Wheelhouse Weekly – May 30, 2017

Volume 22…Number 22…May 30, 2017


In This Issue:



Mark Your Calendar:


Never miss an issue!
Click here to subscribe to the Wheelhouse Weekly mailing list.
Did you miss a week?
Back editions of the Wheelhouse Weekly are available in the archives section.


President Donald J. Trump marked Memorial Day, May 29, with a statement honoring the men and women who have given their lives for our country.

“Memorial Day is our Nation’s solemn reminder that freedom is never free,” he said.

“It is a moment of collective reflection on the noble sacrifices of those who gave the last measure of devotion in service of our ideals and in the defense of our nation. On this ceremonious day, we remember the fallen, we pray for a lasting peace among nations, and we honor these guardians of our inalienable rights.”

“This year, we commemorate the centennial anniversary of America’s entry into World War I. More than 4.7 million Americans served during The Great War, representing more than 25 percent of the American male population between the ages of 18 and 31 at the time.”

“We remember the more than 100,000 Americans who sacrificed their lives during “The War to End All Wars,” and who left behind countless family members and loved ones. We pause again to pray for the souls of those heroes who, one century ago, never returned home after helping to restore peace in Europe.”

“On Memorial Day we honor the final resting places of the more than one million men and women who sacrificed their lives for our Nation, by decorating their graves with the stars and stripes, as generations have done since 1868. We also proudly fly America’s beautiful flag at our homes, businesses and in our community parades to honor their memory.”

“In doing so, we pledge our Nation’s allegiance to the great cause of freedom for which they fought and ultimately died.”

Back to Stories Covered


The Trump administration’s 2018 budget requests just $210 million for the Maritime Security Program (MSP)—or $3.5 million per ship–instead of the $300 million ($5 million per ship) authorized by Congress.

Under the terms of the MSP, the federal government provides a retainer to privately owned, militarily useful U.S.-flag ships so they can carry cargo on behalf of the Department of Defense (DOD) in time of war or other national emergency.

The 60-ship MSP fleet currently supports nearly 7,700 U.S. mariner and shore-side jobs.

Without MSP, DOD would be forced to rely on foreign-flag ships that could lack the loyalty, readiness and capability to meet America’s needs.

In addition, independent analysts and DOD have found that replicating a logistics network comparable to that provided by MSP would cost U.S. taxpayers $63 billion.

MM&P and MIRAID will continue to work with the other maritime unions and U.S.-flag shipping companies to obtain funding for the Maritime Security Fleet at the full $5 million per vessel level authorized by Congress.

Additionally, the president’s budget requests no funding at all for the PL 480 Food for Peace Program, which provides much-needed cargo for ships in the U.S.-flag fleet.

The budget request, which the White House transmitted to Congress on May 23, would also cut funding for ports.

Slated for elimination is the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant program.

The president’s budget also calls for a 52 percent reduction in funding for the Department of Homeland Security’s Port Security Grant Program (PSGP).

In fiscal 2017, the PSGP provided 35 port security related grants, and the TIGER grants program awarded $61.8 million in multimodal infrastructure grants to U.S. ports.

The port industry has identified a need for $66 billion in federal investments to port-related infrastructure over the next 10 years.

Ports and their private sector partners plan to invest $155 billion over the next five years alone in port facility infrastructure, and it’s vital that supporting federal investments be made, primarily to improve waterside and landside connections to ports, said American Association of Port Authorities Chief Executive Officer Kurt Nagle.

President Trump has also proposed cutting Environmental Protection Agency programs intended to help ports make investments in clean diesel equipment.

While the administration’s budget calls for increasing U.S. Army Corps of Engineers funding by $400 million over the previous administration’s request of $4.6 billion, the request still represents a 16 percent decrease in the Corps budget when compared to the funds provided in the fiscal 2017 Omnibus.

Back to Stories Covered


The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has released its forecast for the Atlantic hurricane season.

