Wheelhouse Weekly – June 25, 2019

June 25th 2019

Volume 24… Number 26… June 25, 2019


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The United States and Iran have continued their war of words since the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) shot down a U.S. Navy surveillance drone near the Strait of Hormuz on June 20.

The incident came on the heels of attacks on two tankers in international waters in the Gulf of Oman on June 13.

The United States and Saudi Arabia have blamed those attacks, along with the May 12 explosions aboard four other tankers, on Iran.

In the most recent incident, Iran announced it had shot down the U.S. surveillance drone with a surface-to-air missile, but at that point the two countries’ accounts diverged.

Iran claims the drone and an accompanying manned U.S. airplane were flying over the Iranian coastal district of Kouhmobarak, adjacent to the Strait of Hormuz, near where the tanker attacks occurred.

The U.S. Navy asserts that it was operating in international airspace.

Authorities in the U.S. said the downed drone was an RQ-4 Global Hawk high-altitude, long-endurance (HALE) spy drone valued at more than $200 million.

“Shooting down the American spy drone had a clear, decisive, firm and accurate message,” said IRGC Commander Hossein Salami in a statement to Iran’s media.

“The message is that the guardians of the borders of Islamic Iran will decisively respond to the violation of any stranger to this land… We do not intend to engage in war with any country, but we are completely ready for the war.”

The U.S. Navy asserts that the drone was never over Iranian territory, calling the incident, “an unprovoked attack on a U.S. surveillance asset in international airspace.”

President Trump, for his part, said he had called off a retaliatory military strike last week and appeared to want to reduce tensions by stating that the downing of the drone could have been a mistake by low-level Iranian military personnel.

“I find it hard to believe it was intentional,” he said.

Earlier this week, Trump also downplayed the tanker attacks, describing them as “very minor.”

Over the weekend, he expressed the desire to talk with Iran’s leaders, then threatened “the obliteration” of the country if the two sides go to war.

Tensions between the United States and Iran have increased since the United States last year withdrew from the 2015 Iran Nuclear Agreement and re-imposed sanctions on the Islamic Republic.

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Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT) has issued an advisory to vessel owners and operators, ship masters and recognized security organizations for the navigation area that includes the Strait of Hormuz, the Gulf of Oman, the Arabian Gulf and the Northern Arabian Sea.

According to the advisory, NAVCENT and the Office of Naval Intelligence assess with high confidence that limpet mines used in the June 13 attack on the MV KOKUKA COURAGEOUS were of Iranian origin and design.

U.S. authorities also believe that the attack was almost certainly conducted by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy (IRGCN).

Commercial vessels operating in these areas are advised to report any incidents or suspicious activities to U.S. or Coalition Naval Vessels on VHF Channel 16.

All merchant vessels are encouraged to send regular reports, providing their position, speed and ETA to next port in accordance with Maritime Security Chart Q6099 to UKMTO at:

UKMTO emergency numbers are: +44 (0) 239 222 2060 and +971 50 552 2315.

U.S.-flag vessels are encouraged to include Naval Cooperation and Guidance for Shipping on all position reporting:

Any vessel under attack or under threat of attack should contact the NAVCENT MOC battle watch directly at: +973 1785 3879 and fleet watch at +973 1785 4577.

All vessels should exercise increased vigilance and extreme caution when transiting the Northern Indian Ocean, the Gulf of Oman, the Strait of Hormuz and the Arabian Gulf.

Specific recommendations include conducting security training and drills or exercises before entering at-risk navigation areas and ensuring that water tight integrity between engineering spaces is secured while operating in the area underway or at anchorage.

Vessels should pay particular attention to any unknown small craft with a close CPA. Any small boats that approach the vessel should be treated as suspicious and potentially dangerous.

Consider transit at higher speed through straits and near Iranian territorial waters where safe navigation and maneuvering permits.

Consideration should also be given to posting additional lookouts outside at night with night vision devices (if on board) and implementing increased bridge manning.

Commander U.S. Naval Forces Central Command, Commander, U.S. Fifth Fleet is committed to maintaining the freedom of navigation and free flow of commerce for all shipping, regardless of cargo or flag state of origin.

The U.S. Navy will respond aggressively and decisively to defend against attacks to its units and U.S. shipping.

