Wheelhouse Weekly – July 9, 2019

July 10th 2019

Volume 24… Number 28… July 9, 2019


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The House of Representatives has approved a $383.3 billion funding bill for various government agencies, including the Department of Transportation and the Maritime Administration.

The legislation includes full funding for the Maritime Security Program (MSP) for FY ‘20 at its Congressionally authorized level of $300 million.

This amount is necessary to fully support the continued operation of the 60-ship maritime security fleet, which provides the Department of Defense with the commercial sealift readiness capability needed to support American troops and America’s interests throughout the world.

The funding legislation is now awaiting action in the Senate.

Approval of the funding bill by the House of Representatives is another demonstration of the broad support that MSP enjoys in this Congress.

As previously reported, the House Armed Services Committee and the Senate Commerce Committee have both approved legislation to extend MSP for an additional 10-year period–through Fiscal Year 2035–and to adjust the per-vessel stipend in each of these years.

We will continue to provide updates on the bills as they move through the legislative process.

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The Coast Guard’s National Maritime Center (NMC) has issued a bulletin extending the validity of some merchant mariner credentials and medical certificates.

In a statement, the agency said it still had not caught up with the backlog caused by the government shutdown that took place at the beginning of the year.

The agency said that to address the situation, Merchant Mariner Credentials (MMCs) and Medical Certificates (national endorsements only) that expire in December 2018, January 2019, February 2019, March 2019, April 2019, May 2019, June 2019, or July 2019 are extended as valid until Aug. 31, 2019.

Mariners who are actively working on expired credentials that meet the expiration criteria must carry their expired credential with a copy of the letter posted on the NMC website at:

The agency said the extension does not change the time frame during which a credential may be renewed.

It said a credential may be renewed at any time during its validity and for one year after expiration based on the expiration date printed on the credential.

For questions, go to the NMC website or call 1-888-427-5662.

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U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, a strong supporter of the U.S.-flag fleet, will receive the United Seamen’s Service prestigious Admiral of the Ocean Sea (AOTOS) award at a ceremony in New York City on Nov. 1.

Chao, who has extensive knowledge of the maritime industry, has served in a variety of top government posts, including secretary of labor, deputy secretary of the Department of Transportation, Federal Maritime Commission chair and deputy maritime administrator.

The AOTOS award is given annually to maritime industry leaders for their contributions to the industry.

During the event, American mariners will be recognized for acts of bravery and heroism at sea during the course of the past 12 months.

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Rear Adm. Michael Wettlaufer relieved Rear Adm. Dee Mewbourne as commander, Military Sealift Command, during a June 28 change of command ceremony aboard the expeditionary fast transport ship USNS BURLINGTON (T-EPF 10) at Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story, Va.

Wettlaufer, who began his career as a naval aviator, has commanded the USS DENVER, the USS JOHN C. STENNIS and U.S. Navy Strike Fighter Squadron 195, also known as the “Dambusters.”

He most recently served as commander of U.S. Navy Carrier Strike Group 3 in Bremerton, Wash.

“I am truly humbled to be here and to join this fantastic team,” he said.

“Just coming off a dynamic, around the world strike group deployment, my team was a prodigious consumer and demanding customer of logistics systems around the globe.”

“As such, I understand and appreciate the challenges MSC overcomes every day in order to provide the systems and synchronize global activities needed to deliver, distribute and sustain our warriors forward.”

MSC operates approximately 125 non-combatant, civilian-crewed ships that replenish U.S. Navy ships, conduct specialized missions and strategically preposition combat cargo at sea around the world while moving military cargo and supplies used by deployed U.S. forces and coalition partners.

Mewbourne, who had led MSC since August 2016, will become deputy commander of U.S. Transportation Command (USTRANSCOM), one of ten unified commands of the Department of Defense.

USTRANSCOM is responsible for conducting globally integrated mobility operations.

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Amtrak is an essential part of the country’s transportation network, connecting millions of people and communities across America and providing thousands of family-supporting jobs.

“It’s a shame that Amtrak President/CEO Richard Anderson doesn’t seem to understand this,” says Larry Willis, president of the AFL-CIO Transportation Trades Department (TTD).

At a recent Senate hearing, Anderson proposed breaking up the carrier’s long distance routes in favor of expanded service in regional and metropolitan markets.

The Trump administration has pushed cuts to Amtrak’s budget that would severely compromise its ability to operate long-distance train service.

