Wheelhouse Weekly – August 26, 2004

August 26th 2004


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

Volume 8 . . . . . Number 35 . . . . August 26, 2004




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



MM&P Special Representative Capt. Joe Stone attended the Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command (SDDC) change of command ceremonies held at Fort Myer, VA on August 24. Formerly known as the Military Traffic Management Command (MTMC) until January of this year, SDDC is responsible for all of the material shipped aboard the Military Sealift Command’s Large Medium Speed Roll-On/Roll-Off (LMSR) vessels. Some LMSRs are operated by MM&P Licensed Deck Officers. In addition, containerized and outsized SDDC cargoes are shipped aboard some MM&P-contracted commercial vessels.

Major General Ann Dunwoody relinquished her MSDDC command to Brigadier General Charles W. Fletcher, Jr. General John Handy, Commander of the US Transportation Command hosted the ceremonies. General Dunwoody will now advance to become the new Commander of the US Army’s Combined Arms Support Command (CASTCOM) at Fort Lee, VA. In a dual role, she will also serve as the Commander of Fort Lee.



This is a clarification to the article in last week’s Wheelhouse Weekly regarding the details of the AHL contract that effects the Unlicensed crew members’ IRAP.

The sentence on the IRAP contribution should have read:

A 1.0 percent increase in the IRAP contribution rate for Unlicensed personnel will be applied in each year of the contract, effective January 1, 2005.” ,

instead of, “A 1.0 percent increase in the IRAP contribution rate for Unlicensed personnel will be applied effective Jan.1, 2005.”

All other contract information presented previously remains unchanged.

The new contract goes into effect on Sept.1, 2004 and will remain in force through Aug.31, 2009. Other highlights of the new agreement are:

  • A 2.5 percent increase on wages and all wage-related items effective Jan.1, 2005 and applied annually on Jan.1 of each succeeding year of the contract – 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009.
  • An additional day of vacation per month for Licensed and Unlicensed personnel effective beginning Jan.1, 2005.
  • Another vacation day per month added for Licensed and Unlicensed personnel effective Jan.1, 2009.
  • Martin Luther King Jr.’s Birthday is added to the list of holidays observed effective Jan.1, 2005.
  • The company will continue to make health and welfare contributions for Licensed and Unlicensed personnel as under the current contract.
  • The company will continue to make pension plan contributions in the same manner for the Licensed personnel as under the current contract.

The AHL agreement will be sent out in the near future for ratification vote along with several other sets of Offshore Membership Group contracts that are effective pending ratification.



Masters and Chief Mates sailing on Horizon vessels must have successfully completed the 3-day Security Officer: Port, Company, Ship (SEC-OFF-PCS) course before Dec.31, 2004.

All Second and Third Mates that desire to ship off-the-board on Horizon vessels must have completed the SEC-OFF-PCS course before Dec.31, 2005. This course is taught at both MITAGS and at PMI. These training requirements are contained in the latest Horizon contract MOU that is available for review at all MM&P Offshore Hiring Halls.



MM&P-contracted Patriot Holdings has immediate employment opportunities for Chief Mates aboard LMSR vessels. To be qualified as a Chief Mate aboard LMSR vessels, the following Military Sealift Command (MSC) courses must have been successfully completed:

  • Small Arms – available from MITAGS or MSC.
  • Damage Control – available from MITAGS and MSC.
  • 6-day Chemical Biological Radiological Defense Training – available through MSC.
  • 5-day Anti-Terrorism Officer (ATO) – available through MSC.

Qualified Chief Mates are urged to contact their local hiring hall or their representatives regarding these openings.



For those that think that size matters, a steady growth in the average size of vessels calling at US ports and a continued rapid increase in double-hull tanker calls are among the highlights of a new report released by the US Maritime Administration (MARAD).

In “Vessel Calls at US Ports, 2003,” MARAD notes that, while the number of vessel calls at US ports in 2003 is only slightly greater than it was in 1999, the average size of vessels has increased by 10 percent during the period.

