Wheelhouse Weekly – January 5th, 2021

January 5th 2021

Volume 26… Number 1… Jan. 5, 2021


In This Issue:

Persian Gulf:




Holiday Closing Schedule:


Never miss an issue!
Click here to subscribe to the Wheelhouse Weekly mailing list.
Did you miss a week?
Back editions of the Wheelhouse Weekly are available in the archives section.


Full funding for the Maritime Security Program and appropriations for the Food for Peace Program and the Ready Reserve Fleet are included in the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 that was signed into law on Dec. 27.

There are also funds to assist small passenger vessel operations in the tourist sector that have been hit by the pandemic.

The legislation funds the federal government for the remainder of the current fiscal year, which runs through Sept. 30.

It provides full funding for the Maritime Security Program at the authorized level of $314,007,780.

It funds the National Defense Reserve Fleet, including the Ready Reserve Force, at approximately $376 million for the current fiscal year.

It also provides funding for Food for Peace Title II, the main source of food-aid cargoes for US-flag ships.

The legislation allocates $390 million to the design, construction and administration of the National Security Multi-Mission Vessel Program for maritime academy training ships and $3 million for administrative expenses related to the Maritime Administration’s Title XI shipbuilding loan guarantee program.

We will provide more details as soon as they are available.

Back to Stories Covered


The Senate voted on Jan. 1 to override the White House veto of the National Defense Authorizations Act, joining the House of Representatives in passing the nation’s annual military policy bill.

Among the most important provisions of the new law is one confirming that the Jones Act applies to renewable energy development on America’s Outer Continental Shelf.

The American Maritime Partnership said in a statement that the fact that Congress has now ended uncertainty over this issue will boost maritime industry investment and job creation linked to clean offshore energy development.

MM&P and MIRAID are both members of AMP.

The NDAA also clarifies that an emergency national defense waiver of the Jones Act can be issued only to respond to a legitimate national defense need.

Non-defense waivers are now time-limited and all waivers are subject to public reporting requirements whenever they are used.

The legislative package also includes financial relief for US seaports and new rules for passenger vessel safety.

The NDAA also mandates that the Government Accountability Office conduct an audit of federal agencies’ compliance with cargo preference law, which requires that a portion of government-owned and government-financed cargoes be carried by US-flag ships.

In addition, two “Sense of Congress” statements in the legislation reaffirm strong Congressional support for American Maritime and the Jones Act.

Back to Stories Covered


The Philippines and Singapore have announced new restrictions on crew change in response to the emergence of a new strain of the Covid-19 virus that is believed to be more transmissible.

The Philippines has restricted crew changes for people with a recent travel history in Australia, Canada, the United States, most of Europe, South Africa, and parts of Asia, including South Korea and Singapore.

Foreign seafarers coming via the United States are still permitted to enter the country but they can enter only in Manila and must quarantine for 14 days at a designated facility, even if they can demonstrate a negative test result.

Seafarers who have not been to any of the listed countries in the past 14 days can continue to enter the Philippines regardless of their nationality. They are still required to follow the country’s current health protocols on testing and restricted movement.

The Philippine Ports Authority said the new restrictions are expected to remain in effect until Jan. 15, but warned they could be extended to additional countries and enforced for a longer period of time depending on how the situation evolves.

Back to Stories Covered


The Coast Guard has issued a Marine Safety Information Bulletin detailing measures that adapt its TWIC enforcement stance to the challenges the maritime industry is facing in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Coast Guard said that although operators are expected to continue to comply with TWIC requirements, “when compliance with these regulations cannot reasonably be met as a result of Covid-19, the Coast Guard will exercise flexibility to prevent undue delays.”

It said that although the processing of TWIC enrollments has not been affected by the crisis, it “recognizes that this is an evolving public health situation and enrollment center closures or processing delays will impact applicants for a merchant mariner credential.”

The Coast Guard manages the TWIC program jointly with the Transportation Security Administration, which operates the enrollment centers.

The Coast Guard said it is providing flexibility with regard to requirements to have a TWIC when applying for a credential or when serving under the authority of a credential.

It said it will not pursue suspension and revocation actions based on expired TWICs during the Covid-19 pandemic.

For mariners already holding a MMC, if their TWIC expires and their credential remains valid, no action needs to be taken and the credential remains valid.

If a mariner applies for a renewal, raise of grade, new endorsement or duplicate merchant mariner credential while their TWIC is expired, they may apply without a valid TWIC if they demonstrate that they have enrolled for a TWIC renewal.

In the application process, mariners applying for an original credential need to demonstrate that they have enrolled for a TWIC.