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The Port of Los Angeles Commission voted 3-2 on June 20 to grant APM Terminals (APMT) a permit to test automated equipment at Pier 400.

APMT, an affiliate of Maersk Line, wants to use battery-electric straddle carriers at Pier 400 to replace some of the trucks that are used to move containers.

It has the backing of employers who belong to the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA).

The International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) has argued the automation plan would cost the community hundreds of family-supporting jobs, without leading to a significant increase in productivity at the terminal.

Thousands of ILWU members and community leaders have protested the plan, marching, signing petitions and voicing their opposition to members of the port commission during meetings this spring.

On Thursday, as the port commissioners were preparing to announce their decision, union members and their supporters marched in San Pedro, warning that hundreds of jobs may permanently disappear if the project moves forward.

Job losses of this magnitude would undercut the financial wellbeing of local communities that depend on the revenue generated by well-paying jobs at the port.

“The issue of automation is bigger than the ILWU-PMA contract,” says ILWU Local 13 Vice President Gary Herrera, “it’s about the community, the economy and ultimately the future of the middle class.”

“Robots do not pay taxes, robots do not shop in our communities, robots do not pay rent, they don’t buy homes, they don’t lease office space, they don’t deposit money,” he said.

“Robots do not vote,” he added.

The standoff now heads to the Los Angeles City Council where, on Friday, June 28, comments from the public will be heard.

If a majority of city council members vote to veto the plan, it goes back to the harbor commissioners for further review.

County Supervisor Janice Hahn has criticized APMT for pushing the automation plan based on the assertion that it will benefit the environment by substituting electric vehicles for trucks.

“We don’t have to decide between good jobs and clean air,” she says, “we can have both.”

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti has offered to mediate discussions and help the union and employers find a compromise.

The controversy has unfolded against the backdrop of a study released by management consultants McKinsey & Company last year.

The study, “The Future of Automated Ports,” concluded that terminal management should not count on recovering the costs of automation in the short- or even the medium-term, and that most port operators today believe fully automated ports are generally not as productive as those operated by humans.

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The Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) has approved measures to improve the safety of mooring operations.

The measures, which were approved by the MSC on June 4 and 5, will now be circulated to member states with a view to adoption at the next committee meeting in 2020.

The new requirements include safer designs for mooring arrangements and the introduction of a maintenance and inspection regime, along with proper documentation.

They are incorporated in the draft amendments to SOLAS regulation II-1/3-8 on towing and mooring equipment.

Mooring operations continue to pose a serious risk to mariners and shore-side personnel.

Bad weather can dramatically increase the risk of line snap-back as well as ergonomic injury from heavy manual labor.

Accidents are frequent, with numerous fatalities reported annually.

The IMO adopted the measures based on a proposal from Denmark.

Denmark’s delegates to the IMO reported that, from 1997 to 2013, 402 mooring accidents took place on Danish ships, with four fatalities and 43 injuries.

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Several members of the crew of the containership MSC GUYANE were arrested last week at Packer Marine Terminal in Philadelphia after authorities discovered a massive shipment of cocaine on board.

The street value of the 17 tons of cocaine is estimated to be in excess of $1 billion, making this one of the largest drug busts in U.S. history.

A second mate and an able seaman admitted to using the ship’s crane to load the drugs from a number of small boats in open waters as the vessel traveled between Central and South America, and then to have hidden the illicit contraband in shipping containers alongside legitimate cargo.

Second Mate Ivan Durasevic and AB Forofaavae Tiasaga told the authorities that they each expected to be paid $50,000 for their role in the operation.

Three other crewmembers have also admitted involvement.

Authorities said that the ship was met in open waters by smugglers in multiple small boats on at least two separate occasions on previous voyages in which drugs were transported.

The smugglers are said to have supplied replacement seals for the containers in which the cocaine was stashed.

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All MM&P union halls, the MM&P Plan Office, the MM&P Federal Credit Union and MM&P headquarters will be closed on Thursday, July 4, for Independence Day.

Pacific Ports will also be closed on Friday, July 5, for the ILWU holiday Bloody Thursday, in memory of the union members who were shot and killed during the 1934 maritime strike.

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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 –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): 7/8/19, 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): 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) – 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): 7/10/19, 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) – 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): 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
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