As evidence of the smooth transition to double-hull tankers mandated by the Oil Pollution Act of 1990, 64 percent of the tanker calls at US ports in 2003 were by double hull tankers, up from 40 percent four years earlier. For the period 1999 to 2003, double-hull tanker calls increased by 72 percent.

The report provides five years of data (1999 to 2003) on calls, size and capacity of vessels calling at U.S. ports by major vessel types, and is the third in the series. While the new report uses highlight and summary tables to present highly aggregated data, additional information regarding calls and capacity serving all US ports may be found on the MARAD website at



Hundreds of thousands of applicants are competing for 3,000 temporary jobs at the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles, hoping for positions paying $20 to $28 an hour — lucrative in an otherwise weak labor market. The jobs were created to handle record amounts of cargo coming into the ports.

A Long Beach post office spokesman said last week that a conservative estimate put the number of mailed-in applications at 220,000 to 250,000 for 3,000 available positions with the International Longshore and Warehouse Union. The union will conduct a lottery and expects to select 12,000 to 14,000 people, in case some of the winners don’t pass their physicals or drug tests or can’t handle the work.



Maersk Sealand has given notice that it will resign from the Transpacific Stabilization Agreement, which recommends TranPacific cargo rates.

Even without Maersk Sealand, the Transpacific Stabilization Agreement represents more than a dozen lines that haul more than two thirds of container traffic from the Asia-Pacific region to the US. But Maersk Sealand alone hauls 9 percent of container traffic by sea in Northeast Asia.

Pacific maritime cargo rates were once set by an organization called the Asia North America Eastbound Rate Agreement that had antitrust immunity. In 1998, US law was changed to allow lines to privately negotiate their own contracts with shippers. The Asia North America Eastbound Rate Agreement gave way to the Transpacific Stabilization Agreement, which is similar but has only advisory responsibilities. It cannot impose rates on anyone. Instead, it seeks consensus.

Maersk Sealand said it has decided that it cannot respond quickly enough to customer needs as a member of an association that takes months to reach consensus on rates and changes its recommendations only once a year.



Both ships and port facilities are now approaching complete compliance with the new IMO security measures developed to protect international shipping from the threat of terrorism, which came into effect July 1.

According to the latest figures available to the IMO Secretariat from reports received by governments, 89.5% of over 9,000 declared port facilities now have their Port Facility Security Plans (PFSPs) approved, a figure which shows considerable improvement from the 69% reported on the July 1 entry-into-force date of the new regulations.

Industry sources report that International Ship Security Certificates (ISSCs) issued for ships which have to comply with the new regulations indicate that the compliance rate is now well beyond the 90% mark.



The Transportation Security Administration has announced the award of a $12 million contract to BearingPoint, Inc. to begin the Prototype Phase of the Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC). This is the third phase in developing a program to improve security at seaports, airports, rail, pipeline, trucking and mass transit facilities by creating a nationwide credential to help prevent unauthorized persons from gaining access to secure areas.

“The TWIC program is a win-win for transportation workers and for the security of our homeland,” said Rear Adm. David Stone, USN (Ret.), Assistant Secretary of Homeland Security for TSA. “The TWIC will be issued to transportation workers after thorough screening for ties to terrorism and will utilize a biometric to eliminate the use of fraudulent credentials. The nationwide card will also eliminate the need for workers to obtain multiple credentials thereby making the identification process faster and more efficient.”

The goal of the seven-month prototype is to analyze the administrative and business processes involved in collecting transportation worker data, performing background checks, issuing credentials and studying the day-to-day use of the cards. In the prototype, about 150,000 workers from maritime, rail, aviation and ground modes of transportation are expected to participate at over 40 sites in six states.

The TWIC is a tamper-resistant credential that contains biometric information about the credential holder. Through this biometric data, each transportation facility can verify the identity of a worker and prevent unauthorized individuals from accessing secure areas. Prototype operations will be conducted in three regions of the country: Camden, NJ, Islip, NY, Philadelphia, PA, and Wilmington, DE; the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, CA; and the 14 major port facilities in the state of Florida.



