Coast with the Middle East, the Indian Subcontinent and Singapore. APL will operate five U.S.-flag ships in the reconfigured East Coast service. As part of APL’s ongoing modernization program, the APL JAPAN will be removed from U.S.-flag service and swapped out with the APL BELGIUM as the replacement vessel for the APL JAPAN.

In the Pacific, APL’s U.S.-flag fleet also includes five C-11 ships, each with capacity of 4,832 TEUs, which operate in the U.S. West Coast-Asia market. Those vessels and their services won’t be affected by the scrapping of the four C-10s.  

“These difficult decisions are made in an attempt to better position the company and remaining ships for continued success,” Mensing said. “I want to take this opportunity to thank each crewmember for their safe and efficient service and I know that you will continue to provide both through this transition period.” Answers to frequently asked questions regarding the phase-out of the C-10s have been posted in the Members Only section of


MM&P and MIRAID have joined forces with the other maritime labor and management members of the USA Maritime Coalition to strongly oppose the Administration’s proposed cuts in the PL 480 Food for Peace Program. The Administration is proposing to shift approximately half the PL 480 funds to a system in which the United States would simply give foreign nationals cash vouchers to buy foreign agricultural commodities and foreign ocean shipping services. Under the current PL 480 program, the United States provides humanitarian aid in the form of U.S.-produced agricultural products, half of which much be shipped on U.S.-flag vessels.

“The Administration’s proposal to shift funding to a system of global food stamp vouchers, or to shift to purchases of food aid from allegedly cheaper foreign suppliers instead of donating wholesome commodities grown by American farmers, will be harmful to our U.S. merchant marine, harmful to our national defense sealift capability, harmful to our farmers and millers, and bad for our economy,” the members of the USA Maritime Coalition said in an official statement. “At a time when unemployment remains a major obstacle to economic growth, shipping American jobs overseas is the last thing any Administration should be proposing.”

To read the full Coalition statement, and for more information on this and other maritime issues, go to or


A bipartisan group of more than 40 members of the House of Representatives have urged their colleagues to support full funding in Fiscal Year 2014 for the Maritime Security Program (MSP). Congress previously authorized $186 million for MSP in Fiscal Year 2014; this is also the same amount of funding supported by the President. 

In the House of Representatives, the effort to secure full funding for MSP has been led by Armed Services Committee Chair Rep. Buck McKeon (R-Calif.) and the Committee’s Ranking Democrat, Rep. Adam Smith (D-Calif.). In their statement, the legislators noted that the MSP “ensures that the United States has the U.S.-flag commercial sealift capability as well as the trained U.S.-citizen merchant mariners available to crew the government- and privately owned vessels needed by the Department of Defense in time of war or other international emergency. . . [It] ensures that America will in fact be able to support and supply our troops overseas.”

Congress has not yet begun work on the Fiscal Year 2014 appropriations legislation for the Maritime Security Program.


“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” That’s the message that transportation unions, including MM&P, have sent to U.S. government trade negotiators as they enter into talks with the European Union (EU) on a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, or TTIP.

“We’ve seen how balanced global trade can create good jobs, boost the economy, and open new markets,” says AFL-CIO Transportation Trades Department (TTD) President Ed Wytkind. “But we’ve also seen how trade done the wrong way can ravage industries that are pillars of our economy, destroy middle-class jobs, and even threaten our security.”

“I was recently invited to represent transportation labor at a high-level joint regulatory forum to discuss key issues revolving around the TTIP negotiations,” Wytkind says. “Our message was a simple one: keep aviation and maritime issues off the table. The Europeans want to include them in negotiations, a position that shouldn’t surprise anyone given the EU’s attempts in 2010 to again change how foreign entities invest in our airlines. Fortunately, negotiators for the U.S. government–led by the departments of State and Transportation–rejected EU overtures while still managing to reach agreement on an open skies deal.”

“Current aviation laws protect U.S. air carriers and employees from unfair competition, preserve basic labor rights and ensure America’s status as a world leader in air transportation,” he adds. “I haven’t seen a good argument in favor of changing our current policy, unless the objective is to inject unfair competition. Ask an out-of-work auto, steel or aerospace worker why trade policy matters.”