“There’s no denying Amtrak should be looking for growth opportunities,” Willis says.

“But the idea that the carrier’s regional expansion must come at the expense of its national network isn’t just concerning… It goes against Amtrak’s mission and purpose.”

Amtrak was created by Congress to provide efficient, reliable passenger service to communities across the country.

For the dozens of small, midsize and rural areas that Amtrak’s long-distance routes serve, the carrier has proven invaluable, Willis says.

These routes act as a critical link to city centers and educational and economic opportunities, and in many cases, they are the only public transportation option available.

“Members of Congress from both rural and urban areas understand the importance of a truly national passenger rail system,” Willis wrote in a blog entitled “Amtrak’s National Network Must Be Preserved.”

“Transportation labor cannot and will not allow Amtrak to abandon its mandate to connect and serve communities of all sizes throughout the country,” he added.

“We will continue to work with lawmakers and the American public to ensure that any long-term plans to increase Amtrak’s growth in new markets also recognize the importance of and help maintain Amtrak’s national network.”

TTD represents 32 transportation sector labor unions, including Masters, Mates & Pilots.

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MM&P members have approved, by an overwhelming margin, the contract with American President Lines (APL).

“I am happy to have the membership support and approve the result of the bargaining committee’s work during the APL negotiations,” said MM&P Pacific Ports Vice President Lars Turner.

“There were many gains made and protections kept intact.”

The union extends its thanks to International Ballot Committee members David Ryan and Kenneth Ryan.

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Rogue waves—defined as waves that are over twice the height of the average surrounding sea state–are occurring somewhat less frequently than in the past, but they are increasing in size and severity.

These are the results of a long-term study carried out by the University of Southampton and the UK’s National Oceanography Center.

The study assessed trends in significant wave heights and the frequency of rogue waves over a more than 20-year period.

Telegraph, the monthly magazine of the international maritime union Nautilus, published the results of the study in a recent issue.

MM&P is one of the 19 labor unions that belong to the Nautilus Federation.

The first of its kind study examined long-term data from 15 wave buoys situated along the west coast of the United States.

“On average,” Nautilus reports, “though the team found that instances of rogue waves across the two decades of data had fallen slightly, rogue wave size… had increased by around 1 percent year-on-year.”

Rogue waves as high as 30 meters have been observed in the past. They present grave risks to the safety of shipping and seafarers, and in some cases have caused deaths, loss of cargo and groundings.

The engineers and oceanographers who conducted the study found that rogue waves tend to occur more frequently in the winter months.

They say a better understanding of rogue waves is important to ensuring the safety of mariners and ships.

“This is valuable research and the results demonstrate the need for ship operators and regulators to ensure that vessels are designed, built and equipped to cope with increasingly extreme conditions,” says Nautilus Professional and Technical Officer David Appleton.

“This is of particular importance in the context of the discussions at the International Maritime Organization on the pressure to reduce ship power as part of the program to improve the industry’s environmental record.”

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The International Association of Dry Cargo Shipowners (INTERCARGO) has released its most recent annual Bulk Carrier Casualty Report, which notes that between 2009 and 2018, 188 mariners died in bulk carrier accidents.

In the same period, 48 vessels were lost.

“Cargo failure and liquefaction continue to be a major concern for dry bulk shipping,” INTERCARGO said.

The report attributed nine accidents—and a total of 101 deaths–to cargo-related failures, overall the biggest cause of loss of life.

Of these ships, six were carrying nickel ore from Indonesia, two were carrying laterite (clay) iron ore from India and one was carrying a load of bauxite from Malaysia.

Groundings were the most commonly reported cause of ship loss. Six ships were said to have been lost due to flooding.

In another six cases, the flag states were apparently unable to identify the cause or causes of the accidents.

“The 10-year trends in annual average numbers of lives and dry cargo ships lost show positive signs of safety improvement, but there is no room for complacency,” INTERCARGO said.

The group urged all stakeholders to remain vigilant about the risk of cargo liquefaction, particularly during the wet season.

It also said it is essential that flag states submit the results of casualty investigations to the International Maritime Organization as soon as possible so that the cause of accidents can be identified and corrective actions taken.

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There will be a union meeting at the MM&P Pompano Hall on Wednesday, July 17, at 1300.

MM&P President Don Marcus and Secretary-Treasurer Don Josberger will both attend.