A US-based security expert has sounded another warning on the seriousness of the threat of maritime terrorism to Southeast Asian waters, and in particular the Straits of Malacca, saying it’s not a question of if or when, but where and how often.

Likening the situation to a housing development that is on fire, security analyst and visiting Olmsted Foundation Scholar John Bradford said that while a number of houses on one street are fully ablaze, one in the middle has not yet caught fire but is being showered with hot embers.

“This region is aflame with maritime violence, much of it politically motivated,” Bradford told delegates at a recent maritime security conference in Singapore. “The fact is that maritime terrorism is a reality in Southeast Asia. Regionally speaking, it is not a question of when, but how often.”

Since 2000 there has been a worrying escalation of both equipment and tactics used in the Straits of Malacca, he said. “Once unusual, kidnap-for-ransom operations, the employment of VHF radios to coordinate operations and the use of not just firearms, but assault rifles and grenade launchers have all become common,” he noted.

Recent examples include the February 2004 bombing off of the Philippines of the Super Ferry 14 which killed 116 people, although Manila continue to deny terrorist involvement. He said two groups are of particular concern: the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG), founded by Afghan mujahideen veterans including a brother-in-law of Osama bin Laden, which has clearly demonstrated maritime capabilities, and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

The groups most worrying are Al Qaeda, the Jemiah Islamiah (JI) and the ASG, he said. “Al Qaeda and JI have, both through word and deed, clearly demonstrated their desire to attack the international maritime sector.”




Complete Basic and Advanced Fire Fighting in a combined one week course, offered September 20th.



Between now and the end of November, seats are available in the following courses:

  • AIS-1 – Automatic Identification System: 10/4
  • AIS-1/PPU – Automatic ID System/Portable Pilot Unit: 8/30, 11/1
  • ARPA – Automatic Radar Plotting Aids: 8/30, 9/20, 9/27, and 11/1
  • AZIPOD – Azipod Propulsion System: 10/2, 11/1
  • AZIPOD-KAM – Azipod and Kamewa Steering and Propulsion: 8/30, 11/5


  • BRM – Bridge Resource Management: 10/4
  • BRMP – Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 10/5
  • BST – Basic Safety Training: 9/13, 10/25, 11/15


CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses

  • CMM-ADVSTB – Advanced Stability: 9/27, 10/25
  • CMM-ADVWX – Advanced Meteorology: 9/20
  • CMM-CHS I – Cargo Handling & Stowage (week 1): 11/1
  • CMM-CHS II – Cargo Handling & Stowage (week 2): 11/8
  • CMM-ECDIS – Electronic Chart Display and Info Systems: 10/11, 11/1
  • CMM-MMP – Marine Propulsion Plants: 10/18
  • CMM-SHS-ADV I – Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 9/20, 10/18
  • CMM-SHS-ADV II – Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 9/27, 10/25
  • CMM-SHMGT-II – Ship Management (week 2): 8/30
  • CMM-VPEN – Voyage Planning & Electronic Navigation: 10/4
  • CMM-WKP – Watchkeeping: 9/13, 11/15
  • CONT-PLNG – Contingency Planning: 9/3, 10/15, 10/26, 10/28, 11/5
  • CSE-AAES – Confined Space Awareness-Atmospheric Analysis: 11/8
  • CSE-AWR – Confined Space Awareness Seminar: 9/24
  • CSE-AWR2 – 2-day Confined Space Awareness Seminar: 9/30, 11/18


  • FF-BADV – (Combined) Basic and Advanced Firefighting: 9/20, 11/8
  • FSM – Fatigue, Sleep and Medications: 9/1, 11/3
  • FL – Flashing Light: 9/3


  • GMDSS – Global Marine Distress & Safety System: 10/25


  • HAZ – Hazardous Materials [5-day]: 11/1


  • LEG – Legal Aspects of Pilotage: 9/1, 11/3


  • MEDIA-RSP – Media Response: 9/2, 10/14, 10/27, 10/29, 11/4
  • MED-DOT-DA – DOT Drug & Alcohol Testing: 9/18, 10/16
  • MED-PIC – Medical Person In Charge: 10/11
  • MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 10/11
  • MED-SMC – Shipboard Medical Care (4 weeks): 8/30


