Wheelhouse Weekly – June 29, 2001

June 29th 2001


Bridging the Information Gap With E-News You Can Use

Volume 5. . . . . Number 26. . . June 29, 2001





MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



The MM&P-crewed USNS MENDONCA is the newest and one of the largest ships in the US Navy’s Military Sealift Command inventory. The Large Medium Speed Roll-on Roll-off (LSMR) vessel is currently on its maiden voyage. Here are some excerpts from an Email dispatch received earlier this week from the vessel’s master, MM&P member Capt. Bill Doherty:

We are on our Maiden voyage and it has been quite interesting. We loaded military equipment in Beaumont, TX for the 25th Infantry Division and discharged it at Pearl Harbor, HI on June 15 and 16th.

The LMSRs are named after Medal of Honor winners. The USNS MENDONCA, PILLILAU and YANO are all named after residents of Hawaii. The opportunity of having the ship call at Pearl Harbor on her first voyage was not lost. While at Pearl, the Mates and Engineers hosted a reception/luncheon on board for 20 surviving relatives of our ship’s namesake, Sgt. Leroy Mendonca, Medal of Honor (posthumous) who died in Korea, July 4, 1950.

The Mendonca family has lived in Honolulu for several generations since the mid-1800s. They are descendants of a Portuguese whaler who left the ship and settled in Hawaii. This was a moving and emotional visit, where the relatives recounted the short but heroic life of Sgt. Mendonca.

Sgt. Mendonca’s sister Miss Lucille Mendonca (now in her late 70’s) was thrilled to be invited aboard the newest ship in the MSC’s inventory. To have this ship call at Pearl Harbor, less than three miles from her home, seemed as if it had been planned to benefit her.

Originally we were supposed to return to the East Coast and go back into Reduced Operating Status (ROS) however events changed our schedule. The CAPE MOHICAN, a former MM&P operated Lykes Sea-Bee ship now operated for MARAD by an AMO contracted operator, ran aground and suffered considerable bottom damage.

MENDONCA has been tasked to sail from Pearl Harbor to Po Hang, Korea, and load out all of the heavy equipment including tugs, Mike boats, motorized causeways, and a large amount of rolling stock. We will bring this equipment back to San Diego.

The MENDONCA is operated for MSC by Patriot Contract Services, LLC (a division of MMP contracted American Ship Management Co.). MM&P members aboard are Capt. Bill Doherty, Chief Mate Doug Harrington, Second Mate Justin Valentine and Third Mate Kahai Wodenhouse; REO is Carl Olsen.

Editor’s Note: We would like to thank Capt. Doherty for taking the time to share his crew’s experiences with us on the MENDONCA’s maiden voyage. We hope the ‘Captain’s Log’ can become an ongoing feature in the Wheelhouse Weekly. As we prepare to celebrate Independence Day, we encourage other MM&P members to share their vessel’s sailing experiences with us as they proudly fly the Stars and Stripes on the world’s seven seas.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



A House of Representatives Appropriations Subcommittee voted on June 27 to approve funding for fiscal year 2002 for the Maritime Security Program (MSP) and for the Title XI ship construction guarantee program.

The Subcommittee agreed to appropriate $98.7 million for the MSP, the amount requested by the Bush Administration and supported by the MM&P, MIRAID and the rest of our industry. This amount would fully fund MSP through fiscal year 2002, from Oct. 1, 2001 – Sept. 30, 2002.

Significantly, the Subcommittee did not act on the Administration’s proposal to shift the control over the MSP program from the Maritime Administration to the Department of Defense. We have strongly opposed this proposal and support keeping MSP within the Maritime Administration.

At the same time, the Subcommittee rejected the Administration’s request to zero-fund the Title XI Program, approving instead $30 million for the next fiscal year. This amount would allow approximately $600 million in new shipbuilding guarantees.

The Administration had called for an end to Title XI funding, arguing that this program was “corporate welfare” and ignoring the important economic and defense advantages to our country of supporting a commercial shipbuilding program. The MM&P and MIRAID worked with others in our industry in support of Title XI funding.

The next step in the process is for the full House Appropriations Committee to act on the Subcommittee’s proposal. MM&P and MIRAID will continue their efforts to ensure that full MSP funding as well as the new, much needed Title XI funding are approved by the Committee. Action is expected when Congress returns from its July 4 recess.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



In other MSP news, all nine members of the House Armed Services Committee’s Special Oversight Panel on the Merchant Marine have joined together in a letter supporting the comments made by Panel Chairman Congressman Duncan Hunter (R-CA) in support of the MSP and its existing US-citizenship ownership priority system.