The Pompano Hall is located at 540 East McNab Rd., Suite B, Pompano Beach.

The phone number is 954-946-7883.

All members in the area are encouraged to attend the meeting.

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There will be an Offshore Membership Meeting in the MM&P Oakland Hall on Monday, July 22, immediately after job call.

Pacific Ports Vice President J. Lars Turner will give members at the meeting an update on negotiations with Pasha.

Additionally, a representative of Fidelity Investments will present information on the MM&P 401(k) and Individual Retirement Account Plan (IRAP).

All Offshore members in the area are encouraged to attend the meeting.

As a reminder, the Oakland Hall is located at 548 Thomas L. Berkley Way, Oakland.

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The MM&P union halls in Seattle, Oakland and Los Angeles/Long Beach will be closed on Monday, July 29, in observance of the birthday of International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) founder Harry Bridges.

Please note: The MM&P Honolulu Hall will be open on July 29.

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MITAGS-PMI is interested in receiving photo submissions from MM&P members for use on the official MITAGS-PMI social media platform.

The goal is to document members’ voyages and promote the maritime industry. As suggestions, photos can be of events and sights onboard, crewmembers at work or scenic locations.

If you are interested in sharing photos, please send them with caption information to MITAGS-PMI’s marketing manager, Lindsay Moran, at

Be sure to tell us whether you would like to be credited for the photo.

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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 Amanda Meadows, Admissions Coordinator, toll-free at 866-656-5568 or by e-mail:

Why not try our on-line calendar to register for class:

For Merchant Mariner Credential (MMC) processing, MMC problem resolution advice, STCW compliance and VA GI-Bill questions, contact MITAGS-PMI Student/Instructional Services Manager Jennifer Pitzen at 206-739-0720 (direct line); (888) 893-7829 (toll free); or by e-mail:

Please include your Mariner Reference Number, date of birth and the last four digits of your social security number in all emails.

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

Class dates followed by an * are full

AB – Able Seaman – 9/9/19

AIS-1 – Automatic Identifications Systems Orientation (1-Day): 8/14/19

ARPA-OIC (4-Day) – Automated Radar Plotting Aids: 9/24/19

AZIPOD (2-Day) – 9/30/19

BRM-35 – Bridge Resource Management: 10/28/19

BRMP –Bridge Resource Management for Pilots (2-Day): 7/15/19, 7/29/19, 9/30/19

BRMP-EMR –Bridge Resource Management for Pilots with Emergency Shiphandling – (Now also included in BRMP-Refresher) (3-Day): 7/17/19, 10/2/19

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

BT – Basic Safety Training: 8/12/19, 10/14/19

BT-Revalidation (2-day) (Must have 1 year of sea service in last 5 years) – 7/30/19*, 8/26/19, 9/25/19, 10/30/19, 12/17/19

BT-Refresher (3-day) – 7/29/19*, 9/25/19, 12/16/19

CHS-OIC – Cargo Handling Basic: 10/21/19

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]

ADVSTB-CMM – Advanced Stability: 7/29/19, 9/23/19, 12/16/19

ADVWX-CMM – Advanced Meteorology: 8/5/19, 9/30/19, 12/9/19

CHS-CMM – Advanced Cargo Operations (10 Days): 10/7/19

CM-OPS 1 – Chief Mate Operations – Week 1: 8/5/19*, 12/2/19

CM-OPS 2 Maersk – Chief Mate Operations II Maersk Specific: 8/12/19*, 12/9/18

ECDIS – Electronic Chart Display Information Systems: 9/9/19, 12/2/19

LMS – Leadership and Managerial Skills (Management Level – Formerly MCL-CMM): 8/19/19, 12/16/19

MPP-CMM – Marine Propulsion Plants: 11/4/19 (DCS-1 available on request – contact Admissions)

SEC-APPS – Practical Defense Tactics: Not Currently Scheduled

SHMGT-CMM- Ship Management: 10/28/19

SHS-ADV-I-CMM – Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 7/15/19*, 8/12/19*, 9/9/19*, 9/30/19, 10/14/19, 11/4/19, 12/2/19

SHS-ADV-II-CMM – Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 7/22/19*, 8/19/19*, 9/16/19*, 10/7/19, 10/21/19, 11/11/19, 12/9/19