MSC – Military Sealift Command

  • MSC-CBRD-1 – Chemical Biological Radiological Defense Training Orientation: 9/15, 9/29, 10/25, 11/3, 11/17
  • MSC-DC – Damage Control: 9/16, 9/27, 10/21, 11/15
  • MSC-SMA-R – Small Arms Renewal (2-day): 10/26, 10/28
    (must have proof of passing all 3 weapons within 2 years)


  • ROP-5 – Radar Observer Original & Renewal: 11/8
  • ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal: 8/30, 9/18, 9/20, 10/2, 11/8


  • SEC-FSO – Facility Security Officer: 9/28, 11/8
  • SEC-OFF-PCS – Security Officer: Port, Company, Ship: 10/11, 11/1
  • SEC-PLT – Security Training for Pilots: 8/31, 11/2
  • SHS-BAS – Basic Shiphandling: 9/13, 10/11
  • SHS-EMR5 – Emergency Shiphandling (5-day): 11/15


  • TPIC – Tankerman Person-In-Charge: 9/20, 11/15
  • TRAC-TUG – Water Tractor and Azimuth Stern Drive Tugs: 9/2



If you are scheduled for a course, call, write, or Email admissions to advise whether or not you will attend. Many classes are in demand and maintain a Standby List. “No Shows” are missed training opportunities for other members.



Courses are subject to change. Check the MITAGS website for up-to-date course descriptions associated with all course title abbreviations, and for schedule revisions and updated course availability. You can also check future schedules, review detailed course descriptions and register on-line or contact Admissions at or by calling toll-free, 1-866-656-5568.




All the courses below will be conducted at the new Pacific Maritime Institute facility located in Seattle at 1727 Alaskan Way South, Pier 34. The new facility features a state-of-the art Ship Simulator that has to be experienced. PMI phone numbers remain the same. Come see the new facility at PMI’s “Maritime Technology and Career Center”.

August 2004

  • 8/30-9/03: Medical Care Provider
  • 8/30-9/10: Medical Person-In-Charge
  • 8/30-9/01: ARPA
  • 8/30: Radar Recertification
  • 8/30-9/01: Ship/Company Security Officer


September 2004

  • 9/06-07: Search and Rescue (OIC)
  • 9/08-10: Emergency Procedures (OIC)
  • 9/13-17: Basic Shiphandling
  • 9/13-17: Basic Safety Training
  • 9/13-17: Radar Observer Unlimited
  • 9/13-17: Tankerman Person-In-Charge
  • 9/13-24: GMDSS
  • 9/20-24: Basic and Advanced Firefighting
  • 9/20-10/01: Watchkeeping (OIC)
  • 9/27-29: Bridge Resource Management


October 2004

  • 10/04-08: Basic Safety Training
  • 10/04: Flashing Light (OIC)
  • 10/11-22: Advanced Shiphandling
  • 10/11-22: GMDSS
  • 10/11-15: ARPA
  • 10/11: Radar Recertification
  • 10/11-13: Ship/Company Security Officer
  • 10/25-29: Basic and Advanced Firefighting
  • 10/25-29: ECDIS


Contact DeeDee Lazik at 206-441-2880 or 888-893-7829 (toll free) for registration or visit the PMI website at



 D O W    N A S D A Q
 10,181.74 +98.59 for the week  1,860.72  +29.35 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)

 Spartan US Equity Index Fund (FUSEX)


~ Reminders ~



MM&P-contracted Horizon Lines recently won the bidding to manage MSC’s seven oceanographic ships (T-AGS) to support the Naval Oceanography Program. The Licensed Deck Officer billets will be filled by MM&P members. MM&P needs to hear from members and applicants interested in working aboard these ships. Vessel assignments may be permanent.

The T-AGS ships will pay competitive wages and will have 15-for-30 vacation, pension, health & welfare, IRAP and training contributions made on the employees’ behalf. Members and applicants selected to sail aboard the T-AGS ships will be required to have a US Government-issued Secret clearance. The Company will assist the mariner in obtaining this clearance.

