Wheelhouse Weekly – May 24, 2016

Volume 21 . . . Number 21. . . May 24, 2016


National Maritime Day Ceremonies:

Also in This Issue:


Other News:

Sad News:


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Military and maritime leaders lauded America’s merchant mariners at the National Maritime Day Commemoration in Washington, D.C., on Monday.

Gen. Darren W. McDew, commander, U.S. Transportation Command, praised American mariners for answering the call of duty throughout history in our country’s hour of need. “I trust you to carry our nation’s army, no matter how dangerous the seas may be,” he said.

Many speakers at the event, including military officials such as McDew who are responsible for U.S. sealift and sustainment, warned that the decline in the size of the U.S.-flag fleet, which now numbers fewer than 80 vessels in the international trades, poses a grave risk to America’s military readiness.

“Our country’s security is at risk if we continue down our current path,” said Rear Adm. Thomas K. Shannon, commander, Military Sealift Command.

He warned of “a rising Russia, an aggressive China and a belligerent Iran,” not to mention continuing threats by myriad terrorist groups.

A defense against these and other challenges “cannot occur without sealift, and that means U.S. mariners aboard U.S.-flag ships,” he said. What good is the equipment and materiel in the Department of Defense arsenal “if we cannot carry it to the fight and sustain it?”

Shannon called for “a vigorous defense of the Jones Act, a robustly funded Maritime Security Program (MSP) and cargo, cargo, cargo” to buttress America’s fleet from further decline.

AFL-CIO Transportation Trades Department (TTD) President Ed Wytkind, who also spoke at the event, called for more resources to be devoted to the maritime industry and to America’s ports: in particular, he said TTD will work with the maritime unions and MIRAID to ensure that funding levels approved for MSP are actually appropriated and that monies in the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund are used for their rightful purpose, improving the viability of American waterways and ports.

MM&P is one of the 32 transportation sector unions that belong to TTD.

Wytkind said that “skilled but often unheralded port and ship workers are facing unprecedented political threats that are a reflection of broader trends in our country,” such as insufficient investments in transportation infrastructure and attacks on collective bargaining rights. “I believe the historic compact between America and its mariners is at risk,” he added.

During the ceremony, Wytkind remembered MM&P President Emeritus Timothy Brown, who led the union for 21 years before retiring at the end of 2012. Wytkind called Brown, who passed away in April, an inspirational union leader who will long be remembered by the maritime community.

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Our industry has long been a victim of peacetime neglect, says MM&P President Don Marcus, but the size of the U.S.-flag fleet is now at a level that should set alarm bells ringing throughout the halls of government.

“The sad fact is that the legacy of those who came before us will be nothing more than monuments and museum ships if the present trend in the global economic system and in our national priorities continues on the current course,” Marcus said in a Maritime Day address delivered at the American Merchant Marine Veterans Memorial in San Pedro, Calif.

For at least the past 120 years, the industry has suffered through “a relentless cycle of neglect and revitalization,” to the point that the motto of the American Merchant Marine, “In Peace and War,” might more aptly be rendered “In Poverty or War,” he said.

This year is the 100th Anniversary of the Shipping Act of 1916, legislation that arose out of shipping crises when the start of World War I in 1914 resulted in not enough shipping to carry U.S. trade. A severe recession resulted and a crash project to build a U.S. merchant marine followed.

When the decision was made to pour resources into the industry at that juncture, the U.S. Merchant Marine carried less than 8 percent of U.S. seaborne foreign commerce. Today the situation is far worse: it is estimated in fact that today U.S.-flag ships carry only about 1 percent of our foreign commerce. (MARAD stopped calculating the percentage in 2003 when it fell below 2 percent.)

“As we meet here today, the United States is back to a bare-bones merchant fleet with barely enough trained mariners necessary to support U.S. military in a moderate and short-term military conflict,” Marcus warned.