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

VPEN-CMM – Voyage Planning & Electronic Navigation: 10/21/19

WKP-CMM – Advanced Watchkeeping: 9/16/19

WX-HW-ATL – Heavy Weather Avoidance Routing: Atlantic Ocean (2-day) – 9/23/19

WX-HW-IND – Heavy Weather Avoidance Routing: Indian Ocean (2-day) – 9/27/19

WX-HW-PAC – Heavy Weather Avoidance Routing: Pacific Ocean (2-day) – 9/25/19

CIW-DPA/IA – Continual Improvement Workshop: Designated Person Ashore & Internal Auditor (3-Day) ** This course is NOT covered by the MATES Program ** –11/12/19

CIW-SMS – Continual Improvement Workshop: Successful Safety Management (2-Day) –10/15/19

CNAV-OIC (15-Day) – Celestial Navigation: 11/4/19

CRISIS-COMMS – Crisis Communications (1-Day): Not currently scheduled

CRSMGT – Crisis Management and Human Behavior (1-Day) – Not currently scheduled

CDMGT – Crowd Management (1-Day) – Not currently scheduled

CSE – Confined Space Entry (3-Day): 8/19/19

CSE-AWR – Confined Space Entry Awareness (2-Day): 8/22/19

CY-MAR – Cyber-Skilled Mariner ** This course is NOT covered by the MATES Program ** – 8/5/19

DDE – Great Lakes (20-Day): Not currently scheduled

ECDIS for Pilots (2-Day) – 8/12/19, 11/21/19

ERM – Engine Resource Management: 8/12/19, 12/9/19

FF-BADV – Fire Fighting Combined Basic & Advanced: 8/12/19, 10/14/19

FF-ADV-Rev (1-day) (Must have 1 year of sea service in last 5 years) – Advanced Fire Fighting Revalidation: 8/1/19, 8/28/19, 9/24/19, 10/29/19, 12/19/19

FF-ADV-REF (2-day) – Advanced Fire Fighting Refresher: 7/27/19, 9/28/19, 12/14/19

FSM – Fatigue, Sleep, & Medications (1-Day): 9/17/19

GL-Pilot – Great Lakes Pilotage Familiarization (2-Day): Not currently scheduled

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

HAZ – Hazardous Materials (5 day): 8/26/19, 11/18/19

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

LAP – License Advancement Program for Mate to Master (20-Day): 7/29/19, 10/21/19*

LAP-Great Lakes – License Advancement Program – Great Lakes (20-Day): Not currently scheduled

LAP-ORG3rd – License Advancement Program for Original 3rd Mate, Oceans, Any Gross
Ton License (15-Day): Not currently scheduled

LEG – Legal Aspects of Pilotage (1-Day): 9/18/19

LNG-TPIC (10-Day) – Not currently scheduled

LTS –Leadership and Teamworking Skills (Formerly MCL-OIC) (1-Day): 9/23/19

MEECE – Management of Electrical and Electronic Control Equipment (Assessments not included): 12/2/19

MED-PIC – Medical Person in Charge (10-Day): 9/30/19*, 12/2/19

MED-PIC-REF– Medical Person in Charge Refresher: 8/19/19, 10/21/19

MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 9/30/19*, 11/18/19

MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Transportation Drug & Alcohol Testing (1-Day): 8/29/19, 9/23/19, 10/5/19, 10/28/19, 12/7/19, 12/20/19

[MSC – Military Sealift Command Courses]

MSC-CBRD-1 – Military Sealift Command Chemical, Biological, Radiological Defense Orientation (Basic) (1-Day): 8/7/19, 9/12/19 (evening), 11/1/19 (evening)

MSC-DC – Military Sealift Command Damage Control (2-day): 8/5/19, 9/12/19, 11/1/19

MSC-ENVPRO (1-Day) – 8/4/19, 11/3/19

MSC-FF-HELO (2-Day) – 8/10/19, 10/30/19

MSC-SMA – Military Sealift Command Small Arms Qualifications (4-Day): 7/15/19, 8/11/19, 9/16/19, 11/4/19

MSC-Security Watch Basic (1-Day) – 8/8/19, 9/14/19, 11/4/19 (evening)

MSC-Security Watch Advanced (1-Day) – 7/14/19, 8/9/19, 9/15/19, 11/8/19

MSC-Ship’s Reaction Force (3-Day) – 7/19/19, 8/16/19, 9/20/19, 11/9/19

NDMS-ENAV – Navigational Decision Making Series – Best Practice in eNav (3-Day) – 11/18/19

