Wheelhouse Weekly – March 14, 2002

March 14th 2002


– Bridging the Information Gap With E-News You Can Use –

Volume 6. . . . . Number 11. . . March 14, 2002






Published reports indicate that the implementation of “smart card” technology across Dept. of Defense by 2003 will enable the department to deploy troops faster and safeguard its people and facilities better. The card is similar in concept to the proposed Ship Operations Cooperative Program (SOCP) Maritime Smart Card for merchant mariners which was previously reported on in the Wheelhouse Weekly.

DoD’s Common Access Card is a plastic identification card with an embedded 32-kilobyte memory chip that has already been issued at many stateside and overseas locales, and about this time next year, four million active-duty military, selected reservists, DoD civilians and eligible contractor employees are also expected to have them. The card and stored data can be tied into computer networks for personnel actions and added security.

The new technology also allows a “one-card-fits-all” system, so IDs, Public Key Infrastructure tokens, and multiple security passes could be melded onto one card. The cards should greatly reduce deployment processing times for military personnel.

Personal identification numbers today, and biometric data such as fingerprints in the future, can be contained on the card, making it much more secure than paper IDs. Widespread use of Common Access Cards should bolster security for DoD’s people, buildings and facilities.

If a common access card is lost or stolen, the identification and security accesses on the card can be invalidated immediately. Biometric information already in the card’s computer database would be checked when a request is made for a replacement card. Security officials also note that the issuance of Common Access Cards contain myriad checks and balances to ensure integrity.


MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



New security regulations and specially trained port security teams are being employed in Operation Neptune Shield, the U.S. Coast Guard‘s plan for protecting US ports and waterways.

Among the USCG’s newest tools for combating terrorism in 361 major US ports are three specially trained rapid response Maritime Safety and Security Teams (MSSTs). Each MSST is composed of about 40 active duty USCG members equipped with armed boats and trained to patrol, detect and counter terrorism threats in US ports and waterways.

Since Sept. 11, the teams have been deployed to Boston, New York, Houston-Galveston, Hampton Roads, VA, and Puget Sound. Teams were also sent to provide waterborne security for this year’s Super Bowl in New Orleans. The three MSSTs, now deployed across the nation, were formed from the USCG’s Tactical Law Enforcement Team North, based in Yorktown, VA Before Sept. 11, TACLET North conducted counter-drug operations in the Caribbean and Maritime Interdiction Force Operations with the Navy in Southwest Asia.

The newly formed MSSTs were first deployed to replace USCG Port Security Units (PSU) sent to protect US ports immediately after the World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks, the first time PSUs were used domestically. Two PSUs are currently deployed overseas, and two others are preparing for future deployments; PSU 305, Fort Eustis, VA, is deployed to Joint Task Force 160 in Guantanamo Bay in support of detention operations there, and PSU 311, San Pedro, Calif., is providing protection for US and allied ships in Southwest Asia.

Other measures put into place since Sept. 11 include the stand-up of the USCG’s new National Vessel Movement Center, that tracks the arrival and movement of all foreign flagged vessels intending to enter the US Commercial vessels over 300 gross tons are required to provide information about their cargo, crew and ship, 96 hours in advance of arrival, up from just 24 hours in advance before Sept. 11.

In September, both the Atlantic and Pacific Area commanders established a new temporary regulation prohibiting vessels from approaching closer than 100 yards of any US Navy vessel in US waters without permission. The USCG has proposed the Naval Vessel Protection Zone (NVPZ) regulation become permanent June 15, when the temporary order expires. The NVPZ regulation also requires vessel operators to maintain slow speed when passing within 500 yards of any Navy ship.

In its largest port security operation since WWII, the USCG has: conducted over 35,000 port security patrols on the water; conducted more than 3,500 air surveillance patrols; boarded over 2,000 vessels determined to be of high interest; and escorted 6,000 vessels in and out of port.

The USCG has also joined forces with the Navy. In ports like Hampton Roads, the USCG Captain of the Port and Navy commands there operate a Joint Harbor Operations Center (JHOC). The JHOC serves as a command and control center for maritime homeland security in the port. The JHOC integrates radar coverage of the harbor with surveillance cameras and other information to monitor and track the movement of ships in the regulated navigation area established for the port. This unique operating agreement allows Navy and USCG forces to share a common tactical picture and synthesize information and resources needed to protect the largest concentration of naval ships in the world.

