News

Wheelhouse Weekly – January 01, 2004

January 1st 2004


THE MASTERS, MATES & PILOTS’
WHEELHOUSE WEEKLY

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

Volume 8 . . . . . Number 1 . . . . January 1, 2004

STORIES COVERED

ALSO

REMINDERS




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


MM&P HEADQUARTERS, MM&P HEALTH & BENEFIT PLANS AND MM&P FCU WILL BE CLOSED ON NEW YEAR’S DAY — THURSDAY, JANUARY 1, 2004




 

MARAD ADVISES US-FLAG VESSELS TO BE ON HEIGHTENED ALERT

The US Dept. of Homeland Security (DHS) raised the Homeland Security Advisory System (HSAS) from elevated (yellow) to threat condition high (orange) on Dec. 21. This condition signifies a high risk of terrorist attack.

The US Maritime Administration issued an advisory on Dec.30 that US merchant vessels and cruise ships should be on a heightened state of security, should closely monitor the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency’s (NGA) broadcast warnings (pollux.nss.nima.mil/warn) and should review the emergency communication procedures for assistance in NGA publication 117, chapter 8, available for download in PDF at pollux.nss.nima.mil/NAV.PUBS/RNA/117chapter8.pdf

Public and private owners of maritime vessels and facilities are requested to:

  1. review all vessel security plans,
  2. monitor restricted areas,
  3. control access to the vessel,
  4. monitor deck areas and areas surrounding the vessel,
  5. implement security lookouts and/or security patrols to ensure continuous monitoring,
  6. perform waterside boat patrols and monitoring,
  7. use divers to inspect the underwater pier structures associated with vessel berthing and
  8. loading/unloading operations, including piers, docks, moles, pol dolphins, etc, prior to
  9. vessel arrival and upon vessel’s arrival, and in other situations where deemed appropriate,
  10. control the embarkation of persons, and
  11. supervise handling of cargo, ship stores, and fuel.

Maritime industry operators are urged to maintain high levels of security and implement appropriate protective measures that correspond to threat condition orange.

The US Intelligence Community (www.intelligence.gov) also believes that Al-Qaeda continues to develop plans to use aircraft as a weapon in suicide attacks in the US, and continues to study countries to determine those that have the least stringent aviation security measures.

In addition, the acquisition, production, or theft of chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear materials and subsequent dissemination is thought to be a top Al-Qaeda objective.

DHS encourages recipients of this advisory to report info concerning suspicious or criminal activity to local law enforcement, local FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force or the Homeland Security Operations Center (HSOC). The HSOC may be contacted at phone: 202-282-8101.

The transportation industry can also report info concerning suspicious activity to their local FBI office through the FBI website www.fbi.gov/contact/fo/fo.htm or to the National Infrastructure Protection Center (NIPC) at its website www.nipc.gov/incident/cirr.htm

All US-flag operators are requested to forward this advisory to their ships by the most expedient means. This advisory will subsequently be published in the “Weekly Notice to Mariners” and MARAD internet web site: www.marad.dot.gov

For further info regarding this advisory contact the Maritime Administration’s Office of Ship Operations by Email at opcentr1@marad.dot.gov



 

DOD STOPS ANTHRAX VACCINATIONS DUE TO LEGAL QUESTIONS

The Defense Department (DoD) will stop anthrax vaccinations until the legal situation around a recent court decision is resolved, DoD officials said.

Defense officials and lawyers with the Justice Department are examining a decision handed down by a federal judge in Wash. DC on Dec.22 that ordered DoD to stop anthrax vaccinations for US service members without their consent, Pentagon officials said Dec.23.

“The lawyers are examining it,” Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said during a Pentagon press conference Dec.23. “And at the appropriate time, they will be making a recommendation as to the way forward.” DoD still considers anthrax vaccinations for service members deploying to high-threat areas as crucial. “We don’t send soldiers into battle without helmets,” said a Defense official.

The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff also stressed the military need for the vaccinations. “This drug that we’re using, the vaccine has been around for 40 years,” said Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Air Force Gen. Richard Myers during a press conference. “It is not experimental … it’s approved by the Food and Drug Admin.