“Our current laws remain in place partly because our airline industry is intertwined with our national security,” he adds. “It makes good sense for Americans to control our airlines, not foreign entities that may not share our nation’s objectives.”

“For similar reasons, the American maritime industry shouldn’t be in these talks either,” Wytkind says.  “The Jones Act, which requires that cargo moving between U.S. ports be transported aboard vessels that are crewed, flagged, owned and built American, has been on the books since 1922 and helps sustain an industry that employs 500,000 and generates $100 billion in annual revenue. The benefits of a strong U.S. merchant marine go far beyond the economic. We should be promoting the growth of U.S. maritime, not accelerating the already alarming decline of this industry as part of a broader trade agenda. To do so would place good jobs and our economic and national security at risk.”


The labor movement will fight to make workers’ issues a priority, guarantee the freedom to form a union and create and keep good, safe jobs in the United States. This is the AFL-CIO’s call to action on the eve of Workers Memorial Day, when America’s labor movement remembers workers who have been killed or injured on the job. The theme of this year’s Workers Memorial Day is, “Safe Jobs Save Lives: Make Your Voice Heard.” The commemoration will be held on April 28.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics has reported that 4,609 workers were killed on the job in 2011, the most recent year for which statistics are available. “The Obama Administration has moved to strengthen protections, with tougher enforcement on serious violators and proposed new safeguards for workplace hazards,” said AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka. “But our work is not done. Many job hazards remain unregulated and uncontrolled.” He urged Congress to reject ongoing efforts by anti-labor politicians to roll back protections under the mantra of “regulatory reform.”

Workers Memorial Day recognizes the sacrifice of workers who have been killed, disabled or injured on the job. It is an opportunity to recognize the preventable nature of workplace accidents and to continue the fight for increased workplace safety.


Captain Joe McCormick, a member of the MM&P Federal Employees Membership Group (FEMG) is featured in a short video produced by Wired which explores the challenges of keeping San Francisco Bay free of dangerous floating debris.

Navy Fleet Adm. Chester Nimitz was reportedly the first to request that the Army Corps clear the bay of potential hazards, after debris caused his seaplane to crash (the accident killed the pilot of the plane).

Today, Army Corps Dredge MV RACCOON removes as much as 120,000 tons of debris annually, averaging 50 to 60 tons a day. McCormick and the crew of the dredge are called on to remove jetsam that has included 130-ft trees, dead whales and, on one occasion, a 40-ton concrete houseboat foundation which had ended up right in the middle of the shipping lane. “At the end of the day,” McCormick says, “we feel very good about the job we do.”

MV RACCOON is the first USACE vessel that runs solely on bio diesel. The video can be viewed on the Wired website or MM&P’s Twitter feed.


MM&P is eager to publish photos of our members and contracted vessels. When sending us a photo, here are three things to keep in mind.

– Set your camera to the highest possible resolution setting. To ensure the photo will reproduce well in the magazine, images should be submitted as JPEG files of around 2 MB.

– Include a brief caption with the names of those pictured and any other information that you think will be of interest to the MM&P members who read the magazine.

– Avoid photographing subjects wearing safety vests or other reflective gear.

Thank you for your photos: please keep them coming. Our e-mail address, for photos and questions, is


Carnival Corp. has offered to reimburse the U.S. government for costs sustained in the recent incidents involving the cruise ships TRIUMPH and SPLENDOR, which left thousands of passengers stranded at sea without running water, air conditioning or other basic services. 

The report came a week after Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.), made scathing remarks about the corporation, including a charge that Carnival was “bloodsucking off the American people.” Rockefeller has estimated that the Coast Guard’s costs in the TRIUMPH incident came to nearly $780,000, while the SPLENDOR debacle in 2010, when an engine room fire stranded the vessel in the Gulf of Mexico for days, cost around $3.4 million. There has been no word from Carnival on the extent to which it plans to reimburse the government. The company had earlier said it did not intend to reimburse the U.S. because of the maritime tradition of rendering free assistance to those at sea.

“I’m glad to see that Carnival owned up to the bare minimum of corporate responsibility by reimbursing federal taxpayers for these two incidents,” Rockefeller stated. “I am still committed to making sure the cruise industry as a whole pays its fair share in taxes, complies with strict safety standards and holds the safety of its passengers above profits.” Rockefeller said he is contemplating legislation to address some of the issues raised by the recent rescues of Carnival cruise ships.


