Wheelhouse Weekly – June 11th, 2019

June 11th 2019

Volume 24… Number 24… June 11, 2019


In This Issue:

Labor News:

MMM&P Members:


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The Russian destroyer ADMIRAL VINOGRADOV sailed close to the American guided missile cruiser CHANCELLORSVILLE at approximately 1145 on June 7 in the Philippine Sea.

The U.S. Navy said in a statement that the USS CHANCELLORSVILLE was recovering her helicopter on a steady course and speed when the Russian ship maneuvered from behind and to the right, accelerated and closed to an unsafe distance of approximately 50-100 feet.

“This unsafe action forced CHANCELLORSVILLE to execute all engines back full and to maneuver to avoid collision,” the Navy said in the statement.

“We consider Russia’s actions during this interaction as unsafe and unprofessional and not in accordance with the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea (COLREGS), the Rules of the Road and internationally recognized maritime customs.”

A statement issued by the Russian Pacific Fleet said a group of Russian warships were on a parallel course with a U.S. naval strike group when CHANCELLORSVILLE suddenly changed course and cut across the path of the ADMIRAL VINOGRADOV, coming within 50 meters of the ship.

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The Coast Guard has published the final rule on radar observer refresher training, making refresher courses no longer required for mariners who meet certain criteria.

The Coast Guard says the rule is intended to remove obsolete portions of the radar observer requirements and harmonize the radar observer endorsement with the merchant mariner credential.

It is also aimed at reducing unnecessary financial burdens on mariners required to hold a radar observer endorsement.

The new rule, “Amendments to the Marine Radar Observer Refresher Training Regulations,” takes effect on July 22.

The most significant change is the elimination of the requirement that mariners who actively use their MMC complete an approved refresher or recertification course to maintain a radar observer endorsement.

Specifically, a mariner who serves in “a relevant position” aboard a radar-equipped vessel for one year in the previous five years will no longer be required to complete a refresher or recertification course.

If the radar observer endorsement is on the MMC, the new rule also eliminates the requirement that mariners carry a separate certificate of training.

To renew a radar observer endorsement under the new rule, a mariner must provide evidence of one of the following:

— completion of an approved or accepted original, refresher or recertification course [46 CFR 11.480(d)];

— meeting the requirements in 46 CFR 10.227(e)(1)(v) of having instructed a Coast Guard approved or accepted radar course at least twice in the past five years;

— having at least one year of relevant sea service within the past five years in a position that routinely uses radar for navigation and collision avoidance purposes.

Mariners will have met the requirement for relevant service if, in the past five years, they have at least one year of service as master or mate on ships required to be fitted with radar.

Mariners who have served on vessels other than those required to be fitted with radar, or in capacities other than master or mate, must document service in a position in which they routinely used radar for navigation and collision avoidance.

Service on ROS vessels or others that do not get underway or that occasionally get underway for short voyages will only be credited for the days during which the vessel was underway.

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The hospital ship USNS COMFORT is scheduled to deploy in the coming days on a mission to South America and the Caribbean.

In a statement, the U.S. Southern Command said the ship, which is operated by Military Sealift Command (MSC), will “provide medical assistance in support of regional partners and in response to the regional impacts of the Venezuela political and economic crisis.”

The licensed deck officers aboard USNS COMFORT are represented by the MM&P Federal Employees Membership Group (FEMG).

During the five-month deployment, the vessel will work with health officials in Colombia, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Grenada, Haiti, Jamaica, Panama, Saint Lucia, St. Kitts and Nevis, and Trinidad and Tobago.
This will be the ship’s seventh deployment to the region since 2007.

It most recently visited South America and the Caribbean on an 11-week mission in fall 2018.

In the current mission, “COMFORT medical teams will be working alongside host nation medical professionals who are absorbing thousands of Venezuelan migrants and refugees,” said a spokesperson for the U.S. Southern Command.

“The Venezuelan people are desperately fleeing their homeland for hope of a better way of life. We are committed to finding ways to support the Venezuelan people and our regional partners who share the goal of seeing a legitimate, democratic government reinstated in Venezuela.”