“And from a military standpoint, I think it’s extremely important. As you know, when we went into Iraq, we had all the troops in their chemical protective gear, because we thought there was a threat of either chemical or biological weapons, and in particular, anthrax was a big worry.”

Anthrax is still a worry in many parts of the world, Myers said. “The one thing you can do to protect people is this vaccine,” the chairman said. “From a military standpoint, it’s very important we have this capability to protect our troops and enable them to do their job.”

About one million American service members have received the vaccinations since the program started in 1998. Some 650,000 service members have received the six-shot series since June 2002. Of that number, only around 10 service members have refused to get the shots.

The District Court decision questioned the FDA contention that the vaccine was effective against aerosolized anthrax – the most likely bioterror weapon.



 

MM&P REPS TO ATTEND SHIPPING COMMITTEE MEETING IN DC

MM&P Pilot Vice President Capt. George Quick and Special Representative Capt. Joe Stone will be attending the Shipping Coordinating Committee’s Subcommittee on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping at USCG HQ in Wash, DC on Jan.8. The open meeting will begin at 0930 hrs.

The purpose of the meeting is to prepare for the 35th session of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) Subcommittee on Standards of Training and Watchkeeping (STW), to be held on Jan.26-30 at the IMO HQ in London.

The primary matters to be considered include:

  1. Measures to enhance maritime security, training and certification for ship, company and port security officers;
  2. Watchkeeping at anchor;
  3. Large passenger ship safety;
  4. Training of crew in launching and recovery operations of fast rescue boats and the means of rescue in adverse weather conditions;
  5. Measures to prevent accidents with lifeboats;
  6. Education and training requirements for fatigue prevention, mitigation, and management;
  7. Requirements for knowledge, skills and training for officers on WIG craft; and
  8. Development of competencies for ratings.

Members of the public may attend the meeting up to the seating capacity of the room. Interested persons may seek info by writing: LCDR Luke Harden, USCG (G-MSO-1), Room 1210, 2100 Second Street SW., Wash., DC 20593-0001 or by calling 202-267-0229.



 

RANDOM DRUG TESTING RATE FOR CREWS SET AT 50 PERCENT

The USCG has set the calendar year 2004 minimum random chemical drug-testing rate at 50 percent of covered crewmembers. An evaluation of the 2002 Management Information System (MIS) data collection forms submitted by marine employers showed that random drug testing on covered crewmembers for the calendar year 2002 resulted in positive test results 1.63 percent of the time.

That minimum random drug-testing rate at 50 percent of covered crewmembers will be retained for the calendar year 2004. The minimum random drug-testing rate is effective Jan.1, 2004 through Dec.31, 2004.

All 2003 MIS reports must be submitted by March 15, 2004 to USCG HQ and can be filed by electronic submission to the following Internet address: www.uscg.mil/hq/g-m/moa/dapip.htm.



 

BALLOT COUNT ON INLAND GROUPS MERGER SET FOR JANUARY 6

The ballot count on the Inland Groups merger referendum will be conducted at 1000 hrs on January 6 in the conference room of MM&P HQ. As with all ballot counts, any MM&P member is welcome to attend as an observer. For further info, contact MM&P International Comptroller John Gorman at 410-850-8700 x12 or Email: jgorman@bridgedeck.org.



 

LIMITED TIME OFFER: MM&P FCU 12-12 HOLIDAY LOAN SPECIAL

Just in time to help manage that holiday debt is a special 12/12 promotion from the MM&P Federal Credit Union. The special: $1200 for 12 months at 7.5 percent for loans originated by January 31, 2004.

“These loans, with an interest rate far below most credit card companies’ standard percentage rates, may be the perfect thing to help some of our members manage debt incurred during holiday shopping this year,” said Credit Union Manager Kathy Klisavage.

