Wheelhouse Weekly – August 18, 2006

August 18th 2006


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

Volume 10 . . . . . Number 33. . . . August 18, 2006




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.



The 81st Convention of the MM&P convenes at 1000 hrs on Tuesday, August 22nd at MITAGS. Delegates, members and guests will hear from an impressive list of speakers who will share their insights on the current course of government affairs and fiscal policy as it relates to organized labor and the maritime industry.

Top maritime labor leaders scheduled to address the convention include International Longshoremen’s Association President John Bowers; International Longshore and Warehouse Union President Jim Spinosa and Vice President Robert McEllrath; Sailors’ Union of the Pacific President Gunnar Lundeberg; Seafarers International Union President Michael Sacco; American Maritime Officers President Mike McKay; and Marine Engineers’ Beneficial Association President Ron Davis. Convention proceedings are open for all MM&P members to observe. For further info, contact Diane Chatham at



At 1600 on August 22nd, during the first day of the MM&P Convention, there will be a dedication honoring Captain Charles Pillsbury at MITAGS, as the License Advancement Program (LAP) classroom will be dedicated in his memory. All MM&P members and their guests are welcomed to attend.


MM&P-contracted AHL Shipping Company has moved to new offices located at 219 E. Houston Street, Suite 300, San Antonio, TX 78205. The new main phone number is 210-228-2700; the new job line number is 210-228-2771; and the new fax number is 210-222-9102.


A three year renewal agreement was recently negotiated with Matson Navigation for the ITB MOKU PAHU. The agreement features wage and vacation improvements valued at approximately 12% during the three year term of the agreement and continues full contributions into MM&P benefit plans. VP-Pacific Ports, Don Marcus, who chaired the MM&P negotiation committee, reported that “contract improvements with Matson don’t come easily, but our committee did their homework. We worked in concert with MEBA and had the outstanding support of ILWU Locals 6 and 13 throughout the negotiations.”

Marcus added that, “MM&P Applicant and University of Massachusetts labor program graduate student Lars Turner provided excellent research assistance and the rest of the committee, which included MOKU PAHU Chief Officer Carl Stein, “Off-the-Board” member Zack Kellerman, and Agent-Pacific Ports, Dave Boatner worked successfully to improve the terms of the contract.” The collective bargaining agreement runs from June 16, 2006 through June 15, 2009.


On August 26th, the MM&P-contracted vessel M/V PRESIDENT ADAMS will be making her first call at New York/Port Newark. The ship is managed by APL Maritime (AML) and she will be the first APL ship to call in New York in over three decades. The company will be inviting dignitaries to come onboard for a welcome celebration. The ship’s Master, MM&P member Capt. Dennis Carney, reports that, “We are very proud of the PRESIDENT ADAMS and happy to inaugurate APL’s IAX East Coast service to India and Sri Lanka. The MM&P members on board include Chief Mate Skip Santos, Second Mate Justin Valentine and Third Mate Clyde Kernohan.


Military Sealift Command’s fleet ocean tug, USNS APACHE (T-ATF 172), crewed by MM&P Licensed Deck Officers from the Government Employees’ Membership Group, rescued seven fishermen whose canoes capsized in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Monrovia, Liberia on August 14th.

APACHE was two nautical miles west of the harbor entrance Sunday afternoon when the 226-foot-long tug came upon five men struggling in the water next to their canoe. “Several of us saw the overturned boat and people in the water around 1445 hrs,” said the APACHE’s Master, MM&P member Capt. Charles Rodriguez. “I immediately called the Chief Mate to tell him to get out to the site as quickly as possible.” Chief Mate Troy Bruemmer and Able Seaman Jeremy Guyet were in the harbor aboard the ship’s rigid hull inflatable boat (RHIB) observing pier repair operations, when they received the call for help.

“They were on scene picking the first of the five victims out of the water within 10 minutes,” said Rodriguez. “They hauled the fisherman into the boat, huddled them together and covered them because they appeared to be in the first stages of hypothermia.” Bruemmer and Guyet were transiting to the port with the canoe’s crew when they saw two more fishermen struggling in the water. After rescuing them, the two crewmembers returned all seven men to dry land.