USNS COMFORT can carry a crew of doctors, nurses and specialists of up to 1,000, and has a total patient capacity of 1,000.

It has an 80-bed intensive care ward, a 20-bed recovery ward, a 280-bed intermediate care ward and 12 operating rooms.

The medical team will help provide care on board and at land-based medical sites.

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More than 100 maritime organizations, including MM&P and MIRAID, have joined forces in support of legislation to award a Congressional Gold Medal to the class of World War II merchant mariners.

The bipartisan legislation, HR 550, was introduced in the House of Representatives by Congressman John Garamendi (D-Calif.).

The bill currently has 236 cosponsors. Garamendi wants to reach a total of 290 before bringing it to the House floor for a vote.

If you would like to find out if your representative is a cosponsor of HR 550, please click:

The companion bill, S 133, was introduced in the Senate by Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska).

American merchant mariners are and always have been the unsung heroes of World War II.

It is estimated that more than 250,000 of them served in the war, delivering seven million servicemen and tens of millions of tons of equipment, ammunition and supplies.

Civilian mariners suffered the highest casualty rate of any service, with one of every 26 mariners lost.

More than 1,500 merchant vessels were sunk in the war and 8,241 merchant mariners perished.

Despite promises that they would be recognized for their bravery and service and would receive benefits comparable to those available under the GI Bill, the promises went unfulfilled.

They had to wait until 1988 to receive limited benefits and recognition from our government.

The time is long overdue for our country to say “Thank You” to all the merchant mariners who served during World War II.

Enactment of this legislation would be an important step in this direction.

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The American Maritime Partnership (AMP) has announced it will honor, in a new, year-long celebration, the men and women who have “added to the rich history of the United States as a maritime nation.”

The new initiative is called, “American Maritime Heroes.”

Recipients are selected on the basis of “courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities,” AMP said in a statement.

U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao and World War II merchant mariners are the first honorees.

The year-long celebration will culminate on June 5, 2020, the 100th anniversary of the enactment of the Jones Act (officially the U.S. Merchant Marine Act of 1920).

“The American Maritime Heroes campaign will serve as a reminder to all of the undeniable importance of America’s history as a maritime nation and the role of the maritime industry in U.S. prosperity and security,” said AMP Chairman Matt Woodruff.

“We are proud to begin the campaign by honoring Sec. Elaine Chao, who is widely recognized as the best transportation secretary ever for the U.S. maritime industry, and the nearly 250,000 World War II merchant mariners who provided the manpower to operate and maintain the wartime vessels that ultimately helped our country and our allies win World War II.”

Chao previously served as deputy maritime administrator; chair of the Federal Maritime Commission; deputy DOT secretary; and Secretary of the Department of Labor.

“We have never had a transportation secretary with such knowledge about, experience in, and passion for our industry,” Woodruff said.

“When the chips are down, there is no stronger advocate than Secretary Chao. She is a proven American maritime hero.”

World War II merchant mariners are renowned for their bravery and their contributions to the Allied victory nearly 75 years ago.

Today, only about 2,000 remain.

“Especially as Americans reflect this week on the 75th anniversary of D-Day, it is a privilege to salute the courageous mariners who helped make the invasion possible and ensured that our military could triumph, at Normandy and throughout the entire war,” said Woodruff.

“We all owe these heroes a debt of gratitude that can never be fully repaid.”
Both MM&P and MIRAID are members of the American Maritime Partnership.

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A wooden sailing ship being used as a tour boat was struck by a cargo ship on the Elbe River near Hamburg, Germany, on June 8.

After the collision, eight passengers from the 121-foot ELBE NO. 5 were taken to local hospitals.

No injuries were reported aboard the Cyprus-flagged ASTROSPRINTER.

The cause of the accident, which took place just days after the ELBE NO. 5 had been completely renovated over an eight-month period, is under investigation.

The schooner, which was built in 1883 as a pilot vessel, is owned by the Hamburg Maritime Foundation.