The five Republicans and four Democrats stated that they “strongly support” Chairman Hunter’s statement “concerning the reauthorization of the Maritime Security program and the need to preserve current US citizenship requirements for MSP vessel operators. The MSP program is critical to the national security of the United States by ensuring the continued presence of an active, privately-owned, US-flag and US-crewed merchant shipping fleet for sustained sealift capability in time of war or national emergency.”

They pledged to work with Chairman Hunter “during this session of the Congress to reauthorize this vital sealift program for the nation’s defense.”

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



The MM&P and MEBA are once again engaged in a battle to protect the jobs of our members who work aboard the Army Corps of Engineers’ hopper dredge fleet. Certain forces within the private dredge industry are trying to persuade Congress to lay up at least one of the Corps’ four dredges in order to eliminate this competition.

Specifically, they are trying to prevent any funds appropriated for the Corps for fiscal year 2002 to be used to operate the dredge McFARLAND “other than in active ready reserve for urgent dredging, emergencies and in support of national defense.” The MM&P and MEBA will fight to keep the McFARLAND in active duty.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



Openings in classes through the end of this year
  • 7/23-25: BRMP
  • 8/6-31: MED-SMC
  • 8/13-17: BST
  • 8/13-16: SMA
  • 8/20-24: ARPA, VPM
  • 8/27-31: BST, FF-ADV, ROP
  • 9/17-20: SMA
  • 9/17-21: ARPA, COMP-NET, TPIC
  • 9/17-28: GMDSS
  • 9/24-28: FF-ADV, BRM, COMP-MAR
  • 10/1-5: BRM, FF-ADV
  • 10/8-12: BST, GMDSS-REF, SHS-BAS, ROP
  • 10/22-26: BST, SHS-INT II, COMP-NET
  • 10/22-11/02: MED-PIC
  • 10/29-11/2: FF-ADV, BRM, WX-HWA
  • 11/5-7: BRMP
  • 11/5-9: ROP
  • 11/5-16: GMDSS
  • 11/12-16: FF-ADV, BST, BRM, ARPA, VPM
  • 11/12-15: SMA
  • 11/26-12/7: MED-PIC
  • 11/26-30: BST, HAZ, BRM, TPIC
  • 12/3-7: DCS, GMDSS-REF, ECDIS, BRM
  • 12/10-21: MED-PIC
  • 12/10-14: BRM, BST, ARPA, COMP-NET
  • 12/10-21: GMDSS
  • 12/17-21: BST, FF-ADV, ARPA, COMP-MAR
  • 12/17-20: SMA
Additional Classes
  • BST classes have been added for weeks of 8/27, 9/10, 11/26, and 12/17.
  • The MED-PIC class originally scheduled for week of 12/3 has been shifted to start the week of 12/10 so that an additional session can begin 11/26.
  • New MED-PIC has been added for 10/22.
  • FF-ADV has been added 10/7.
Admissions During the Month of July

Although the class schedule drops off significantly in July to accommodate staff vacations and in-house training requirements, there should be no impact on the admissions process. When Mary Matlock, our admissions coordinator, is out of the office, her Email and voice mail will be checked routinely. Diane Ford, our registrar, will be handling the admissions duties on those days when Mary is not in the office. Wed., July 4, will be the only weekday that neither Mary nor Diane will be in the office. Diane’s number is 443-989-3222 and her Email is

Schedule through Dec. 2001 is being maintained on the website. Hard copy schedule updates are also provided to the halls. Check the MITAGS website at: for up-to-date info. For additional course info, contact Mary Matlock at voice: 443-989-3226 or Email:

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



Openings in classes through the end of this year
  • 7/9-13: ARPA
  • 7/23-27: ARPA
  • 7/30-8/3: BRM
  • 8/6-10: ARPA, BRM
  • 8/20-24: ARPA
  • 8/27-31: TPIC
  • 9/3-7: ARPA, BRM
  • 9/10-14: BRM, GMDSS
  • 9/17-21: ARPA, FF, AFF
  • 9/24-28: BRM, GMDSS
  • 10/8-12: ARPA, BRM
  • 10/15-19: ARPA
  • 10/22-26: ECDIS
  • 10/29-11/2: BRM
  • 11/5-99: ARPA
  • 12/3-7: ARPA
  • 12/10-14: ARPA, GMDSS, BRM
  • 12/17-21: ARPA, BRM
New Room & Board Reimbursement Policy at PMI

The MATES program trustees have approved a limited room & board reimbursement policy for eligible MATES trust students attending courses at the Pacific Northwest Maritime Institute (PMI). This program was effective starting June 1, 2001. The maximum reimbursement per night is $75. Receipts are required. Please check with PMI for further details. Transportation expenses are not reimbursable at this time.

For more info on courses or PMI, visit their website at


MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



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MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly

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

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