The KAI XIN, a Chinese factory fishing boat that caught fire April 17 off the coast of Antarctica, has sunk. The 97 crew members had been rescued several days earlier by a Norwegian vessel, the JUVEL. The Chilean navy said the ship’s owner confirmed that the vessel went down on Sunday afternoon near Bransfield Strait. Small boats and fishing nets have been seen drifting in the water. A Chilean navy tugboat is standing by to contain any fuel spill, but the authorities said they believe all the fuel on board the boat was consumed in the fire.


Between now and the end of June, the following courses are scheduled at MITAGS. (Please keep in mind, however, that the schedule may be subject to change.)

For class availability or information on courses and programs, contact MITAGS Admissions Coordinator Kelly Michielli toll free at 866-656-5568 or e-mail her at

Or, try our on-line calendar to register for class:

BRM – Bridge Resource Management: 5/12/13

BRMP – Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 5/23/13

BST – Basic Safety Training: 6/24/13

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]

CMM-ADVWX – Advanced Meteorology: 6/17/13

CMM-ADVNAV – Advanced Navigation (=ECDIS & VPEN): 6/3/13

CMM-ADVSTB – Advanced Stability: 4/28/13

CMM-CHS – Advanced Cargo Operations (2 weeks): 5/6/13

CMM-MPP – Marine Propulsion Plants: 5/20/13

CMM-SHS-ADV-I – Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 5/6/13, 6/24/13

CMM-SHS-ADV-I I – Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 5/13/13, 6/17/13

CMM-WKP – Advanced Watchkeeping: 6/24/13

CONT PLNG – Contingency Planning: 5/9/13

ENVIRO-Regs Permit – Environmental Regulations Permit: 5/23/13

ECDIS-ENAV for Pilots (2 day): 6/13/13

FSM – Fatigue, Sleep and Medications: 5/23/13

FF-BADV – Combined Basic and Advanced Fire Fighting: 6/24/13

HAZ – Hazardous Materials (5 day): 6/24/13

LEG – Legal Aspects of Pilotage:  5/23/13

MED-PIC – Medical Person in Charge: 6/10/13

MED-PIC -R– Medical Person in Charge Refresher: 5/13/13

MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 6/10/13

MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Transportation Drug & Alcohol Testing: 4/27/13, 6/15/13, 6/29/13

MSC -SMA – Military Sealift Command Small Arms Qualification: 6/3/13

MSC-DC – Military Sealift Command Damage Control (4 Evenings): 6/3/13

MSC-CBRD-1 – Military Sealift Command Chemical, Biological, Radiological Defense Orientation (Basic): 6/7/13

ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal Evening Classes: 5/1/13, 5/15/13, 5/22/13, 6/5/13, 6/19/13, 6/26/13

SHS-BAS – Basic Shiphandling: 4/29/13, 6/24/13 SEC-VSO – Vessel Security Officer: 5/6/13

SHS-ESH-BRMP3 – Emergency Shiphandling and Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 5/20/13

… Remember: If you can’t make the class, make the call. Be courteous, don’t be a “no show.”

Check the MITAGS website at for course descriptions associated with the course title abbreviations.


Please also see our schedule online at
For registration, call our registrar, Jennifer Pitzen, at (206) 838-1126.

April 2013

29th       Med DOT
29-3       Medical Care Provider
29-10     Medical Person-In-Charge

May 2013

6-7          ECDIS for Pilots
6-10       Basic Meteorology
13th       Radar Renewal
14th       RFPNW Assessments
20-24     ECDIS
21-23     Bridge Resource Management for Pilots
28-31     ARPA
29-30     ECDIS for Pilots
29-31     Vessel Security Officer

June 2013

3-7          ECDIS
3-14       GMDSS
3-21       Terrestrial and Coastal Navigation
10th       Radar Renewal
11-13     Bridge Resource Management for Pilots (3-day)
14th       Fatigue, Sleep, and Medications for Pilots
24-28     Radar Observer Unlimited
24-28     Medical Care Provider
27-28     Bridge Resource Management for Pilots (2-day)