MM&P Federal Credit Union membership is open to all MM&P members, to all MM&P, MITAGS, MIRAID and Plans staff, and to their immediate families. For additional details or to get answers to your questions on all MM&P Federal Credit Union programs, contact Kathy Klisavage, Credit Union Manager, toll-free at 800-382-7777 or by Email at mmpfcu@bridgedeck.org.



 

MITAGS ACADEMIC NOTES

Class Openings

Between now and the end of February 2004, seats are available in the following courses:

~~~ ~~~ ~~~

  • ARPA — Automatic Radar Plotting Aids: 1/5, 2/9

~~~

  • BRM — Bridge Resource Management: 1/12, 2/16
  • BST — Basic Safety Training: 1/19

~~~

CMM = Chief Mate and Master Courses

  • CMM-ADVSTB — Advanced Stability, 2/16
  • CMM-CHS-1 — Cargo Handling & Stowage (week 1), 2/23
  • CMM-MPP — Marine Propulsion Plants: 1/19, 2/9
  • CMM-SHS-ADV-1 — Advanced Shiphandling (week 1), 2/23
  • CMM-SHS-ADV-2 — Advanced Shiphandling (week 2), 2/9
  • CMM-VPEN — Voyage Planning & Electronic Navigation: 1/5

~~~

  • COMP-NET — Computer Networks: 2/2
  • CONT-PLNG — Contingency Planning Workshop: 1/15, 2/5, 2/26
  • CSE-AAES — Confined Space Entry (Atmospheric Analysis of Enclosed Spaces): 2/2

~~~

  • FF-ADV — Advanced Firefighting: 1/26

~~~

  • GMDSS — Global Marine Distress & Safety Systems: 1/19

~~~

  • HAZ — Hazardous Materials: 2/2

~~~

  • LAP — License Advancement Program: 1/12
    (must be pre-approved to upgrade by USCG)

~~~

  • MED-DOT-DA — Dept. of Transportation Drug & Alcohol Testing: 1/10, 2/14
  • MEDIA-RSP — Media Response: 1/16, 2/6, 2/27
  • MED-PIC — Medical Person In Charge: 1/5, 2/9
  • MED-PRO — Medical Care Provider: 1/5, 2/9

~~~

MSC = Military Sealift Command Courses

  • MSC-CBRD-1 — Chemical Biological Radiological Defense Training Orientation: 1/26, 2/27
  • MSC-COMMS — Strategic Sealift Communications: 2/23
  • MSC-DC — Damage Control: 1/22, 1/27, 1/29
  • MSC-SMA-Small Arms: 2/23
  • MSC-SMA-Requalification: 1/27, 1/29
    (must have passed all 3 weapons within the previous 2 years)

~~~

  • ROP-5 — Radar Observer Program (Original and Renewal): 2/23
  • ROR-1 — Radar Observer Renewal: 1/5, 1/26, 2/14

~~~

  • SEC-OFF PCS — Security Officer-Port, Company, Ship: 1/12, 2/2, 2/23
  • SHS-BAS — Basic Shiphandling: 1/5

~~~ ~~~ ~~~

Check the MITAGS website for up-to-date course descriptions associated with the course title abbreviations, and for schedule revisions.

 

Attendance Verification & Cancellation is Vital

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.

 

Schedules, Course Info & Registration

Courses are subject to change. Always check the MITAGS website for updated course availability. You can also check future schedules, review detailed course descriptions and register on-line or contact Admissions at admissions@mitags.org or by calling toll-free, 1-866-656-5568.


 

PMI ACADEMIC NOTES

Course Schedule