This was the second rescue operation APACHE conducted in five days. As reported in last week’s Wheelhouse Weekly, the vessel also came to the aid of fellow seafarers at the Port of Monrovia, extinguishing a fire that was raging aboard the commercial freighter TAHOMA REEFER.

APACHE has been in Liberia’s capital city of Monrovia since August 9th. “The crew is very upbeat,” said Rodriguez about his ship’s response to last week’s events. “Everyone is excited to be a part of the work being done here in Liberia.” APACHE is one of MSC’s four fleet ocean tugs that provide towing, diving platforms and other services to Navy combatant ships at sea. She is currently on a six-month deployment with the US 6th Fleet in the Mediterranean.


Meanwhile in the Atlantic, the MM&P-crewed containership HORIZON HAWAII, operating between the US and Puerto Rico for Horizon Lines, came to the aid of a stranded sailboat off the coast of Puerto Rico last week.

The KOKOMO CAT with four persons aboard, had placed a distress call to the US Coast Guard after it incurred damage to its sails and was without diesel fuel to operate its engine. The USCG contacted the HORIZON HAWAII at 0300 and asked for assistance in locating the small craft as it was relatively close to the ship’s heading. The crew soon spotted a light in the seas and made radio contact with the sailboat. The incident took place approximately 40 nautical miles north of the northwest tip of Puerto Rico.

“After radio contact with the KOKOMO CAT, the decision was made to make every effort to get fuel to the sailboat whose sails were unusable” said MM&P member Captain Mike Parr, Master of the 670-foot HORIZON HAWAII. Maneuvering a containership in roiling seas alongside a stranded small craft presents significant challenges. The ship’s crew was fully deployed to accomplish this task. MEBA crews the engine room and SIU represents the unlicensed crew.

“We had two engineers in the engine room for maneuvers in order to safely place our ship between the wind and the seas for the KOKOMO CAT. We gave them a heaving line to bring their empty jerry cans on board so we could fill them with diesel” recounted Captain Parr. The refueling cans were then returned to the stranded craft and the KOKOMO CAT was underway under her own power. The operation was completed shortly after 0500 and the HORIZON HAWAII resumed its course for its next port call in Jacksonville, FL.

“Horizon Lines is extremely proud of its mariners and their commitment to serve, whatever the task,” said John Keenan, Senior Vice President and Chief Transportation Officer for Horizon Lines.


The following memo is from MM&P Pacific Port Agent Dave Boatner: “Offshore Division members are advised that a Shipping Rules Conference will be held at MM&P Headquarters October 17-18. Members are encouraged to submit resolutions to the committee. Shipping Rules affect ALL offshore division members and all members are encouraged to participate. If you are interested in serving on the Shipping Rules Committee please contact your local Vice President, Agent, or Representative. The Pacific Ports will vote on representatives to the committee at union meetings in September. Meetings are scheduled for Los Angeles/Long Beach 9/13, Seattle 9/14, San Francisco 9/19 and Honolulu 9/21. Remember your participation strengthens our union.”


The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has distributed an advanced copy of a notice that it plans to have published in a future edition of the Federal Register. The notice includes the text of a recent letter to various members of Congress advising of changes to the Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) rulemaking. During the comment period for this rulemaking TSA received over 1900 comments and a number of requests seeking additional time to comment on the proposed rule. Many of these comments voiced concern regarding card and reader technology, analysis of economic impact, potential negative impacts to commerce, and uncertainty as to how TWIC requirements for facilities and vessels could be met.

While the TSA has decided to not extend the comment period for the proposed rulemaking, it has decided to delete the requirement for facility and vessel owners and operators to purchase or install card readers during the first phase of the TWIC implementation. Details of this approach will be explained in a future rulemaking that will provide guidelines for the background check process and issuance of the TWIC cards. This will allow the federal government to begin issuing TWIC cards as early as the end of this year.