In another effort to work more closely with the Navy, 13 Special Operations Command Naval ships have been assigned to the USCG for Homeland Security duties. These highly capable, armed ships with six-person USCG boarding teams conduct coastal patrol and port security operations in ports like Boston, New York, Hampton Roads, Miami, Houston, Los Angeles and Puget Sound.

The USCG has also been working with the International Maritime Organization to enhance the security of foreign flagged commercial ships, and is now experimenting with fast-roping from USCG helicopters – a method where USCG boarding teams are lowered to the decks of commercial ships at sea to increase the efficiency and safety of boardings.


MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



The draft of a House bill places responsibility for maritime and international cargo security in the hands of the Undersecretary of Transportation for Security.

The Maritime Transportation Counter-terrorism Act of 2002 calls on the Department of Transportation to establish a national maritime counter-terrorism plan. The bill has not been formally filed in the House. It would order the Transportation Security Administration to develop a “counter-terrorism cargo identification and screening system” for containerized cargo. Carriers, shippers, and intermediaries would be required to report cargo information to TSA no later than 24 hours before the container is loaded on a vessel.

The draft bill also calls for advance crew and passenger manifest information. The security administration would share that information with other federal agencies on request, “for the purpose of protecting national security.”

The bill is the House Transportation Committee’s answer to the Hollings-Graham port and maritime security bill (S.1214) that passed the Senate last year. It covers much of the same territory as the Senate bill, but places more emphasis on offshore cargo security, and development of maritime counter-terrorism plans.

Rather than port security plans, the bill calls on DOT to develop a national counter-terrorism plan, with a national coordinator, and “counter-terrorism teams” to protect the public, vessels, and port facilities from terrorist activity. DOT also would oversee development of local counter-terrorism plans that would affect ports or vessels.

Like the Senate bill, the draft calls for financial grants to help local facilities improve security. It also provides for expanded operations of the Coast Guard, including the sea marshal program.

The bill provides for ID and background checks for port employees, but leaves it to DOT to determine who would be required to carry credentials. The bill also calls for DOT to assess the effectiveness of counter-terrorism measures in foreign ports. If the department determines that a port poses a terrorism risk, DOT may control or deny access by vessels or cargo from that port to the US.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



The Coast Guard is seeking applications for membership on Towing Safety Advisory Committee (TSAC). TSAC provides advice and makes recommendations to the Department of Transportation on matters relating to shallow-draft inland and coastal waterway navigation and towing safety. Application forms should be processed before May 17, 2002.

For further info and application request contact:

TSAC Application Commandant (G-MSO-1) Room 1210 U.S. Coast Guard 2100 Second Street SW Washington, DC 20593-0001

or by calling 202-267-0229; or by faxing 202-267-4570.

This notice is available on the Internet at and the application form is available at For further info please contact Gerald Miante, assistant executive director of TSAC, 202-267-0229, fax 202-267-4570, or Email

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



The Ship Operations Cooperative Program (SOCP) has several new product releases on personal safety and vessel familiarization that have been produced to assist ship operators to comply with new STCW-95 requirements.

The “Personal Safety and Social Responsibility” program identifies examples of desirable and undesirable behavior of mariners in a shipboard environment, including procedures, penalties and the correct method of filling out documentation of serious incidents in the context of marine accidents and incidents.

The SOCP’s “Vessel Familiarization” package includes a vessel familiarization CD template and detailed step-by-step instruction guide for operators to use in producing their own vessel specific training CD.

SOCP is currently working on the production of a Shipboard Security Awareness video. This production is geared towards commercial vessels and crews. The Global Maritime Transportation School at the US Merchant Marine Academy is also adding their expertise to this project. The video will contain real life scenarios in situations relevant to security aboard commercial ships. Anticipated availability date for the video is spring 2002.

For more info contact Patricia Randall by phone at 202-366-4125 or email at, or visit the SOCP’s web page at

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



The MM&P Federal Credit Union has lowered its loan rates. (See the Feb.28 Wheelhouse Weekly for current rates.) In addition, members are reminded that many employers offer payroll deduction for savings.