~~~ ~~~ ~~~

  • 1/5-16: Terrestrial and Coastal Navigation
  • 1/5-16: Advanced Cargo Operations
  • 1/5-16: GMDSS
  • 1/5-9: Tankerman-Person-In-Charge
  • 1/12-16: ECDIS
  • 1/12-16: Basic Safety Training
  • 1/19-23: Basic and Advanced Firefighting
  • 1/19/23: Voyage Planning & Electronic Navigation
  • 1/19-23: Radar Observer Unlimited
  • 1/19-30: Medical Person-In-Charge
  • 1/19-21: Ship Security Officer
  • 1/26-28: Compasses

~~~

  • 2/2-6/04: ARPA
  • 2/2-6: Advanced Stability
  • 2/2: Radar recertification
  • 2/2-13: GMDSS
  • 2/9-13: Electronic Navigation
  • 2/9-17: Able Bodied Seaman
  • 2/9-13: Basic Safety Training
  • 2/9-13: Tankerman Person-In-Charge
  • 2/16-20: Basic and Advanced Firefighting
  • 2/16-27: Celestial Navigation
  • 2/16-20: Advanced Watchkeeping
  • 2/16-20: ARPA
  • 2/23-25: Ship Security
  • 2/23-3/5: Ship Management

~~~ ~~~ ~~~

Contact DeeDee Lazik at 206-441-2880 or 888-893-7829 (toll free) for registration.


 

MM&P MARKET WATCH AS OF 12-30-2003 CLOSE

 D O W

 N A S D A Q

 10,425.04

+ 119.85 for the week

 2,009.88

 + 40.65 for the week
 Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX)

 102.46

 Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund (VEXMX)

26.86

 Vanguard International Growth Fund (VWIGX)

 16.05

 Vanguard Morgan Growth Fund (VMRGX)

 14.86

 Vanguard Windsor II Fund (VWNFX)

 26.45

 Vanguard GNMA Fund (VFIIX)

10.50

 Vanguard High Yield Corporate Fund (VWEHX):

 6.38

 Vanguard Total Bond Index (VBMFX)

 10.30

 Chase Growth Fund (CHASX)

14.89

 Fidelity Asset Manager (FASMX)

15.74

 Fidelity Growth and Income (FGRIX)

 35.54

Fidelity Magellan Fund (FAGX)

 97.54

 Spartan US Equity Index Fund (FUSEX)

  39.32



~ Reminders ~



 

NEW MAILING ADDRESSES FOR MITAGS, PLANS & CREDIT UNION

The buildings remain where they have always stood, but they have now been assigned new addresses. Local authorities have determined that it was necessary to put in place new street numbering for the MM&P’s MITAGS facility and for the MM&P Health & Benefit Plan office. The longstanding address of 5700 Hammonds Ferry Rd., used for both MITAGS and the Plan, has been eliminated.

Effective immediately:

  • The mailing address for MITAGS has been changed to:
    • 692 Maritime Blvd
      Linthicum Heights, MD 21090
      USA
  • The new mailing address for the Plan Office is now:
    • 700 Maritime Blvd.
      Suite A
      Linthicum Heights, MD 21090-1996
      USA
    • This is the same street address as the Union headquarters since both offices are housed in the same building, but the Plan Office is denoted with a suite number.
  • The mailing address for the MM&P Federal Credit Union, located in the Plans Building Lobby, is now:
    • 700 Maritime Blvd.
      Linthicum Heights, MD 21090-1996
      USA

The change brings the MITAGS, Plans and MM&P FCU addresses into conformance with Postal and 911 emergency mapping since all the buildings are located on the same road of the campus.

Plan Administrator Valerie Verrecchio advises Plan participants that “it is important to remember when you send mail to the Plans that you clearly address it to ‘MM&P Plans’ and to include our new suite number. This is what the Post Office will use to differentiate mail between the Union and the Plan office. Otherwise, the Post Office may send it through the mail system at the Union and your claims processing could be delayed for a couple of days.”

There is no change to the Union HQ mailing address.



 

AFL-CIO PROMOTES “BUY UNION WEEK” FOR THE HOLIDAYS AND EVERY DAY

Give the Gift of Good Jobs: Holiday shoppers have a new way to support good jobs as well as please family and friends, AFL-CIO President John Sweeney said in announcing AFL-CIO support for “Buy Union Week,” which ran from Nov.29 – Dec.7.

“Shoppers can take the sweat(shop) out of holiday shopping and can give the gift of good jobs – the gift our country needs most of all,” he said. Although the push was on for holiday shopping, these web sites are active all year around.

