Wheelhouse Weekly – Feb. 10, 2015

February 10th 2015

Volume 19 . . . Number 6 . . . Feb. 10, 2015


In this issue:


Upcoming Events:

Other News:


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


All MM&P union halls will be closed on Thursday, Feb. 12, for Lincoln’s Birthday. All MM&P union halls, the MM&P Plan Office, the MM&P Federal Credit Union and MM&P headquarters will be closed on Monday, Feb. 16, for Presidents’ Day. The MM&P New Orleans Hall will be closed on Tuesday, Feb. 17 for Mardi Gras.

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The Administration’s Fiscal Year 2016 budget proposal calls on Congress to appropriate $186 million for the Maritime Security Program (MSP), the amount authorized by Congress to fully fund the program. The $186 million will ensure the continued operation of the maritime security fleet, comprised of 60 privately owned, militarily useful U.S.-flag commercial vessels crewed by American mariners.

As stated by the Administration, “The purpose of the [Maritime Security] Program is to establish and sustain a fleet of active ships that are privately owned, commercially viable and militarily useful to meet national defense and other emergency sealift requirements. Participating operators are required to make their ships and commercial transportation resources available upon request by the Secretary of Defense during times of war or national emergency. Commercial transportation resources include ships, logistics management services, port terminal facilities and U.S. citizen merchant mariners to crew both commercial and government-owned merchant ships.”

MSP is a critical component of America’s sealift readiness: it guarantees that the Department of Defense (DOD) has the U.S.-flag commercial sealift capability it needs to fulfill its missions around the world and to deliver the material, equipment and supplies necessary to support America’s troops. More than 90 percent of the supplies and equipment required to support America’s operations in Iraq and Afghanistan have been transported by privately owned U.S.-flag vessels and their civilian U.S. citizen crews.

The companies that participate in the program provide DOD with U.S.-flag and U.S.-crewed vessels as well as access to their own worldwide logistics networks. The U.S. Transportation Command has estimated that it would cost the U.S. government $52 billion to replicate the global intermodal system made available to DOD by MSP participants.

“The U.S.-flag fleet is critical to our military in ensuring readiness and sustainment,” says Congressman Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.), chairman of the Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Subcommittee and a member of the House Armed Services Committee and its Seapower Subcommittee. “DOD for well over a decade has relied on MSP-enrolled vessels for sealift of necessary cargo into conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as other troubled areas, at a fraction of what it would cost to replicate that sealift if it had to build its own vessels. These sensitive cargoes are handled by U.S.-flag ship operators and mariners who must meet DOD and homeland security standards. They have a demonstrated record of delivering these cargoes efficiently and safely.”

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Republican Congressman Stephen Fincher (Tenn.) and 57 of his Republican colleagues have introduced the Reform Exports and Expand the American Economy Act (HR 597), legislation to reauthorize and reform the Export-Import Bank of the United States. The bank’s mission is to create and sustain U.S. jobs by financing sales to international buyers of U.S. exports. The bank is chartered by Congress as a government corporation. It was last chartered for a three-year term in 2012. In September of last year, its term was extended through June 30, 2015.

Fincher has said his legislation would make the Export-Import Bank “more accountable and transparent, while requiring the bank to be more solvent and self-sufficient.” The bill would extend until Sept. 30, 2019 the bank’s authority to operate. It would also limit, to $130 billion, the bank’s aggregate loan, guarantee and insurance exposure.

By financing the export of American goods and services from companies throughout the United States, the Export-Import Bank helped to facilitate more than $37 billion in export sales in Fiscal Year 2013, which in turn supported more than 200,000 American jobs. A percentage of the commodities exported through Ex-Im Bank financing must be shipped on U.S.-flag vessels, providing a significant source of cargo for the U.S.-flag fleet. For this reason, the bank’s financing activities support not only American jobs in a wide range of manufacturing industries but also American jobs in the domestic transportation, port and U.S.-flag shipping industries.

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Legislation introduced in the House of Representatives by Democrat Janice Hahn (Calif.) and Republican John Duncan (Tenn.) would provide long overdue recognition for American merchant mariners who served our nation during World War II. The Honoring Our World War II Merchant Mariners Act of 2015 (HR 563), directs the Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs to establish the Merchant Mariner Equity Compensation Fund to provide benefits to certain individuals who served in the U.S. merchant marine during World War II.