They may pre-enroll for a TWIC and schedule an appointment online, but they must complete the in-person enrollment process at the nearest TSA enrollment center.

While proof of application is sufficient to begin the merchant mariner credentialing process, the agency said an applicant for an original credential will be unable to obtain a MMC until his or her biographic and biometric information is provided to the Coast Guard by TSA.

TSA encourages use of the “Find an Enrollment Center” feature at the bottom of the Universal Enrollment Services home page ( to determine if a center is open and verify its hours of operation.

The Coast Guard also said it will delay enforcement of the TWIC Reader Rule until April 30 of this year; covered facilities and vessels are not required to update facility security plans/vessel security plans or install readers until the revised enforcement date.

The agency said the TWIC escort ratio can be adjusted to meet employee shortages or other demands provided the facility security plan has been changed or the Captain of the Port has approved.

Additionally, the side-by-side escorting required in 33 CFR 101.105 for restricted areas will not be enforced during the Covid-19 pandemic for new hires who have completed TWIC enrollment and presented an acceptable form of identification to the vessel security officer or facility security officer.

The new hire may be allowed access to secure or restricted areas where another person is present who holds a TWIC and can provide reasonable monitoring.

All the MSIBs are posted at:

Back to Stories Covered


Los Angeles County Supervisor Janice Hahn has called on California Governor Gavin Newsom to request redeployment of the CIVMAR-crewed hospital ship USNS MERCY in response to the health care emergency pushing local hospitals to the brink.

“Our SEIU healthcare workers are exhausted and our hospitals are overwhelmed,” Hahn told the governor in a Dec. 29 letter.

“They need backup. This surge is the crisis that we dreaded all along. We need as much support as we can get for our healthcare workers and we need the USNS MERCY back in the Port of Los Angeles.”

USNS MERCY and USNS COMFORT, Military Sealift Command’s massive floating hospital ships, had both deployed in the spring of last year to support healthcare facilities in New York and Los Angeles.

The licensed deck officers aboard MERCY and COMFORT are represented by the MM&P Federal Employees Membership Group (FEMG). The engineers are represented by MEBA and the unlicensed crewmembers are represented by the SIU.

Back to Stories Covered


Iranian forces Monday seized a South Korean chemical tanker, the HANKUK CHEMI, and its 23-person crew. The tanker is now being held at Iran’s Bandar Abbas port.

In a statement, the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps claimed the tanker, which was carrying 7,200 tons of ethanol, had been detained because of “repeated violation of environmental regulations.”

South Korea said the ship was in international waters when it was detained by Iranian navy speedboats and rebutted accusations that it had been involved in a chemical spill or broken any regulations.

The South Korean Foreign Ministry issued a statement demanding the immediate release of the vessel. The US State Department has also called for its release.

Reuters is reporting that South Korean forces stationed in the Strait of Hormuz have been dispatched to the area.

The incident came a few days after a limpet mine was found on another tanker, the Liberia-flagged MT POLA, which was engaged in ship-to-ship- oil transfers off Iraq.

Iraqi officials reported that the mine had been defused and that the crew was safe.

The US maritime authorities have released a new alert regarding threats to commercial vessels in the Persian Gulf.

It advises ships to exercise caution when transiting the area and said US commercial vessels operating there should review US Maritime Advisory 2020-011 for more information.

Back to Stories Covered


Maritime Executive has reported that China State Shipbuilding Corporation has received an order to build four of the world’s largest containerships, each with a capacity of 24,000 TEUs.

Two subsidiary shipyards within CSSC—Hudong Zhonghua and Jiangnan Shipbuilding—will share the new order.

Maritime Executive posted a basic rendering of the new ships at

In a statement, a spokesperson for Hudong Zhonghua said the ships will be fitted with: a “large diameter propeller” to make them faster and to lower energy consumption; a “hybrid scrubber desulfurization device”; and a “double-tower fixed water cannon fire extinguishing system” to improve fire safety.

No timeline for the construction or delivery date was included in the announcement of the contract.

In a separate announcement, a third Chinese shipyard, Yangzijiang Shipbuilding, said it has orders to build an additional two ultra-large containerships.

Back to Stories Covered


The Chief of Naval Operations is calling for submissions by May 31 to the 2021 CNO Naval History Essay Contest.

The essays should apply lessons from throughout naval history to establishing and maintaining maritime superiority in an era of great power competition, including increasingly aggressive efforts by China and Russia to coordinate their respective instruments of power.

The goal is to leverage the intellectual talents of the members of the US maritime services, including the American Merchant Marine, to provide insights and catalyze discussion.