Credit Union membership is open to all MM&P members and their immediate families; to all MM&P, MITAGS, Plans and MIRAID employees and their families. For more info, contact manager Kathy Klisavage at or by calling toll-free 1-800-382-7777.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



Openings in Classes Through the End of June 2002

  • 3/23: CBRD-1, ROR
  • 3/25-29: HAZ, BRM, WX-HWA
  • 4/1-5: FF-ADV
  • 4/8-12: BST, ARPA, TPIC
  • 4/8-19: GMDSS
  • 4/13: CBRD-1, ROR
  • 4/15-19: HAZ, ECDIS
  • 4/15-18: SMA
  • 4/19: ATER, ENV PRO
  • 5/6-10: BST, ARPA, MSC-COMMS
  • 5/6-9: SMA
  • 5/10: ATER, ENVPRO
  • 5/11: CBRD-1, ROR
  • 5/13-24: MED-PIC
  • 5/13-17: BST, ARPA, COMP-NET
  • 5/20: CBRD-1
  • 5/21: HAZMAT, EAP
  • 5/22-24: MED-DOT-DA
  • 6/3-28: SMC
  • 6/3: ROR
  • 6/3-14: GMDSS
  • 6/10-14: BST, SHS-BAS, BRM, COMP-NET, FRB
  • 6/10-13: SMA
  • 6/14: ATER, ENVPRO
  • 6/15: CBRD-1, ROR
  • 6/17-21: FF-ADV, BRM, ARPA, WX-HWA
  • 6/17: ROR
  • 6/24-28: SHS-EMR, BRM, VPM



Class scheduled for March 25-29 has been cancelled as only two students registered. A minimum of four are required for that course.



Remember that eligible trust students now only require one week of class at MITAGS to have transportation covered. You can get more details on the transportation reimbursement policy, as well as other important policies, by going to the MITAGS web-site home page and clicking on “Training Policy & Procedures” or by clicking here to visit the page directly.



  • ARPA: Automatic Radar Plotting Aids
  • ATER: Anti-Terrorism Awareness Training
  • BRM: Bridge Resource Management
  • BRMP: Bridge Resource Management For Pilots
  • BST: Basic Safety Training
  • CBRD: Chemical Biological Radiological Defense Training
  • COMP-ABSS: Computer Am Bureau Ship Management Software
  • COMP-APS: Computer Application Programs
  • COMP-MAR: Computer Mariner Application Program
  • COMP-NET: Computer Network Systems
  • CSE-AAES: Confine Space Entry-Atmos. Analy of Enc Spaces
  • EAP: Employee Assistance Program
  • ECDIS: Electronic Chart Display And Information Systems
  • ENVPRO: Environmental Protection
  • FF-ADV: Advanced Fire Fighting
  • GMDSS: Global Maritime Distress Safety System
  • HAZMAT: Hazardous Materials
  • MED-DOT-DA: Dept. of Trans. Drug and Alcohol Testing
  • MED-PIC: Medical Person-In-Charge
  • MSC-COMMS: Strategic Sealift Communications
  • ROR: Radio Operator Renewal
  • SMA: Small Arms
  • SHS-EMR: Emergency Shiphandling
  • SHS-INT: Intermediate Shiphandling
  • TPIC: Tankerman Person-In-Charge
  • VPM: Vessel Personnel Management
  • WX-HWA: Heavy Weather Avoidance



Schedule through June 2002 is being maintained on the website. Hard copies of the January-June 2002 schedule have been mailed 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 June 2002

  • 3/18-22: ARPA, Med 1st, Med PIC
  • 3/25-29: ECDIS
  • 4/1-5: TPIC, Med 1st, Med PIC; 4/8-12: ARPA, BST
  • 4/8-12: ARPA, BST
  • 4/15-19: NEW: Computer Basics (IC3 Ceritification)
  • 4/22-26: ECDIS, GMDSS, BAFF
  • 4/29-5/3: ARPA
  • 5/6-10: Radar, Med 1st, Med PIC, BST
  • 5/13-17: GMDSS
  • 5/20-24: BRM, BAFF, GMDSS Refresher
  • 5/27-31: ECDIS, Med 1st, Med PIC
  • 6/3-7: TPIC, BST
  • 6/10-14: ARPA, GMDSS
  • 6/17-21: Radar, GMDSS Refresher
  • 6/24-28: Computer Basics (IC3 Ceritification), ECDIS, BAFF



PMI is now offering two week “Medical Person in Charge” and one week “Medical First Aid Provider” course. To learn more about the STCW Requirements for Medical First Aid Provider and Medical Person in Charge, refer to PMI’s webpage at which will link you to the relevant policy letter.



Register online at


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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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