“Hundreds of ships and thousands of men were lost to enemy submarines and aircraft while ferrying supplies to Western Europe and even Russia during the war,” Hahn says. “Unfortunately, those who served this nation so valiantly were not eligible for the assistance under the G.I. Bill that helped millions of veterans go to college, secure a home and transition into civilian life. The fact that we did not provide similar benefits to the merchant mariners who risked their lives for this country is simply unfathomable.”

Hahn says the bill she and Duncan introduced would rectify the inequity by providing a one-time benefit of $25,000 to the 5,000 surviving World War II mariners. “By providing this modest benefit,” she said, “we will finally be giving our brave merchant mariners the recognition they rightfully deserve.”

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Operations in West Coast ports resumed in full yesterday following a weekend in which shipping companies belonging to the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) had suspended loading and unloading. The reopening of the ports to cargo vessels idled by the weekend suspension came as the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) and shippers were set to resume negotiations for a new contract.

In mid-January, PMA claimed that there was a lack of dock space for containers, saying that as a consequence it was eliminating nightshifts at many ports. The union, for its part, has provided photos disputing the employer group’s assertion that the docks were too congested to unload ships. “PMA is leaving ships at sea and claiming there’s no space on the docks, but there are acres of asphalt just waiting for the containers on those ships and hundreds of longshore workers ready to unload them,” ILWU President Robert McEllrath told journalists. “The employers are deliberately worsening the existing congestion crisis to gain the upper hand at the bargaining table.” The union provided several photos of marine terminals in Southern California that show large tracts of space that would easily fit thousands of containers.

The ILWU contract has covered longshore workers at 30 West Coast ports in California, Oregon and Washington since 1934. “What the employers need to do is stay at the negotiating table and work through a few remaining issues with the workers who have made them successful for the past 80 years,” McEllrath said. “We are very close to reaching an agreement.”

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The Propeller Club of the United States has selected Congressman John Garamendi as the 2015 recipient of the prestigious Salute to Congress award. The Propeller Club of the United States, founded in 1927, is an international nonprofit dedicated to promoting the maritime industry, commerce and global trade. The award will be presented at the Army Navy Country Club in Arlington, Va., on Thursday, April 23.

Garamendi is the ranking Democrat on the House Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation and a member of the House Committee on Armed Services. He has worked tirelessly to support and promote U.S.-flag shipping and to secure full funding for the critically important Maritime Security Program. He has become the leading proponent in the House of Representatives of efforts to ensure that U.S.-flag vessels and American mariners participate in carrying liquefied natural gas (LNG) and other energy exports from the United States. He is a strong defender of the Jones Act, which guarantees that America’s waterborne domestic commerce will be controlled by American companies and transported on vessels built in the United States and operated by American crews.

Since then-Speaker of the House of Representatives Congressman Tip O’Neill received the first Salute to Congress award in 1985, the ceremony has become the maritime industry’s premier annual event in the Washington, D.C.

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MITAGS & CCMIT invite you and your family to join us in celebrating the renovation of the Conference Center and the upgrade of the full-mission shiphandling simulators: Thursday, Feb. 26, 5:00–8:00 PM. Join us for music, food and tours of the most advanced ship simulators in operation. Don’t miss this event! Please RVSP by Feb. 19. To register, go to We look forward to seeing you at the celebration!

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The Coast Guard has issued a notice stating that the 2015 minimum random drug testing rate for covered crewmembers on U.S. commercial vessels is 25 percent.

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MITAGS needs your current address! Have you moved recently? Did you remember to send MITAGS your new address for communications regarding courses? Please send your current contact information to or to the fax number below.

New dedicated fax line for Admissions only: 1-443-568-1928. For all other MITAGS business, please continue to use: 410-859-5181.

For class availability or information on MITAGS courses and programs, contact Kelly Michielli, Admissions Coordinator, toll-free at 866-656-5568 or by e-mail: . Why not try our on-line calendar to register for class:

Please note the special addition to our on-campus schedule of MSC classes marked with an asterisk (*), which are not normally scheduled to be held at MITAGS.