The United States Merchant Marine Academy-Alumni Foundation Chesapeake Chapter will hold a dinner and business meeting on Wednesday, September 20th, beginning at 1800 hrs at MITAGS. RADM Robert D. Reilly, Jr., Commander, Military Sealift Command will be the featured speaker. All interested parties are welcome to attend. Dinner cost: $20.00/Chapter Member, $25.00/Non-Member. For further info, contact Gary Hicks ’76- President, at 410-893-0450; e-mail:


The next Ship Operations Cooperative Program (SOCP) Meeting will be held at MITAGS on November 1st and 2nd. All SOCP meetings are open to the general public. SOCP’s mission is to address and promote commercial operations through the identification, development, and application of new methods, procedures, and technologies. SOCP objectives are to improve the competitiveness, productivity, efficiency, safety, and environmental responsiveness of US vessel operations. All US based vessel operators and organizations that support vessel operations are eligible to participate in the program. SOCP works with the support of Maritime Administration (MARAD) and various industry, labor, and government organizations to address common challenges and identify new solutions for improvements in ship operations. For more info on this meeting, visit the SOCP website at or contact Todd Ripley at 202-366-2625.


The number of reported piracy attacks worldwide in the first six months of 2006 remained at 127 compared with the same figure during the corresponding period in 2005, according to the ICC International Maritime Bureau (IMB). In its Piracy and Armed Robbery Against Ships report, the IMB lists a total of 127 attacks on ships. Ships were boarded in 74 instances and 11 ships were hijacked. There were 156 crewmembers taken hostage, 13 crew were kidnapped and six were killed.

Although the number of attacks overall remain the same, in some key hot spots the situation has deteriorated. Eight attacks have been reported off the eastern coast of Somalia where pirates armed with guns and grenades have attacked ships and fired upon them. The eastern and north-eastern coasts of Somalia continue to be high-risk areas for hijackings. IMB warns that ships not making scheduled calls to ports in these areas should stay at least 200 miles or as far away as practical from the eastern coast of Somalia.

Indonesia recorded 33 incidents, the highest number this half year followed by Bangladesh with 22 attacks. Violence and intimidation of crew continues to be a hallmark of these attacks, with many of the pirates armed with guns and knives. Malacca Straits has shown an improvement with three attacks as compared to eight for the same period in 2005. However, since the end of June 2006, three further incidents within a two-day period have been reported in the
Malacca Straits. The IMB Piracy Reporting Center (PRC) is the only center of its kind in the world, to which ship Masters can report pirate attacks at any time, wherever they are in the world.


The US Attorney for the Central District of California issued a statement earlier this week that a Greek-owned shipping company has pleaded guilty to obstruction of a US Coast Guard investigation and negligently discharging oil into US waters. The sea chest on one of the company’s ships, anchored in the Port of Long Beach, leaked oil. The company hired a diver to fix the leak and directed the diver to not include in his report any mention of the leak. Prosecutors also said that crewmembers poured detergent into the water in hopes of dispersing oil from the leak. A sentencing hearing was scheduled for October 23. The company has agreed to pay a criminal fine of $500,000 (with $250,000 of that to be devoted to community service), pay restitution, implement a maritime compliance program, and serve three years probation.


Almost a year ago, on August 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina devastated the coastlines of Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana. The Regional Examination Center (REC) at New Orleans, which provided credentialing services to approximately 29,000 mariners in those three states and 14 percent of mariners nationwide, was completely flooded, destroying vital records and equipment and rendering the facility inoperable for a considerable period of time.

As a result, many mariners in the area are in possession of merchant mariner’s documents, licenses and/or certificates of registry (collectively referred to as ”credentials”) that either have expired or may expire before the Coast Guard will be able to process these mariners’ applications for renewal or upgraded credentials. With the authority Congress has granted, the USCG is temporarily extending the expiration dates for credentials of eligible mariners for up to one year. This notice is effective August 16, 2006. For further info, contact Donald Kerlin, Deputy Director, USCG National Maritime Center at 202-493-1006.

The Coast Guard is initiating temporary credentialing measures for merchant mariner’s documents, licenses, and certificates of registry for individuals who meet the following conditions:
(1) If the individual is a resident of Alabama, Mississippi, or Louisiana, as confirmed by the Coast Guard’s Merchant Mariner Licensing and Documentation system, or
(2) If the individual is a resident of any other State or Territory of the United States,and the records of the individual were –
(A) Located at the Coast Guard REC facility in New Orleans that was damaged by Hurricane Katrina; or
(B) Damaged or lost as a result of Hurricane Katrina.
A credential that shows that it was issued in New Orleans, LA, will be sufficient proof that the mariner’s records were located at the Coast Guard REC facility in New Orleans for category (2)(A) above.