Consumers can visit new Internet web sites that specialize in selling union-made clothing and other items, Sweeney said. One site – www.nosweatshop.com – serves as a “virtual mall” populated by such union companies as No Sweat Apparel; SweatX; Union Jean and Apparel; Union Threads and Unionwear. Shoppers can also visit the AFL-CIO’s The Union Shop at www.aflcio.org/shop, and Justice Clothing [www.justiceclothing.com].

“You can fill 10 shopping carts with union-made gifts through these companies. You could shop all day at any mall in the US and have problems filling even one cart with US union-made goods. That’s an indication of how bad the economy is for US workers, but here is a chance for us to start turning things around,” Sweeney said.



 

IMPORTANT REMINDER FOR ALL LDOs ON STCW-95 CERTIFICATION

All Licensed Deck Officers who possess STCW-95 certificates containing Basic Safety Training (BST) completion dates close to or more than five years old need to carry copies of their USCG discharges with them so they can prove that they have the required sea service necessary to extend their BST qualification. For questions or further info, contact Mike Rodriguez at 410-850-8700 ext.23 or Email: mrodriguez@bridgedeck.org.



 

CIVIL SERVICE MARINERS: JOB OPPORTUNITIES AWAIT

In an increasing tight job market, many former private sector employees are considering a civil service mariner position with Military Sealift Command, a global Navy command that operates more than 100 civilian-crewed, non-combatant ships in support of the Department of Defense.

Civilian mariners who are licensed deck officers are MM&P bargaining unit members. MSC offers its civil service mariners many benefits including competitive pay, health insurance, lodging, meals and training.

It is a branch of the Navy, but its mariners are not military personnel. MSC is the largest single employer of US merchant mariners. MSC’s Naval Fleet Auxiliary Force ships provide underway replenishment of supplies, towing and salvage operations for the Navy’s combatant fleet.

Two NFAF ships also serve as afloat medical facilities normally kept in reduced operating status. MSC ships also conduct oceanographic and hydrographic surveys, underwater surveillance, missile flight data collection, submarine support and other specialized services through its Special Mission Program ships.

The command’s sealift ships provide ocean transportation of cargo for the Department of Defense. Through the Prepositioning Program, MSC maintains ships laden with combat equipment and supplies in strategic ocean areas around the world for US forces. These ships are ready to sail quickly to potential contingency sites.

The NFAF ships and two special mission ships are crewed by federal civil service mariners hired by MSC. Sealift ships, prepositioning ships and the remaining special mission ships are crewed by commercial mariners working for operating companies under contract to MSC.

Based on the fiscal year 2004 Congressional budget, MSC is expecting a 33 percent increase in the civil service mariner workforce from 4,044 in 2003 to 5,385 in 2008. About 1,340 civil service mariners will be needed to crew the additional eight ships that will join the MSC fleet in the next five years. For more on employment info with the MSC, visit www.sealiftcommand.com or call 877-JOBS-MSC.



 

MITAGS AND PMI DISCOUNTS COST FOR ADVANCED MARINER LICENSES

MITAGS Executive Director Glen Paine announced that MITAGS and PMI have implemented an innovative program, with reduced tuition and hotel costs, to assist professional mariners seeking license advancement to Chief Mate/Master (CMM).

The Institutes now offer one of the fastest, most versatile, and cost-effective routes for mariners to obtain their CMM licenses. The MITAGS/PMI program, which covers all USCG requirements, is only 12 weeks in duration.

Forty-one of the 53 required assessments may be completed during these courses. To flexibly meet their schedule, students can take the required courses at the PMI campus in Seattle, Washington and/or at the MITAGS campus in Baltimore, Maryland.

The MITAGS/PMI program can be completed in 60 days for under $14,000. Other programs take up to 71 days and charge $19,000 to complete the CMM requirements. Students taking ALL of the CMM courses at MITAGS and/or PMI will receive a 15 percent tuition discount from the normal pricing, which brings the total CMM tuition down to $13,303.

In addition to this cost reduction, those students taking ALL of the CMM courses at MITAGS/PMI will receive a substantial reduction in the room and board rates. If needed, MITAGS and PMI will also provide a convenient and flexible payment plan.