The agency said Thursday that warm sea surface temperatures and a weak or non-existent El Niño will contribute to an above-normal hurricane season in the Atlantic.

NOAA meteorologists say 11 to 17 named storms, five to nine hurricanes and two to four major hurricanes are possible.

The hurricane season officially begins June 1.

“The outlook reflects our expectation of a weak or non-existent El Niño, near- or above-average sea surface temperatures across the Atlantic, and average or weaker-than-average vertical wind shear,” said NOAA Lead Seasonal Hurricane Forecaster Gerry Bell.

Back to Stories Covered


A group of veterans who served in the American Merchant Marine during World War II were on Capitol Hill earlier this month, meeting with members of Congress to urge passage of a bill that would provide them with long-overdue compensation.

The occasion was part lobbying event, part “meet and greet” and part book launch: each participant received a copy of the highly regarded new book by William Geroux, “The Mathews Men: Seven Brothers and the War Against Hitler’s U-Boats.”

Geroux himself was on hand to present an overview of the book, which details the pivotal role played by the men and women who risked their lives to move war fighters, supplies and materiel during World War II.

“The Mathews Men” is Geroux’s first book. It is available on, which selected it as one of the top books of 2016. It tells the story of the merchant mariners of World War II through the eyes of seven brothers from Mathews County, Va., all of whom took part in the massive Allied sealift.

The Capitol Hill event, which took place on May 19, was sponsored by the Navy League and USA Maritime, an organization that includes MIRAID and MM&P.

It was attended by a large audience of Congressional staffers and by Congressmen Al Green (D-Texas) and Alan Lowenthal (D-Calif.). Green is the chief sponsor, and Lowenthal is a co-sponsor, of the Honoring Our Merchant Mariners Act of 2017, which would provide World War II merchant mariners with a one-time $25,000 benefit.

Shortly before President Franklin Roosevelt died in 1945, he urged Congress to recognize World War II merchant mariners, who were not included in the G.I. Bill. But it never happened.

“We owe these mariners an expression of gratitude and an apology,” Green said. “We were wrong, we should have done it sooner but it’s better to do it now than never at all.”

“This is a debt that’s long overdue,” Lowenthal said. “I intend to make sure that this Congress lives up to our obligation to honor those who so bravely served our nation.”

The veterans who traveled to Washington, D.C., for the event were: Morris Harvey, vice president (and former president) of the American Merchant Marine Veterans (AMMV); Charles A. Mills, a member of the AMMV Government Affairs Committee; and AMMV members Eugene F. Barner and Bob Weagant.

They were accompanied by two daughters of American Merchant Mariners, Laura Johnson Riddle and Sheila Sova.

Back to Stories Covered


The Daniel K. Inouye Institute has honored U.S. Senator Jack Reed of Rhode Island for his work on behalf of the nation’s maritime industry.

Reed is the ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee and the Senate Transportation Appropriations Subcommittee.

During the course of his career, he has consistently supported programs important to the maritime industry.

Irene Hirano Inouye, widow of Sen. Inouye, presented the award.

“Sen. Inouye was and continues to be an inspiration,” Reed said.

“He fought and served with great courage, integrity, and patriotism. To this day, his outstanding work on both the Appropriations and Commerce Committees continue to benefit Rhode Island’s maritime industry and our economy. We in the Ocean State are proud of our maritime heritage, and from tourism to commerce to transportation, marine-related businesses are an important part of our economic future.”

“I am proud to support the hardworking men and women of the marine trades and I humbly accept this prestigious award on their behalf,” he said.

“It is with pride in my husband’s memory that I am pleased to honor Sen. Reed with this year’s award for his exemplary leadership in support of the vital maritime industry,” said Irene Hirano Inouye in presenting Reed with the award.

Sen. Daniel K. Inouye had a distinguished tenure of more than 49 years serving Hawaii in the U.S. Senate, the longest serving member to date.