NSAP-MMP – Navigational Skills Assessment Program-MM&P (2-Day) – 7/25/19*, 7/29/19, 8/26/19*, 8/28/19, 11/18/19, 11/20/19, 12/16/19, 12/18/19

RFPNW – Ratings Forming Part of a Navigational Watch (3-day) – Not currently scheduled

ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal (1-Day): 9/23/19

ROR-1N – Radar Observer Renewal Evening Classes (1-Night): 7/24/19, 8/1/19, 8/7/19, 8/21/19, 8/28/19, 9/17/19, 9/18/19, 10/2/19, 10/16/19, 10/30/19, 11/6/19, 11/13/19, 12/4/19, 12/18/19

ROU-OIC – Radar Observer Program – Unlimited: 7/29/19

SAR – Search & Rescue – (Now with OIC and CMM assessments) (3-Day): 12/2/19

SHS-BAS-OIC – Basic Shiphandling: 8/26/19, 10/28/19

SHS-EMR5 – Emergency Shiphandling (5 Day) – 8/5/19, 9/23/19*, 11/18/19, 12/16/19

STB-OIC – Ship Construction and Basic Stability: 8/5/19

TCNAV/CO – Terrestrial Navigation and Compasses (15-Day): Not currently scheduled

TPIC – Tankerman Person in Charge: Not currently scheduled

TRAC-TUG-2 (2-Day): Contact Admissions

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

VPDSD – Vessel Personnel with Designated Security Duties (1-Day): Not currently scheduled

VSO – Vessel Security Officer (3-Day): 9/4/19

WKP-OIC – Watchkeeping (Operational Level) (10-Day): 10/7/19

WX-OIC –Meteorology (Operational Level): 9/16/19

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For registration, contact our admissions department: 206.441.2880 or

Please also see our schedule and enroll online at

July 2019
10-11 Basic Training Revalidation
10-15 Basic Training Refresher (no class on weekend)
12th Advanced Firefighting Revalidation
15-19 Basic Shiphandling
15-19 Advanced Stability
16-18 Advanced Firefighting Refresher
22-25 Advanced Firefighting
22-26 Cargo Handling & Stowage
22-26 Advanced Shiphandling I
29-31 Security Officer – Vessel, Company, & Facility
29-2 Advanced Shiphandling II

August 2019
5-8 Advanced Firefighting
12-13 Basic Training Revalidation
14th Advanced Firefighting Revalidation
12-30 License Preparation (Mate Level)

September 2019
4th Advanced Firefighting Revalidation
5-6 Basic Training Revalidation
6th Vessel Personnel w/ Designated Security Duties (VPDSD)
9th Radar Renewal
9-13 Basic Training
9-13 Marine Propulsion Plants
16-19 Advanced Firefighting
16-20 Ship/Shipboard Management
23-27 Voyage Planning & Electronic Navigation
30-1 ECDIS
30-1 Leadership & Managerial Skills

October 2019
2nd Advanced Firefighting Revalidation
3-4 Basic Training Revalidation
7-11 Engine Resource Management
7-11 Basic Training
7-11 Advanced Shiphandling I
8th Radar Renewal
14-18 Management of Electrical & Electronic Control Equipment (MEECE)
14-18 Advanced Shiphandling II
15-18 Advanced Firefighting
18th Medical DOT
21-25 Advanced Meteorology
21-25 Ship Construction & Basic Stability
28-1 Advanced Stability
28-15 Celestial Navigation

November 2019
4-8 Advanced Cargo Operations
4-15 Basic Training
12th Radar Renewal
13th Advanced Firefighting Revalidation
14-15 Basic Training Revalidation
18-19 Advanced Firefighting Refresher
18-20 Security Officer – Vessel, Company, & Facility
18-22 Radar Observer Unlimited
18-22 Advanced Watchkeeping
25-27 Search & Rescue

December 2019
2-6 Leadership & Managerial Skills
2-20 License Preparation (Mate Level)
3-6 Advanced Firefighting
9-12 ARPA
9-13 Basic Training
13th Radar Renewal
16th Advanced Firefighting Revalidation
17-18 Basic Training Revalidation

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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 © 2019. Articles can be reprinted without prior permission if credit is given to The MM&P WheelhouseWeekly. For subscriptions, address changes or messages to the editor or to MM&P headquarters, e-mail Back issues of The Weekly are posted on