More details are available at:

Many thanks to Dennis Bryant and Bryant’s Maritime Consulting for bringing the contest to our attention!

Back to Stories Covered


A virtual tour of San Francisco offers a window into the lives of American seamen at the end of the 19th century.

“Sailors were the mobile industrial work force that made the local and global economy possible,” writes Chris Carlsson, author of the book Hidden San Francisco.

Human traffickers, known as “crimps,” worked out of boarding houses, brothels and bars to “supply” shanghaied mariners to ships.

“It’s impossible to overstate the brutality shown to sailors in those days,” Carlsson writes.

In the virtual tour he describes how the fight for seamen’s rights led to the founding in 1885 of the Coast Seamen’s Union, later the Sailors’ Union of the Pacific, headquartered today at the corner of Harrison and First.

Many thanks to the MM&P member who shared the link to Hidden San Francisco—A Guide to Lost Landscapes, Unsung Heroes and Radical Histories.

Back to Stories Covered


All MM&P union halls, the MM&P Federal Credit Union, the MM&P Plan Office and MM&P headquarters will be closed on Monday, Jan. 18, for the birthday of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

The Nobel Prize laureate and civil rights activist was assassinated in 1968 in Memphis, where he had gone to support a strike by the city’s sanitation workers.

“The labor movement did not diminish the strength of the nation but enlarged it,” King once said.

“Those who attack labor forget these simple truths, but history remembers.”

Back to Stories Covered


Please be advised that as of the June MATES Trustees meeting, the number of sea days required to receive covered training at MITAGS will now be 42 days instead of 30.

This temporary change has been necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic with regards to permissible class size, available staffing and cost saving measures. The measure will remain in place through the end of 2020 and be reviewed prior to the end of this year.

\\Classes are 5-day unless otherwise noted\\

Class dates followed by an * are full

AB – Able Seaman – 1/25/21, 4/12/21

AIS-1 – Automatic Identifications Systems Orientation (1-Day): Not currently scheduled

ARPA-OIC (4-Day) – Automated Radar Plotting Aids: Not currently scheduled

AZIPOD (2-Day) – Not currently scheduled

BRM-35 – Bridge Resource Management: Not currently scheduled

BRMP –Bridge Resource Management for Pilots (2-Day): 1/26/21, 3/8/21, 4/13/21, 4/29/21, 5/17/21
Online: 2/2/21, 4/20/21

BRMP-EMR –Bridge Resource Management for Pilots with Emergency Shiphandling – (Now also included in BRMP-Refresher) (3-Day): 3/10/21, 4/26/21

BRMP-Refresher (Now including Emergency Shiphandling for Pilots) (3-Day) – Not currently scheduled

BT – Basic Safety Training: 1/18/21

BT-Revalidation (2-day) (Must have 1 year of sea service in last 5 years) – 2/9/21, 4/27/21, 6/22/21

BT-Refresher (3-day) – 2/9/21, 4/27/21

CHS-OIC – Cargo Handling Basic: Not currently scheduled

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]

ADVSTB-CMM – Advanced Stability: 1/18/21, 3/8/21, 5/3/21, 6/21/21

ADVWX-CMM – Advanced Meteorology: 1/25/21, 4/26/21, 6/14/21

CHS-CMM – Advanced Cargo Operations (10 Days): 3/15/21

CM-OPS 1 – Chief Mate Operations – Week 1: 2/1/21, 6/7/21

CM-OPS 2 Maersk – Chief Mate Operations II Maersk Specific: 2/8/21*, 6/14/21

CM-OPS 2 APL – Chief Mate Operations II APL Specific – Not currently scheduled

ECDIS – Electronic Chart Display Information Systems: 1/25/21, 6/7/21

LMS – Leadership and Managerial Skills (Management Level – Formerly MCL-CMM): 2/1/21, 5/10/21

MPP-CMM – Marine Propulsion Plants: 4/12/21
(DCS-1 available on request – contact Admissions)

SEC-APPS – Practical Defense Tactics: Not Currently Scheduled

SHMGT-CMM- Ship Management: 2/22/21

SHS-ADV-I-CMM – Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 1/11/21, 2/1/21, 2/22/21, 3/15/21, 4/19/21, 5/10/21, 6/7/21

SHS-ADV-II-CMM – Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 1/18/21, 2/8/21, 3/1/21, 3/22/21, 4/26/21, 5/17/21, 6/14/21

**SHS-ADV-I & II are now approved to include SAR-CMM assessments at MITAGS**

VPEN-CMM – Voyage Planning & Electronic Navigation: 4/19/21

WKP-CMM – Advanced Watchkeeping: 3/1/21

WX-HW-ATL – Heavy Weather Avoidance Routing: Atlantic Ocean (2-day) – Contact Admissions