For his heroic actions as a member of the famed 442nd Regimental Combat Team, resulting in the loss of his right arm, the World War II veteran ultimately earned the nation’s highest award for military valor, the Medal of Honor.

The Daniel K. Inouye Maritime Guardian award is modeled after one of the first Hawaiian weapons ever seen in the new world.

Collected on one of Captain Cook’s journeys to the Pacific, it was made of wood and embedded with teeth from a great white shark. Called the “lei o mano,” it was reserved for the warrior responsible for ensuring safe passage on the seas.

Back to Stories Covered


“Infrastructure is not a ‘red’ or ‘blue’ issue,” says Ed Wytkind, president of the AFL-CIO Transportation Trades Department (TTD).

“Fixing our nation’s many and serious transportation and broader infrastructure challenges will require strong bipartisan cooperation and buy-in from political leaders on both sides of the aisle.”

Workers throughout the United States are waiting for President Trump’s promised infrastructure package, few details of which have yet to be released.

In the meantime, Wytkind says he is encouraged by the infrastructure plan proposed by the Congressional Progressive Caucus: “A 21st Century New Deal for Jobs.”

“As policy leaders look to address the crisis facing our nation’s transportation systems and infrastructure, we are pleased the Congressional Progressive Caucus has released a robust investment plan,” he says.

“This plan recognizes the severity of our infrastructure investment deficit by calling for an infusion of $2 trillion in new spending to address decades of neglect and austerity measures that have too often dominated the debate in Washington.”

“This level of investment will ensure all forms of transportation–including public transit, Amtrak and other passenger rail systems, roads, bridges, ports, airports and air traffic control–are expanded and modernized, and will create millions of middle-class jobs.”

“Additionally,” Wytkind says, “we applaud the Congressional Progressive Caucus’ commitment to our nation’s transportation manufacturing sector by calling for strengthened and more defined Buy America rules.”

“Expanding American job creation by maximizing public purchasing power must be included in any infrastructure plan.”

He said the plan released by the Congressional Progressive Caucus “also rightfully applies longstanding labor protections to ensure these investments create and support the quality jobs that elude too many American families.”

“We look forward to working with our advocacy partners to pass a large-scale infrastructure investment package that finally ends an era of neglect that has harmed our economy and idled millions of good jobs.”

TTD represents MM&P and 31 other transportation sector unions.

Back to Stories Covered


Longshore unions in Spain have agreed to postpone a series of rolling strikes scheduled to begin this month in protest of the government’s port deregulation plan.

The plan would allow employers to phase out hiring union port workers over a three-year period, substituting them with temps and other casual workers.

Spain’s unions say it would lead to the elimination of 6,500 jobs.

The dockworkers had planned strikes from May 24 until June 9, during odd hours each Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

In negotiations with employers, the unions have reportedly now agreed to accept wage cuts, provided they are accompanied by a guarantee of 100 percent employment.

Unions and employers have scheduled meetings with the aim of reaching an agreement to cancel the remaining three strike days scheduled for June 5, 7 and 9.

The government’s first attempt to legislate port reform failed when it was rejected by parliament in mid-March.

But the government now has the votes it needs to sustain it.

The International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) and the International Longshoremen’s Association are among the labor organizations that have been protesting in support of Spanish dockworkers.

“This is a betrayal of Spain’s dockworkers, and even of its national interests,” says ITF President Paddy Crumlin.

“What we’re looking at here is a piece of cynical horse-trading by political parties who don’t care what the effect will be on the human beings who work in these ports.”

“We warned back in February that the government was tearing up the rule book with a callous disregard for jobs, Spanish prestige and international conventions, and what the consequences would be. They will now face a unified front of the world’s dockworkers supporting their Spanish colleagues.”

“The vote in Spain risks bringing into place a plan to aggressively and destructively liberalize port labor,” said Terje Samuelsen, chair of the dockers’ section of the European Transport Workers’ Federation.