He also noted that 2016 marks 101 years since passage of the landmark Seamen’s Act of 1915. It is a bittersweet anniversary, Marcus said, because the law was followed almost immediately by the introduction of flag-of-convenience (FOC) shipping, a model that dominates our industry and is now spreading throughout the global economy, a case in point being the Department of Transportation’s recent decision to grant U.S. landing rights to an FOC airline that sources its cabin and flight crews in low-wage countries.

“Where does the national interest lie in this decision and scores of others that have put the merchant marine, aviation, shipyards, the steel industry and other strategic national industries, and American workers with them, on the proverbial chopping block?” he asked.

“The trend in the global economy and in the corridors of political power is diametrically and philosophically opposed to what we would like to achieve: a strong national industry that is an economic engine in its own right during peacetime and not simply a naval auxiliary maintaining logistics in time of war.”

He called the government’s response to the decline of our industry “by and large pitiful,” comparing the U.S. situation to that of China, which carries 90 percent of its foreign commerce aboard its own vessels, builds its own ships and has seven out of 10 of the world’s busiest ports.

A national maritime policy is essential, Marcus said, but if that goal cannot be achieved, the next administration must at the very least “re-affirm, support and enhance the existing maritime programs… We must raise our collective voices if even this modest goal is to be achieved,” he said.

He called for full funding of the Maritime Security Program, enforcement of cargo preference laws, restoring the U.S.-flag share of the Food for Peace program, returning the Export-Import Bank to full functionality, funding the Title XI Shipbuilding Loan Program and tax incentives to shippers and carriers to help finance the rebuilding of merchant marine infrastructure.

Marcus took the opportunity to commend Congressman John Garamendi (D-Calif.) for his efforts to promote the use of U.S-flag vessels in energy exports. He also thanked Rep. Janice Hahn (D-Calif.) and others in Congress working for passage of HR 563, the “Thank You to World War II Merchant Mariners” bill.

“It was an honor for me to accompany some of the veterans last year in their march on Congress in support of HR 563,” he said. “The sacrifices of these mariners are scarcely remembered by Congress. However, we remember and we are proud to follow in the shadow of those who served so courageously and gave so much.”

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By an overwhelming vote of 41-383, the House of Representatives on May 18 rejected a proposed amendment to defense authorizations legislation that could have made America’s security and American troops dependent on foreign-flag, foreign-crewed vessels if it would cost less than the $300 million authorized for the Maritime Security Program (MSP).

The proposal would have required the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to examine whether it would be cheaper to use foreign-flag and foreign-crewed ships to support Department of Defense (DOD) missions, rather than to continue to have DOD rely on the U.S.-flag, U.S.-crewed ships that participate in the Maritime Security Program.

The proposal and its supporters in and out of Congress wanted Congress to focus entirely on the narrow question of whether it would cost less to replace the Maritime Security Program with foreign vessel operations, ignoring completely the continued importance of having American troops rely on U.S.-flag vessels to deliver the equipment, supplies and materiel they need to do their job on behalf of the American people.

The amendment was introduced by Congressman Mark Sanford (R-S.C.).

Helping to lead the charge against adoption of Sanford’s amendment was Armed Services Committee Chairman Congressman Mac Thornberry (R-Texas).

“This amendment narrowly tasks GAO with exploring the cost savings of moving to a foreign-flagged fleet for DOD operations,” Thornberry told his colleagues. “It presumes that the U.S. could rely on foreign nations to provide the peacetime and wartime sealift for the Department of Defense. Military testimony has indicated that ‘there is no guarantee whatsoever that a foreign-flag fleet will sail into harm’s way.’ Ninety percent of all U.S. military cargo moved from Iraq and Afghanistan has been by U.S.-flagged, U.S.-crewed commercial vessels enrolled in MSP.”

Following the strong bipartisan defeat of this amendment, the House passed the defense authorizations legislation by a 277-147 vote.

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The Transportation Appropriations Subcommittee in the House of Representatives has approved legislation that includes full funding for the Maritime Security Program for Fiscal Year 2017.