All interested members and applicants are requested to send a resume to your local area Offshore Vice President or to International Headquarters in care of the Executive Assistant to the President at 700 Maritime Blvd., Linthicum Heights, MD 21090; Fax: 410-850-0973. Calls with questions may be directed to 410-850-8700 x23. Resumes or questions may also be sent by Email to,, and



MM&P Health & Benefit Plan Participants should have received information in the mail in early August a letter from NMHC regarding the mail order benefit through the Plan. Effective August 15, NMHC Mail will take over the mail order portion of the pharmacy benefit currently handled by Eckerd Pharmacy Services. This change in providers does not affect your prescription benefit.

For members with existing prescriptions on file with EPS, NMHC Rx has coordinated all MM&P member information with EPS so that all of your prescriptions with remaining refills will be automatically transferred to NMHC Mail. Simply call NMHC Mail at 1-800-456-4803 or visit the website at to request your prescription refill.

As always, if you should have any questions, please contact the Plan Office at 410-850-8500.


When you or your provider use the IVR system at the Plan Office to check eligibility, remember that the Plan Office updates eligibility on a monthly basis. This does not mean that your eligibility will terminate at the end of the month simply because the system states that you are eligible until a certain date. Individual contracts have different extension of eligibility rules and the only way we can provide accurate eligibility information for the membership is to download a new eligibility tape on a monthly basis.



Raffle tickets for a chance on winning an original painting of the SEAWANHAKA by MM&P member, Maryland Pilot and artist Capt. Brian Hope commissioned by the MM&P are available at $25 each, 5 for $100. Proceeds will benefit the Masters, Mates & Pilots Political Contribution Fund. (The fire aboard the SEAWANHAKA and the scapegoating of Capt. Charles Smith are the beginnings of the MM&P.)

Ticket purchases should be made payable to the MM&P PCF with a notation for the raffle in the memo line, and mailed to the:

MM&P Political Contribution Fund 700 Maritime Blvd. Linthicum Heights, MD 21090

Members making PCF contributions through the Members Only section of the MM&P website, noting that the contribution is for the raffle, can also obtain tickets. Raffle tickets will also shortly be available through MM&P port offices.

Cutoff for ticket purchases is December 31, 2004. Drawing for the prize will take place at Noon on January 7, 2005 at MITAGS. Also available at a later date will be a limited number of prints of this painting, numbered and signed by the artist, for a $50 contribution to the PCF designated for the print.


The fine print:

Raffle tickets are available only to those individuals who are otherwise eligible to make a contribution to the MM&P PCF.

No double dipping: Contributions in exchange for raffle tickets or for a signed and numbered print do not qualify for other PCF contribution incentive premiums.

All contributions to the MM&P PCF, including contributions in exchange for raffle tickets, are voluntary contributions for political purposes and no physical force, job discrimination, financial reprisals or threat thereof has been or will be used in any way to secure such contributions. PCF contributions are not deductible for tax purposes.



Members are reminded that for the duration of the MM&P election period the name or likeness of any known candidate for any elected MM&P position will not be referred to by name or photo in any MM&P publication. Reference may be made by title or in contact information such as an email address when it is directly relevant to the communication.

As example, the Master of a MM&P-contracted ship who has declared himself to be a candidate for a MM&P elective position was recently quoted in an article appearing in the “Master, Mate & Pilot”, but was referenced as the Master of the vessel and not by name. Similarly, this member’s likeness was not included in a photo published with the article. This same rule was applied within the same publication with regard to two other members employed by MM&P at Union headquarters who are candidates for elective position.

This rule has been put into effect to ensure that publications by the MM&P to MM&P members are not used on behalf of any candidate for campaign purposes. These exclusions will end upon completion of the election.

Members wanting to know more about this policy may contact International Counsel John Singleton at 410-850-8700 x19, email:, or Communications Director Karl Schwartz at 410-850-8700 x27, email:

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, broadcast worldwide via FEC marine telex and is posted on our web page.