“It doesn’t even have the excuse of being in line with European Union rules–it goes recklessly beyond them. Unions are being forced into strike action. They will be supported by their trade union colleagues everywhere: the repercussions of this vote will spread far and wide.”

Back to Stories Covered


A crewmember of the Singapore-flagged bulk carrier NORD QUEBEC died after being hit in the face by a broken mooring line on May 22.

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada has launched an investigation into the accident, which took place during mooring operations at Trois-Rivieres Port, on the St. Lawrence River, in Quebec.

The mariner was taken to hospital and later pronounced dead from his injuries.

According to media reports, the 38-year-old Filipino crewmember was killed when he was hit in the head by the steel cable during a docking maneuver.

Back to Stories Covered


United Seamen’s Service (USS), the non-profit organization that has provided a home away from home for mariners for 75 years, has embarked on a campaign aimed at funding much-needed capital improvements to its centers and maintaining the programs that serve the needs of American and international seafarers.

“Many of us have fond memories of particular USS centers and friendly staffers who helped make a stay in port pleasant and enjoyable,” says USS Executive Director Roger Korner.

“Now your help is needed to ensure that USS can continue to provide essential services to the mariners of today and tomorrow.”

“As we are all aware,” Korner says, “our industry has changed tremendously and time in port and ashore is limited or nonexistent.”

“The changes have greatly affected mariners’ well-being and the centers’ ability to serve them,” he adds.

“We need everyone’s help to keep the following centers open and fully functional: USS Bremerhaven, USS Casablanca, USS Diego Garcia, USS Okinawa, USS Busan and USS Yokohama.”

“Donations of any size are gratefully accepted in our drive to raise $500,000 for our capital campaign.”

Please go to or to make a donation by credit card or Paypal.

All donations are tax deductible as approved by law under section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

All donated funds will go directly to supporting mariners and members of the U.S. military who rely on USS centers.

Back to Stories Covered


The MM&P Offshore Familiarization course will be held in the Los Angeles/Long Beach Hall on June 14 and 15.

Please call Los Angeles Dispatcher Wendy Karnes to save your space: 310-834-7201

The hall is located at 533 N. Marine Ave., Suite A, Wilmington, CA 90744-5527.

There is no sea-time requirement to take the course. All Offshore applicants, potential transferees from other membership groups and other interested Offshore members are encouraged to take the course as soon as possible.

Back to Stories Covered


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 Merchant Mariner Credential (MMC) processing, MMC problem resolution advice, STCW compliance and VA GI-Bill questions, contact MITAGS Student Services Coordinator Victor Tufts toll free at (877)725-1194 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.

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:

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 – 8/21/17, 10/16/17

AIS-1 – Automatic Identifications Systems Orientation: Contact Admissions

ARPA-OIC – Automated Radar Plotting Aids: 8/8/17, 9/26/17, 1/16/18

AZIPOD 2-Day – 10/16/17

BRM-35 – Bridge Resource Management: 6/19/17, 9/25/17, 11/13/17, 2/26/18

BRMP –Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 7/20/17, 11/14/17, 1/16/18, 2/22/18, 3/29/18

BRMP-EMR –Bridge Resource Management for Pilots with Emergency Shiphandling: Contact Admissions

BRMP-Refresher – 7/17/17, 9/12/17, 10/18/17

BT – Basic Safety Training: 8/14/17, 10/9/17, 1/15/18

BT-Revalidation (2-day) – 6/20/17, 8/21/17, 9/26/17, 11/8/17, 12/12/17

BT-Refresher (3-day) – 6/19/17, 8/20/17, 9/25/17, 11/8/17, 12/11/17

CHS-OIC – Cargo Handling Basic: 10/30/17

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]