The legislation adopted by the subcommittee recommends that Congress appropriate money sufficient to provide each vessel enrolled in the Maritime Security Program with $4.99 million in Fiscal Year 2017, the amount authorized by Congress as part of the omnibus spending legislation signed into law by President Obama.

The legislation containing the funding measure is scheduled to be considered by the full House Appropriations Committee before Congress leaves for Memorial Day on May 26.

The Transportation Appropriations legislation pending in the Senate includes $275 million for MSP for Fiscal Year 2017.

While slightly less than the amount authorized by Congress, it represents a much-needed increase over the funds currently available for Fiscal Year 2016.

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Vice Adm. Albert J. Herberger was awarded the Merchant Marine Medal for Outstanding Achievement during the course of the National Maritime Day Observance in Washington, D.C.

Herberger, who after retiring from a distinguished Navy career went on to serve as U.S. maritime administrator from 1993 to 1997, has consistently been a strong and eloquent advocate for the American Merchant Marine.

He was presented with the medal, the most recent in a series of military and public service awards and commendations, by Maritime Administrator “Chip” Jaenichen.

The award is given by the maritime administrator to mariners or other individuals making a significant contribution to the United States Merchant Marine or the maritime industry of the United States.

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Negotiations between Verizon and the two unions that represent striking workers are continuing with the assistance of a Department of Labor mediator.

The strike, which began April 13, involves about 40,000 employees who work for Verizon from Massachusetts to Virginia installing and servicing traditional telephone and the newer FiOS services.

Representatives of the workers and the company also met last week with U.S. Secretary of Labor Tom Perez.

“I’m encouraged by the parties’ continued commitment to remain at the bargaining table and work toward a resolution,” Perez said in an official statement. “We will continue to facilitate conversations to help the unions and the company reach an agreement.”

The workers, who are represented by the Communication Workers of America (CWA) and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), are refusing to back down in the face of company demands that include big cuts in benefits, the ability to hire more non-union installers, the freedom to deploy unionized workers to other cities for up to two months at a time and a shift of more customer service jobs to the Philippines and Mexico.

Verizon says the massive walk-out has led to a big drop in new customers this quarter.

Participating in the strike for the first time are workers at seven Verizon Wireless stores who voted to join CWA in 2014 and are still without a first contract.

The company and the two unions have agreed not to comment on the new round of negotiations, which began May 10 in Washington, D.C.

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Friends of MM&P member Blake Armand, who was recently killed, have established a fund to help his elderly parents pay for his funeral and other related expenses. To contribute, go to:

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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 Elisabeth Cruz, Admissions Coordinator, toll-free at 866-656-5568 or by e-mail: Why not try our on-line calendar to register for class:

Please note the special addition to our on-campus schedule of MSC classes marked with an asterisk (*), which are not normally scheduled to be held at MITAGS.

AB – 8/22/16, 10/17/16

AIS-1 – Automatic Identifications Systems Orientation: 5/27/16, 7/22/16

ARPA-OIC – Automated Radar Plotting Aids: 8/9/16, 9/27/16

AZIPOD 2-Day – 5/23/16, 11/14/16

BRM-35 – Bridge Resource Management: 8/8/16, 10/31/16

BRMP –Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 05/23/2016, 7/18/16, 11/14/16

BRMP-EMR –Bridge Resource Management for Pilots with Emergency Shiphandling: 04/19/16

BT – Basic Safety Training: 06/27/16, 8/15/16, 10/10/16

BT-Revalidation (2-day) – 8/22/16, 10/31/16

BT-Refresher (3-day) – 10/30/16

CHS-OIC – Cargo Handling Basic: 11/14/16

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]