For more info regarding the CMM License Advancement, or any other course programs offered by MITAGS or PMI, please contact Capt. Craig Thomas (MITAGS) toll free at 866-656-5569 or via Email at cthomas@mitags.org. You may also contact Gregg Trunnell at PMI in Seattle at 206-239-9965 or via Email at gtrunnell@mates.org.



 

PFEIFFER MEMORIAL FUND ESTABLISHED AT CAL MARITIME

The Robert J. Pfeiffer Memorial Fund has been established at California Maritime Academy Foundation with the input and guidance from Brad Mulholland, Jeff Hull, and Capt. Lynn Korwatch.

It is anticipated that many seagoing personnel as well as Matson employees will wish to donate to this fund in honor of Mr. Pfeiffer. Donations may be sent to:

California Maritime Foundation Attn: Robert Pfeiffer Memorial Fund 200 Maritime Academy Dr. Vallejo, CA 94590

or contact Mr. Chris Walker at 707-654-1245 or Email at CWalker@csum.edu.

All donations are tax deductible and all contributors will receive a letter of thanks acknowledging their donation. Names and donation amounts will also be passed on to the Pfeiffer family.


 

MM&P MEMBERS AT SEA CAN NOW SAVE ON SHIP-TO-SHORE CALLS

Through a special arrangement with ShipCom, MM&P members at sea will now receive a significant discount on personal ship-to-shore radiotelephone calls. The rate is $2.50 per minute to any phone number in the US. This is a significant discount from the usual rate of $3.99 per minute. Calls may be placed collect, or billed to any major credit card.

To take advantage of this offer or for more info contact Station WLO on HF SSB channels 405, 607, 824, 1212, 16401, 1807, or 2237 or on HF radio telex channels (selcall 1090) 406, 606, 806, 810, 815, 1205, 1211, 1605, 1615, 1810 or 2215.

MM&P members must identify themselves as an MM&P member and provide the operator with the last 4 digits of their MM&P book number in order to get the discounted rate.

Any vessel equipped with HF radio telex may send and receive Internet email via the telex terminal. For more info contact WLO radio via telex or HF SSB voice.


 

WWII REGISTRY SITE OPEN TO ALL WHO SERVED IN ANY CAPACITY

The National WWII Memorial has a site on its webpage for individuals who served in any capacity during WWII to register to be included in the Memorial’s Registry. The main site is www.wwiimemorial.com.

If the individual clicks on WWII Registry, he/she can find out if he/she is already included as a result of one of the WWII databases and, if not, can follow the directions to register. Any American who contributed to the war effort is eligible for the Registry.


 

CREDIT UNION MEMBERS: PAY YOURSELF FIRST WITH DIRECT DEPOSIT

  • Do you want an easy way to grow your savings?
  • Do you want an easier way to make deposits to your Masters, Mates & Pilots Federal Credit Union account?

Consider establishing payroll or pension direct deposit.

Many employers allow you to directly deposit your pay into several different financial institutions. Trinity Management, Strong America and Moran Towing of Florida are among the MM&P-contracted companies that already provide for employees to deposit funds directly into the MM&P Federal Credit Union.

MM&P Health & Benefit Plans Pensioners and A&G Region Pensioners may have deductions made directly from their pension check to their Credit Union account. In addition, employees of MM&P, Plans, MITAGS and MIRAID are also eligible for payroll deduction directly into their Credit Union account.

Add to your savings by paying yourself first! Contact your payroll office to establish Credit Union direct deposit or to find out if this is available for you.

 

Who Can Be a Member?

MM&P Federal Credit Union membership is open to all MM&P members, to all MM&P, MITAGS, MIRAID and Plans staff, and to their immediate families.

 

Want to Know More?

For additional details or to get answers to your questions on all MM&P Federal Credit Union programs, contact Kathy Klisavage, Credit Union Manager, toll-free at 1-800-382-7777 or by Email at mmpfcu@bridgedeck.org.

 



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