WX-HW-IND – Heavy Weather Avoidance Routing: Indian Ocean (2-day) – Contact Admissions

WX-HW-PAC – Heavy Weather Avoidance Routing: Pacific Ocean (2-day) – Contact Admissions

CIW-DPA/IA – Continual Improvement Workshop: Designated Person Ashore & Internal Auditor (3-Day) ** This course is NOT covered by the MATES Program **
Online: 1/13/21, 4/7/21, 7/7/21, 10/6/21

CIW-SMS – Continual Improvement Workshop: Successful Safety Management (2-Day) – Online: 6/10/21, 12/9/21

CNAV-OIC (15-Day) – Celestial Navigation: Not currently scheduled

CRISIS-COMMS – Crisis Communications (1-Day): 3/10/21

CRSMGT – Crisis Management and Human Behavior (1-Day) – 2/26/21

CDMGT – Crowd Management (1-Day) – 2/25/21

CSE – Confined Space Entry (3-Day): Not currently scheduled

CSE-AWR – Confined Space Entry Awareness (2-Day): 5/20/21

CY-MAR – Cyber-Skilled Mariner ** This course is NOT covered by the MATES Program ** – Not currently scheduled

DDE – Great Lakes (20-Day): 2/22/21, 4/19/21

ECDIS for Pilots (2-Day) – 3/8/21, 5/3/21

ERM – Engine Resource Management: 4/19/21

ADV-FF – Advanced Fire-Fighting (4-day) – Not currently scheduled

FF-BADV – Fire Fighting Combined Basic & Advanced: 1/18/21

FF-ADV-Rev (1-day) (Must have 1 year of sea service in last 5 years) – Advanced Fire Fighting Revalidation: 2/8/21, 4/26/21, 6/21/21

FF-ADV-REF (2-day) – Advanced Fire Fighting Refresher: 2/12/21, 4/30/21

FSM – Fatigue, Sleep, & Medications (1-Day): 1/26/21, 4/13/21
Online: Not currently scheduled

GL-Pilot – Great Lakes Pilotage Familiarization (2-Day): 3/13/21

GMDSS – Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (10-Day): Not currently scheduled

HAZ – Hazardous Materials (5 day): 4/12/21

IEN – Integrated Electronic Navigation (3-Day) – Not currently scheduled

LAP – License Advancement Program for Mate to Master (20-Day): 1/11/21

LAP-Great Lakes – License Advancement Program – Great Lakes (15-Day): 3/8/21

LAP-ORG3rd – License Advancement Program for Original 3rd Mate, Oceans, Any Gross
Ton License (15-Day): 4/12/21

LEG – Legal Aspects of Pilotage (1-Day): 1/27/21, 3/9/21, 4/14/21, 4/29/21

LNG-TPIC (10-Day) – 1/11/21

LTS –Leadership and Teamworking Skills (Formerly MCL-OIC) (1-Day): Not currently scheduled

MEECE – Management of Electrical and Electronic Control Equipment (Assessments not included): 4/12/21

MED-PIC – Medical Person in Charge (10-Day): 1/25/21, 4/12/21

MED-PIC-REF– Medical Person in Charge Refresher: 1/11/21

MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 1/25/21

MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Transportation Drug & Alcohol Testing (1-Day): 1/16/21, 1/30/21, 4/17/21, 5/15/21, 6/24/21

[MSC – Military Sealift Command Courses]

MSC-CBRD-1 – Military Sealift Command Chemical, Biological, Radiological Defense Orientation (Basic) (1-Day): 2/24/21, 5/17/21, 6/11/21

MSC-DC – Military Sealift Command Damage Control (2-day): 2/25/21, 5/18/21, 6/9/21

MSC-ENVPRO (1-Day) – 2/28/21, 6/13/21

MSC-FF-HELO (2-Day) – 6/21/21

MSC-SMA – Military Sealift Command Small Arms Qualifications (4-Day): 1/11/21, 3/1/21, 5/10/21, 6/14/21

MSC-Security Watch Basic (1-Day/ 8-hour) – 3/1/21 (Evening), 5/9/21 (Evening), 6/12/21 (Evening)

MSC-Security Watch Advanced (1-Day) – 1/15/21, 3/5/21, 5/9/21, 6/12/21

MSC-Ship’s Reaction Force (3-Day) – 1/16/21, 3/6/21, 5/14/21, 6/18/21

NDMS-ENAV – Navigational Decision Making Series – Best Practice in eNav (3-Day) – Not currently scheduled