ADVNAV-CMM – Advanced Navigation (=ECDIS & VPEN): Contact Admissions

ADVSTB-CMM – Advanced Stability: 06/20/16, 8/1/16, 10/17/16

ADVWX-CMM – Advanced Meteorology: 06/06/16, 8/8/16, 11/7/16

CHS-CMM – Advanced Cargo Operations (2 weeks): 10/24/16

ECDIS – Electronic Chart Display Information System: 6/6/16, 06/13/16, 7/25/16, 8/15/16,9/12/16, 10/10/16, 11/28/16, 12/19/16

LMS – Leadership and Managerial Skills (Management Level – Formerly MCL-CMM – 5/23/16,6/13/16, 6/27/16, 7/11/16, 7/25/16, 8/1/16, 8/8/16, 8/15/16,8/22/16, 9/12/16, 10/3/16, 10/31/16,11/14/16,11/28/16, 12/5/16, 12/12/16, 12/19/16

MPP-CMM – Marine Propulsion Plants: 9/19/16

SEC-APPS – Practical Defense Tactics: 6/20/16, 8/1/16, 10/31/16

SHMGT-CMM- Ship Management (2 weeks): 10/3/16

SHS-ADV-I-CMM – Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 06/13/16, 7/18/16, 8/15/16, 9/12/16,10/24/16, 11/7/16, 12/5/16

SHS-ADV-II-CMM – Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 06/20/16, 7/25/16, 8/22/16, 9/19/16,10/31/16, 11/14/16, 12/12/16


VPEN-CMM – Voyage Planning & Electronic Navigation: 9/12/16

WKP-CMM – Advanced Watchkeeping: 9/26/16

CNAV-OIC – Celestial Navigation: 10/24/16

CONT PLNG – Contingency Planning Workshop: Contact Admissions

CRISIS-COMMS – Crisis Communications: 7/19/16

DDE – Great Lakes: Contact Admissions

DPA – Contact Admissions

ECDIS-OIC – Contact Admissions

ECDIS-Pilots – 7/20/16, 11/14/16

ERM – Engine Resource Management: 7/18/16, 8/22/16, 9/26/16, 10/24/16, 11/14/16, 11/28/16, 12/5/16, 12/12/16, 12/19/16

FF-BADV – Fire Fighting Combined Basic & Advanced: 06/27/16, 8/15/16, 10/10/16

FF-ADV-REV – Advanced Fire Fighting Revalidation & Refresher: 8/24/16, 11/2/16

FSM – Fatigue, Sleep, & Medications: 6/1/16, 6/15/16, 9/20/16

GL Pilot – Great Lakes Pilotage Familiarization: Contact Admissions

GMDSS – Global Maritime Distress and Safety System: 8/22/16

HAZ – Hazardous Materials (5 day): 6/27/16, 8/29/16, 12/5/16

LAP- 9/19/16

LAP-Great Lakes – License Advancement Program – Great Lakes: Contact Admissions

LAP-ORG3rd – License Advancement Program for Original 3rd Mate, Oceans, Any Gross
Ton License: 06/06/16, 8/8/16, 12/5/16

LEG – Legal Aspects of Pilotage: 7/19/16, 9/21/16, 11/15/16

LNG-TPIC – 12/5/16

LTS –Leadership and Teamworking Skills (Formerly MCL-OIC): 7/12/16, 9/26/16, 10/26/16*, 11/14/16*, 12/19/16* (*Evening Session)

MEECE – Management of Electrical and Electronic Control: 5/16/16, 7/11/16, 8/29/16, 9/19/16, 10/17/16, 11/7/16, 11/28/16, 12/5/16, 12/12/16, 12/19/16

MED-PIC – Medical Person in Charge: 7/11/16, 11/7/16, 12/12/16

MED-PIC-REF– Medical Person in Charge Refresher: 8/29/16, 10/3/16

MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 11/7/16, 11/28/16, 12/12/16

MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Transportation Drug & Alcohol Testing: 8/28/16, 11/12/16, 12/17/16

MSA –Maritime Security Awareness: Contact Admissions

[MSC – Military Sealift Command Courses]