Because of its international treaty obligations under the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping (STCW) for Seafarers, 1978, as amended, the US may not extend STCW endorsements in this same manner. Mariners who require such an endorsement must obtain it through the normal procedures as provided in 46 CFR part 10 and 12.

The following measures are applicable to all eligible mariners whose credentials, including Coast Guard issued duplicates of lost or damaged credentials, have expired, or will expire, during the period indicated within this Notice.

If a credential in a mariner’s possession has expired or will expire between August 29, 2005, and April 1, 2007, and the credential indicates that either the mariner’s home of record is in Alabama, Mississippi, or Louisiana, or that the credential was issued at New Orleans, LA, then that credential, together with a copy of this Notice, will serve as a valid credential until the Coast Guard issues the mariner a renewal or upgraded credential, or for one year from the original expiration date indicated on the credential in the mariner’s possession, whichever occurs first.

A mariner who is a resident of any other State or Territory of the United States, and whose credential was issued at a location other than REC New Orleans and has expired or will expire between August 29, 2005, and April 1, 2007, and whose records were damaged or lost as a result of Hurricane Katrina, should contact any REC for the procedures to obtain official correspondence confirming that the mariner’s credential remains valid until the Coast Guard issues the mariner a renewal or upgraded credential, or for one year from the original expiration date indicated on the credential in the mariner’s possession, whichever occurs first.

In determining their eligibility for an extension of their credentials under this Notice, mariners are encouraged to seek assistance at REC New Orleans, or at any of the other REC’s around the country, a list of which is available through the Internet at, and at 46 CFR 10.105 and 12.01-7.

Due to the amount of time it currently takes the Coast Guard to process applications, early application for renewal or upgrade will help ensure that mariners receive their renewal or upgraded credential prior to the expiration of the authorized extension. Mariners who visit an REC to obtain official correspondence confirming that the mariner’s credential remains valid, or to conduct any other transaction involving a credential that is within one year of expiration, should apply for a renewal or upgraded credential at the same time. Authority: C.E. Bone, Rear Admiral, US Coast Guard, Assistant Commandant for Prevention.



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

ARPA – Automatic Radar Plotting Aids: 9/12, 9/26, 10/10, 10/24
AZIPOD-KAM-2 – Two-Day Azipod and Kamewa Steering and Propulsion Systems: 9/19, 9/23, 10/2

BRMP – Bridge Resource Mangement for Pilots: 9/27, 10/10
BST – Basic Safety Training: 8/28, 9/25, 10/30

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]
*WX-BASREF-2 – Two day Basic weather refresher, HIGHLY RECOMMENDED PREP for Advanced Meteorology: 10/26
*CMM-ADVWX – Advanced Meteorology: 9/11, 10/30
CMM-ADVSTB – 8/21, 9/11, 10/2
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, 10/16
CMM-MPP – Marine Propulsion Plants: 10/30
CMM-SHMGT-I – Ship Management I (week 1): 8/21
CMM-SHMGT-II – Ship Management II (week 2): 8/14
CMM-SHS-ADV-I – Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 8/21
CMM-SHS-ADV-II – Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 8/14
CMM-VPEN – Voyage Planning and Electronic Navigation: 10/9
CMM-WKP – Watchkeeping: 8/28

CONT-PLNG – Contingency Planning: 10/13

CSE-AASE – Confined Space Entry: 8/28

FF-BADV – Combined Basic and Advanced Fire Fighting: 8/28, 9/25, 10/30

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

MEDIA-RSP – Media Response: 10/12

MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Trans Drug & Alcohol Testing: 8/12, 9/24, 10/22
MED-PIC – Medical Person-In-Charge: 8/14, 10/16
MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 8/14, 9/11, 10/16

[MSC – Military Sealift Command]
MSC-CBRD-1 (Chemical Biological Radiological Defense Orientation): 8/23, 10/25
MSC-DC (Damage Control): 8/24, 10/26
MSC-SMA – Small Arms Training: 8/28,10/30
MSC-SMA-R – Small Arms Re-Qualification (2-day): 9/1, 11/3 (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: 9/25, 10/9, 10/23

SEC-OFF-VCF – Security Officer, Vessel, Company & Facility: 10/9
SHS-BAS – Basic Shiphandling: 10/23
SHS-EMR – Emergency Shiphandling: 8/28, 10/30

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

Check the MITAGS website at 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:


Summer – Winter 2006

Come check out all the new and exciting things happening in Seattle at PMI.