NSAP-MMP – Navigational Skills Assessment Program-MM&P (2-Day) – 1/18/21*, 3/15/21*, 4/20/21, 4/22/21, 6/22/21, 6/24/21

PSC – Personal Survival Craft (5-Day) – 2/1/21

PSC-REF – Personal Survival Craft Refresher (2-Day) – Not currently scheduled

RFPNW – Ratings Forming Part of a Navigational Watch (3-day) – 1/13/21

ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal (1-Day): Not currently scheduled

ROR-1N – Radar Observer Renewal Evening Classes (1-Night): 1/26/21, 4/13/21, 4/30/21

ROU-OIC – Radar Observer Program – Unlimited: 5/24/21

SAR – Search & Rescue – (Now with OIC and CMM assessments) (3-Day): Not currently scheduled

SHS-BAS-OIC – Basic Shiphandling: 5/3/21

SHS-EMR5 – Emergency Shiphandling (5 Day) – 1/25/21*, 4/12/21*, 6/14/21

STB-OIC – Ship Construction and Basic Stability: 5/17/21

TCNAV/CO – Terrestrial Navigation and Compasses (15-Day): 6/7/21

TPIC – Tankerman Person in Charge: 3/8/21, 4/26/21

TRAC-TUG-2 (2-Day): 3/8/21

TTT – ** This course is NOT covered by the MATES Program ** Not currently scheduled

VPDSD – Vessel Personnel with Designated Security Duties (1-Day): 2/27/21, 6/15/21

VSO – Vessel Security Officer (3-Day): 2/22/21, 6/16/21

WKP-OIC – Watchkeeping (Operational Level) (10-Day): Not currently scheduled

WX-OIC –Meteorology (Operational Level): Not currently scheduled

Back to Stories Covered


Schedule of Courses – Please also see our schedule and enroll online at For Registration Contact our Admissions Department: 206.441.2880 or

January 2021

11-22 GMDSS
12-13 Advanced Firefighting Refresher
14-15 & 18 Basic Training Refresher
18-22 Basic Training
25-28 Advanced Firefighting
25-29 Medical Care Provider
26-29 Advanced Shiphandling I
25-5 Medical Person-In-Charge

February 2021

1-5 Advanced Shiphandling II
1-5 Meteorology (Operational Level)
8-12 Medical Care Provider
15-19 Basic Cargo Handling & Stowage
15-5 Terrestrial & Coastal Navigation
17-18 Basic Training Revalidation
19th Advanced Firefighting Revalidation
22-26 Leadership & Managerial Skills
22-26 Basic Shiphandling

March 2021

1-5 Medical Care Provider
1-12 Medical Person-In-Charge
2-5 Advanced Firefighting
8-12 Meteorology (Operational Level)
8-19 GMDSS
10th Advanced Firefighting Revalidation
11-12 Basic Training Revalidation
15-19 Radar Observer Unlimited
15-19 Basic Training
15-19 Basic Shiphandling
22nd Vessel Personnel w/ Designated Security Duties (VPDSD)
22-26 Basic Cargo Handling & Stowage
29-2 Able Seaman

April 2021

5-9 Medical Care Provider
5-16 Medical Person-In-Charge
5-23 License Preparation (Original 3rd)
12-13 Basic Training Revalidation
12-16 Ship Construction & Basic Stability
12-23 GMDSS
14th Advanced Firefighting Revalidation
19-22 ARPA
26-7 Watchkeeping (Operational Level)

May 2021

3-7 Medical Care Provider
3-14 Medical Person-In-Charge
5th Advanced Firefighting Revalidation
6-7 Basic Training Revalidation
6-7 & 10 Basic Training Refresher
10-14 Basic Training
10-28 Celestial Navigation
11-12 Advanced Firefighting Refresher
17-20 Advanced Firefighting
17-21 Advanced Shiphandling I
24-28 Advanced Shiphandling II

June 2021

1st Leadership & Teamworking Skills
2-3 Search & Rescue
7-11 Medical Care Provider
7-18 GMDSS
16-17 Basic Training Revalidation
18th Advanced Firefighting Revalidation
21-23 Security Officer – Vessel, Company and Facility
28-2 Tankerman Person-In-Charge

Back to Stories Covered

The MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly is the official electronic newsletter of the International Organization of Masters, Mates & Pilots, 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 © 2020. Articles can be reprinted without prior permission if credit is given to The MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly. For subscriptions, address changes or messages to the editor or to MM&P headquarters, e-mail Back issues of The Weekly are posted on