AB – 4/13/15, 8/17/15, 10/12/15

AIS-1 – Automatic Identifications Systems Orientation: 6/19/15, 7/13/15

ARPA-OIC – Automated Radar Plotting Aids: 3/31/15, 8/4/15, 9/22/15

AZIPOD 2-Day – 4/6/15, 10/1/15

BRM-35 – Bridge Resource Management: 3/23/15, 5/18/15, 8/3/15, 10/19/15

BRMP –Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 3/2/15, 4/13/15, 6/17/15, 7/16/15, 11/9/15

BRMP-EMR –Bridge Resource Management for Pilots with Emergency Shiphandling: 3/4/15, 4/8/15, 9/28/15

BT – Basic Safety Training: 4/6/15, 6/8/15, 8/10/15, 10/5/15

BT-Revalidation –8/4/15, 11/3/15

CHS-OIC – Cargo Handling Basic: 4/13/15, 10/26/15

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]

ADVNAV-CMM – Advanced Navigation (=ECDIS & VPEN):

ADVSTB-CMM – Advanced Stability: 4/20/15, 6/15/15, 7/27/15, 9/28/15

ADVWX-CMM – Advanced Meteorology: 4/13/15, 6/1/15, 8/3/15, 10/19/15

CHS-CMM – Advanced Cargo Operations (2 weeks): 4/27/15, 10/5/15

ECDIS – Electronic Chart Display Information System: 4/6/15, 6/8/15, 8/17/15, 11/2/15, 12/7/15

LMS – Leadership and Managerial Skills (Management Level – Formerly MCL-CMM): 2/16/15, 3/9/15, 3/30/15, 4/20/15,5/11/15, 6/22/15, 7/13/15, 8/10/15, 8/31/15, 10/26/15, 11/30/15

MPP-CMM – Marine Propulsion Plants: 3/2/15, 11/16/15

SHMGT-CMM- Ship Management (2 weeks): 3/9/15, 9/14/15

SHS-ADV-I-CMM – Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 3/9/15, 3/30/15, 4/13/15, 5/4/15, 6/1/15, 7/13/15, 8/10/15, 8/24/15,10/5/15, 11/9/15, 11/30/15

SHS-ADV-II-CMM – Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 3/16/15, 4/6/15, 4/20/15, 5/11/15, 6/8/15, 7/20/15, 8/17/15, 8/31/15,10/12/15, 11/16/15, 12/7/15

VPEN-CMM – Voyage Planning & Electronic Navigation: 3/23/15

WKP-CMM – Advanced Watchkeeping: 5/11/15, 11/9/15

CNAV-OIC – Celestial Navigation: 4/27/15, 11/9/15

CONT PLNG – Contingency Planning Workshop: Contact Admissions

CRISIS-COMMS – Crisis Communications: 7/9/15

DDE – Great Lakes: 5/27/15

DPA – 3/19/15

ECDIS-OIC – 2/16/15

ECDIS-Pilots – 3/2/15, 6/15/15, 7/14/15, 11/12/15

ERM – Engine Resource Management: 2/23/15

FF-BADV – Fire Fighting Combined Basic & Advanced: 4/6/15, 6/8/15, 8/10/15, 10/5/15

FSM – Fatigue, Sleep, & Medications: 4/14/15, 7/6/15, 9/15/15, 11/11/15

GL Pilot – Great Lakes Pilotage Familiarization: Contact Admissions

GMDSS – Global Maritime Distress and Safety System: 3/16/15, 8/24/15

HAZ – Hazardous Materials (5 day): 6/22/15, 8/31/15, 11/16/15

LAP- 4/6/15, 9/14/15

LAP-Great Lakes – License Advancement Program – Great Lakes: Contact Admissions

LAP-ORG3rd – License Advancement Program for Original 3rd Mate, Oceans, Any Gross
Ton License: 3/2/15, 6/1/15, 8/3/15, 11/30/15

LEG – Legal Aspects of Pilotage: 3/3/15, 4/15/15, 6/17/15, 7/16/15, 9/16/15, 11/10/15

LNG-TPIC – 12/7/15

LTS –Leadership and Teamworking Skills (Formerly MCL-OIC): 3/30/15, 9/21/15

MED-PIC – Medical Person in Charge: 3/16/15, 4/20/15, 6/15/15, 8/24/15, 12/7/15

MED-PIC-REF– Medical Person in Charge Refresher: 3/2/15, 5/11/15, 7/27/15, 9/28/15

MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 3/16/15, 4/20/15, 6/15/15, 8/24/15, 10/12/15, 12/7/15

MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Transportation Drug & Alcohol Testing: 3/21/15, 4/25/15, 6/20/15, 7/25/15, 8/28/15, 11/5/15, 12/12/15

MSA –Maritime Security Awareness: Contact Admissions

[MSC – Military Sealift Command Courses]

MSC-CBRD-1 – Military Sealift Command Chemical, Biological, Radiological Defense Orientation (Basic): 2/26/15, 6/5/15, 8/19/15, 10/29/15

MSC-DC – Military Sealift Command Damage Control (4 Evenings): 2/23/15, 6/2/15, 8/17/15, 10/27/15

*MSC-ENVPRO – 2/15/15, 6/6/15, 8/16/15, 10/31/15

*MSC-FF-HELO – 6/9/15, 8/3/15, 11/2/15

MSC-SMA – Military Sealift Command Small Arms Qualification: 2/16/15, 5/26/15, 8/8/15, 10/19/15

*MSC-Security Watch Basic – 2/20/15, 5/30/15, 8/6/15, 10/17/15

*MSC-Security Watch Advanced – 2/22/15, 6/1/15, 8/12/15, 10/23/15

*MSC-Ship’s Reaction Force – 2/23/15, 6/2/15, 8/13/15, 10/24/15

ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal: 3/30/15, 8/3/15, 9/21/15

ROR-1N – Radar Observer Renewal Evening Classes: 2/18/15, 3/6/15, 3/18/15, 4/1/15, 4/15/15, 4/29/15, 5/6/15, 5/13/15, 6/3/15, 6/17/15, 7/8/15, 7/22/15, 8/5/15, 8/19/15, 9/2/15, 9/16/15, 9/30/15, 10/14/15, 10/28/15, 11/3/15, 11/11/15, 11/18/15, 12/2/15, 12/10/15

ROU-OIC – Radar Observer Program – Unlimited: 3/23/15, 6/1/15, 7/27/15

SAR-OIC – Search & Rescue – 4/6/15, 10/19/15

SHS-BAS-OIC – Basic Shiphandling: 2/16/15, 5/11/15, 6/22/15, 11/2/15

SHS-EMR5 – Emergency Shiphandling-5 Day: 3/2/15, 4/27/15, 7/27/15, 9/28/15

SMS – 3/17/15

STB-OIC – Ship Construction and Basic Stability: 8/3/15

TCNAV/CO – Terrestrial Navigation and Compasses: 7/6/15

TPIC – Tankerman Person in Charge: 2/23/15, 8/3/15

TRAC-TUG-2: Contact Admissions

TTT – 3/23/15

VPDSD – Vessel Personnel with Designated Security Duties: 5/21/15

VSO – Vessel Security Officer: 4/18/15, 5/18/15, 7/22/15, 9/9/15, 10/7/15, 10/17/15

WKP-OIC – Watchkeeping (Operational Level): 3/2/15, 9/28/15

WX-OIC –Meteorology (Operational Level): 2/23/15, 9/14/15

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Please also see our schedule and enroll online at For registration contact our registrar, Jennifer Pitzen: 206.838.1126 or

February 2015

16-20 Rules of the Road
16-27 GMDSS
23-27 ECDIS
23-27 Leadership and Managerial Skills

March 2015

2-6 Leadership and Managerial Skills
2-6 Basic Construction and Stability
9th Radar Renewal
9-20 Celestial Navigation
16-20 Leadership and Managerial Skills
16-20 Medical Care Provider
16-27 GMDSS
16-27 Medical Person-In-Charge
23-27 ECDIS
30-3 Leadership and Managerial Skills

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The MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly is the official electronic newsletter of the International Organization of Masters, Mates, & Pilots, ILA, AFL-CIO, 700 Maritime Blvd. Suite B, Linthicum Heights, MD 21090-1953. Phone: 410-850-8700; Fax: 410-850-0973. All rights reserved. The MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly © 2015. Articles can be reprinted without prior permission if credit is given to The MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly. For new subscriptions or address changes, send an e-mail to Back issues of The Weekly are posted on