We have some new members on our team to introduce to all. Captain Doug Pine is our new Simulation Department Manager, and works on specialty projects for PMI also. Tami Otschko is our new Administrative Assistant, taking over Jenny Fowler’s clerical front-desk duties to free Jenny up to concentrate on her very busy duties as our Registrar. Tami is the first point of contact at PMI now in our newly constructed reception area. Jenny can now be reached at and at her new direct line, 206 838-1126 for registration.

We have revamped our Web site completely and invite you to go online to take a look. We think you’ll find it a great improvement and much easier to navigate through. Check it out at

MATE 500/1600 TONS Program Begins January 2007
Due to the high demand for this program, which began in May 2006 with seven candidates, we have now scheduled another. As of this date we have close to full enrollment already for this 2007 start! Thanks to all the companies who are backing our dream! See our website at www. for more information on this amazing new step into the industry!

SCHEDULE OF COURSES – (Course schedule also posted online at

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

November 2006
10/30-11/3 Tankerman Person in Charge
10/30-11/3 Able Bodied Seaman
10/30-11/3 Medical Person in Charge
10/30-11/3 Medical First Aid Provider
11/6-10 Tankerman Person in Charge
11/6-10 ARPA
11/6-10 Emergency Shiphandling
11/6-17 GMDSS
11/27-12/1 Radar Observer Unlimited

December 2007
12/4-8 ARPA
12/4-15 Shiphandling – Advanced
12/11-13 Security Officer – Vessel, Company, and Facility
12/11-22 GMDSS
12/18-22 ECDIS
12/18-22 ARPA
12/18-22 Medical First Aid Provider
12/19 Radar Recertification

January 2007
1/2 Mate Program Begins/Orientation
1/8-1/26 Ratings Forming Part of a Navigational Watch
1/22-1/26 Terrestrial and Coastal Navigation
1/22-1/26 Tankerman Person in Charge
1/22-1/26 Emergency Shiphandling
1/29-2/2 Medical First Aid Provider
1/29-2/2 Radar Observer Unlimited
1/29-2/9 Medical Person in Charge
1/29-2/9 GMDSS

For registration call Jennifer Fowler 888-893-7829


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



 D O W  N A S D A Q  S & P 500
11,381.47 +293.44 for the week 2,163.95 +106.24 for the week 1,302.30 +35.56 for the week


Fund Name & Trading Symbol
 Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX)
 Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund (VEXMX)
 Vanguard International Growth Fund (VWIGX)
 Vanguard Morgan Growth Fund (VMRGX)
 Vanguard Windsor II Fund (VWNFX)
 Vanguard GNMA Fund (VFIIX)
 Vanguard High Yield Corporate Fund (VWEHX)
 Vanguard Total Bond Index (VBMFX)
 Chase Growth Fund (CHASX)
 Fidelity Asset Manager (FASMX)
 Fidelity Growth and Income (FGRIX)
 Fidelity Magellan Fund (FMAGX)
 Fidelity Small Company Instl (FMACX)
 Fidelity Value Fund (FDVLX)
 Spartan US Equity Index Fund (FUSEX)
 Domini Social Equity Fund (DSEFX)


~ Reminders ~




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:, 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:, by fax to 410-850-0973 or by mail to:

Richard Plant, Director of Special Projects

700 Maritime Blvd.
Linthicum Heights, MD 21090


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 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.



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.




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.

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 or call 1-800-382-7777 toll-free.




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 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.”


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 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

  • 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.


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

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.



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)


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 and click on “Union Made Product Search”. To shop for union-made products online, go to



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,, 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: For further info or to subscribe contact John Peige at The Wheelhouse Weekly is sent via Email to MM&P-contracted vessels at sea and is posted on our web page.