After the accident, it was towed by the German Life Saving Society to a nearby estuary, where it sank with only the masts and part of the starboard bulwark remaining visible.

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Eight longshore workers have been sacked by Hutchison Ports in Pakistan, where unsafe working conditions have been blamed for at least one recent death.

The eight are leaders of the SAPT Democratic Workers’ Union, which is fighting to improve working conditions at the terminal.

Hutchison Ports is the world’s largest stevedoring company.

Unions have blamed dangerous conditions at Hutchison’s Karachi International Container Terminal for the death of a longshore worker earlier this year.

The man, a 58-year-old checker, was run over by a reach stacker on March 17.

Five workers died at Hutchison’s Jakarta International Container Terminal between 2016 and 2018, after unionized dock workers were replaced by contract employees working with little safety protection.

At the Karachi terminal where the most recent accident took place, longshore workers have complained of insufficient lighting and lack of traffic management.

The company has responded by challenging the legitimacy of the union in court.

When it lost one legal challenge, it created its own “company union,” which filed sabotage charges against the eight longshoremen, two of whom were imprisoned on the trumped up charges for nine days.

“But none of this has worked,” said a spokesperson for the international pro-worker organization Labour Start.

“The union remains strong and has the support of its members.”

Now Hutchison has begun firing the leaders of the union, in violation of a court order.

Please join us in calling for Hutchison Ports to immediately reinstate “the Karachi 8” and stop trying to bust the union:

International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) President Paddy Crumlin has called on Hutchinson to launch a joint labor/management investigation into the March death of the longshore worker, noting that the company has not yet opened an inquiry.

“This is yet another incident that raises questions about Hutchison’s safety procedures, and how seriously the company takes its responsibility to ensure the health and safety of its employees in ports worldwide,” he said.

“The company should know that the ITF will fight to make sure every worker goes home safe, every day.”

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The Jones Act survived a scare and remains in effect–for now.

The effort to extend the Maritime Security Program is moving forward, despite opposition from outside groups and their Congressional allies.

“Ship American” is still the law of the land, yet federal agencies continue to avoid the U.S.-flag shipping requirements.

The battle to strengthen and grow our industry and to keep American maritime jobs is in full swing.

Congressional friends and supporters of the U.S.-flag merchant marine are fighting non-stop to prevent well-financed foreign shipping interests from sending more of our jobs overseas.

Without your help–without the involvement of each and every one of us–our supporters will lose their seats in Congress to our opponents.

If that happens, American mariners will lose their jobs as well.

We ask every MM&P member and pensioner to dig deep and contribute to our union’s Political Contribution Fund (PCF).

Your support for our PCF will give us the resources we need to help keep U.S.-flag ships sailing and U.S.-citizen mariners employed.

For more information about the MM&P PCF, go to

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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: 8/5/19, 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) – 6/18/19, 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): 6/17/19*, 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): 6/24/19*, 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 –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) – 7/11/19

CDMGT – Crowd Management (1-Day) – 7/12/19

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: 6/20/19, 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): 8/19/19

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): 8/5/19, 12/2/19

MED-PIC – Medical Person in Charge (10-Day): 7/8/19*, 9/30/19*, 12/2/19

MED-PIC-REF– Medical Person in Charge Refresher: 6/24/19, 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): 6/17/19, 7/14/19, 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 – 11/18/19

NSAP-MMP – Navigational Skills Assessment Program-MM&P (2-Day) – 6/24/19*, 6/26/19*, 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): 6/19/19*, 6/20/19, 7/10/19, 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) – 6/17/19*, 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): 7/8/19

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): 7/8/19, 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

June 2019
17-21 Basic Firefighting
24-28 Meteorology (Operational Level)
21-25 Basic Training Refresher (no class on weekend)
24-25 Basic Training Revalidation
26th Advanced Firefighting Revalidation
28th Medical DOT

July 2019
8-12 Advanced Meteorology
8-26 Terrestrial & Coastal Navigation w/ Compasses
9th Radar Renewal
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