MSC-CBRD-1 – Military Sealift Command Chemical, Biological, Radiological Defense Orientation (Basic): 6/10/16, 8/10/16, 10/17/16

MSC-DC – Military Sealift Command Damage Control: 6/8/16, 8/8/16, 10/18/16

*MSC-ENVPRO – 6/5/16, 8/7/16, 10/16/16

*MSC-FF-HELO – 6/6/16, 8/22/16, 10/31/16

MSC-SMA – Military Sealift Command Small Arms Qualification: 6/13/16, 7/18/16, 8/14/16, 10/23/16

*MSC-Security Watch Basic – 6/11/16, 8/11/16, 10/20/16

*MSC-Security Watch Advanced – 6/17/16, 7/22/16, 8/13/16, 10/22/16

*MSC-Ship’s Reaction Force – 6/18/16, 7/25/16, 8/18/16, 10/27/16

NSAP-MMP – Navigational Skills Assessment Program-MM&P – 5/23/16, 7/26/16, 10/25/16

ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal: 8/8/16, 9/26/16

ROR-1N – Radar Observer Renewal Evening Classes: 06/08/16, 06/22/16, 7/13/16, 7/27/16, 8/10/16, 8/24/16, 9/21/16, 10/5/16, 10/19/16, 11/2/16, 11/9/16, 11/16/16, 11/30/16, 12/7/16, 12/14/16

ROU-OIC – Radar Observer Program – Unlimited: 8/1/16

SAR-OIC – Search & Rescue – 11/7/16

SHS-BAS-OIC – Basic Shiphandling: 06/27/16, 8/29/16, 10/17/16

SHS-EMR5 – Emergency Shiphandling-5 Day: 8/1/16, 10/3/16, 11/28/16

SMS – Contact Admissions

STB-OIC – Ship Construction and Basic Stability: 8/8/16

TCNAV/CO – Terrestrial Navigation and Compasses: 7/11/16

TPIC – Tankerman Person in Charge: 8/8/16

TRAC-TUG-2: Contact Admissions

TTT – Contact Admissions

VPDSD – Vessel Personnel with Designated Security Duties: Contact Admissions

VSO – Vessel Security Officer: 7/13/16, 9/7/16, 10/22/16

WKP-OIC – Watchkeeping (Operational Level): 10/3/16

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

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Please also see our schedule and enroll online at For registration contact our registrar, Jennifer Pitzen: 206.838.1126 or

May 2016

23-27 Leadership & Managerial Skills
23-27 MEECE

June 2016

1-2 Risk Based Internal Auditing
1-3 Security Officer – Vessel, Company & Facility
6-10 ECDIS
6-10 Leadership & Managerial Skills
6-10 Engine Resource Management
6-10 Bridge Resource Management w/ Simulation
13th Radar Renewal
13-24 License Preparation
13-24 GMDSS
13-1 Terrestrial & Coastal Navigation w/ Compasses
15-17 Bridge Resource Management and Emergency Shiphandling for Pilots
20-24 MEECE
20-24 Train the Trainer
27-1 Leadership & Managerial Skills

July 2016

5th Flashing Light
6-8 Security Officer – Vessel, Company & Facility
11-15 Radar Observer Unlimited
11-15 Leadership & Managerial Skills
11-15 Engine Resource Management
11-22 GMDSS
18th Leadership & Teamworking Skills
18-22 ECDIS
25th Radar Renewal
25-29 Leadership & Managerial Skills
25-29 Engine Resource Management
25-29 MEECE
26-29 ARPA

August 2016

1-5 Leadership & Managerial Skills
1-5 Bridge Resource Management
8-12 Basic Meteorology
8-12 Engine Resource Management
15th Radar Renewal
15-19 Leadership & Managerial Skills
22-26 ECDIS
22-26 MEECE
22-2 GMDSS
29-2 Leadership & Managerial Skills

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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 © 2015. Articles can be reprinted without prior permission if credit is given to The MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly. For address changes, send an e-mail to Back issues of The Weekly are posted on