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

ADVSTB-CMM – Advanced Stability: 6/12/17, 7/31/17, 10/2/17, 12/11/17, 1/29/18

ADVWX-CMM – Advanced Meteorology: 6/5/17, 8/7/17, 9/25/17, 12/4/17, 1/22/18, 3/12/18

CHS-CMM – Advanced Cargo Operations (2 weeks): 10/9/17

ECDIS – Electronic Chart Display Information System: 6/26/17, 8/14/17, 9/18/17, 1/15/18, 3/26/18

LMS – Leadership and Managerial Skills (Management Level – Formerly MCL-CMM) 6/19/17, 8/21/17, 9/11/17, 1/8/18, 2/19/18

MPP-CMM – Marine Propulsion Plants: 11/27/17, 3/5/18

SEC-APPS – Practical Defense Tactics: 7/31/17, 11/6/17

SHMGT-CMM- Ship Management (2 weeks): 10/30/17

SHS-ADV-I-CMM – Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 6/5/17, 7/17/17, 7/31/17, 8/14/17, 9/11/17, 10/2/17, 10/30/17, 12/4/17, 1/15/18, 2/5/18, 3/5/18, 3/19/18

SHS-ADV-II-CMM – Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 6/12/17, 7/24/17, 8/7/17, 8/21/17, 9/18/17, 10/9/17, 11/6/17, 12/11/17, 1/22/18, 2/12/18, 3/12/18, 3/26/18

**SHS-ADV-I & II now approved to include SAR-CMM assessments at MITAGS effective immediately**

VPEN-CMM – Voyage Planning & Electronic Navigation: 10/23/17, 3/19/18

WKP-CMM – Advanced Watchkeeping: 11/13/17

CNAV-OIC – Celestial Navigation: 11/6/17

CONT PLNG – Contingency Planning Workshop: Contact Admissions

CRISIS-COMMS – Crisis Communications: 2/19/18

CRSMGT – Crisis Management and Human Behavior – 7/11/17

CDMGT – Crowd Management – 7/10/17

CSE – Confined Space Entry: 7/26/17, 1/15/18

DDE – Great Lakes: 6/5/17, 1/22/18

DPA – Contact Admissions

ECDIS-OIC – Contact Admissions

ECDIS for Pilots – 11/14/17, 2/20/18

ERM – Engine Resource Management: 7/10/17, 8/28/17, 10/16/17, 12/4/17

FF-BADV – Fire Fighting Combined Basic & Advanced: 8/14/17, 10/9/17, 1/15/18

FF-ADV-REV – Advanced Fire Fighting Revalidation & Refresher: 6/22/17, 8/23/17, 9/28/17, 11/6/17, 12/14/17

FSM – Fatigue, Sleep, & Medications: 9/12/17

GL-Pilot – Great Lakes Pilotage Familiarization: 1/19/18

GMDSS – Global Maritime Distress and Safety System: 8/21/17, 3/5/18

HAZ – Hazardous Materials (5 day): 6/26/17, 8/28/17, 11/27/17

LAP- 9/11/17, 2/26/18

LAP-Great Lakes – License Advancement Program – Great Lakes: 1/22/18

LAP-ORG3rd – License Advancement Program for Original 3rd Mate, Oceans, Any Gross
Ton License: 6/5/17, 8/7/17, 12/4/17

LEG – Legal Aspects of Pilotage: 9/13/17

LNG-TPIC – 12/4/17

LTS –Leadership and Teamworking Skills (Formerly MCL-OIC): 8/15/17, 9/25/17 (*2-Evening Session)

MEECE – Management of Electrical and Electronic Control: 7/17/17, 8/14/17, 10/23/17, 12/11/17

MED-PIC – Medical Person in Charge: 7/10/17, 9/11/17, 10/23/17, 1/22/18, 3/19/18

MED-PIC-REF– Medical Person in Charge Refresher: 6/26/17, 8/28/17, 11/13/17, 12/4/17, 1/8/18

MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 9/11/17, 10/23/17, 11/27/17, 1/22/18, 3/19/18

MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Transportation Drug & Alcohol Testing: 6/12/17 (Evening), 6/24/17, 7/16/17, 8/9/17 (Evening), 8/25/17, 9/30/17, 10/28/17, 12/16/17, 1/13/18, 1/27/18, 3/5/18

MSA –Maritime Security Awareness: Contact Admissions

[MSC – Military Sealift Command Courses]

MSC-CBRD-1 – Military Sealift Command Chemical, Biological, Radiological Defense Orientation (Basic): 6/9/17, 8/9/17, 10/2/17, 2/23/18

MSC-DC – Military Sealift Command Damage Control: 6/7/17, 8/7/17, 10/3/17, 2/21/18

*MSC-ENVPRO – 6/4/17, 8/6/17, 10/1/17

*MSC-FF-HELO – 6/5/17, 8/13/17, 10/16/17

MSC-SMA – Military Sealift Command Small Arms Qualification: 6/12/17, 7/17/17, 8/13/17, 10/9/17, 1/8/18, 2/26/18

*MSC-Security Watch Basic – 6/10/17, 8/10/17, 10/5/17, 2/24/18

*MSC-Security Watch Advanced – 6/16/17, 7/21/17, 8/12/17, 10/7/17, 1/12/18, 3/2/18

*MSC-Ship’s Reaction Force – 6/17/17, 7/24/17, 8/18/17, 10/13/17, 1/13/18, 3/3/18

NSAP-MMP – Navigational Skills Assessment Program-MM&P – 6/13/17, 6/19/17, 7/31/17, 8/14/17, 10/2/17, 1/22/18, 1/24/18

ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal: 8/17/17, 9/25/17, 1/15/18

ROR-1N – Radar Observer Renewal Evening Classes: 6/7/17, 6/21/17, 7/12/17, 7/26/17, 8/9/17, 8/23/17, 9/20/17, 10/4/17, 10/18/17, 11/1/17, 11/8/17, 11/15/17, 11/29/17, 12/6/17, 12/13/17, 1/10/18, 1/31/18, 2/7/18, 2/21/18, 3/7/18, 3/21/18

ROU-OIC – Radar Observer Program – Unlimited: 7/31/17, 11/27/18, 1/8/18

SAR-OIC – Search & Rescue – 10/16/17

SHS-BAS-OIC – Basic Shiphandling: 8/28/17, 10/23/17, 1/29/18

SHS-EMR5 – Emergency Shiphandling-5 Day – 6/26/17, 8/7/17, 9/25/17, 11/27/17, 2/19/18

SMS – Contact Admissions

STB-OIC – Ship Construction and Basic Stability: 8/7/17, 1/22/18

TCNAV/CO – Terrestrial Navigation and Compasses: 7/10/17, 1/29/18

TPIC – Tankerman Person in Charge: 8/7/17, 2/12/18

TRAC-TUG-2: 6/29/18

TTT – Contact Admissions

VPDSD – Vessel Personnel with Designated Security Duties: Contact Admissions

VSO – Vessel Security Officer: 7/13/17, 9/6/17, 2/14/18

WKP-OIC – Watchkeeping (Operational Level): 10/2/17, 2/19/18

WX-OIC –Meteorology (Operational Level): 9/11/17, 3/19/18

Back to Stories Covered


Spring 2017

For registration, please contact our registrar, Mary McGhee, at 206.838.1126 or You can also view our schedule and enroll online at

May 2017

31-2 Security Officer – Vessel, Company, and Facility

June 2017

5-9 Medical Care Provider
5-9 Basic Shiphandling
5-16 Medical Person-In-Charge
10-12 Basic Training Refresher
12-16 Basic Training
12-16 Cargo Handling and Stowage – Operational Level
19th Vessel Personnel w/ Designated Security Duties
20th Radar Renewal
19-22 Advanced Firefighting
19-23 Advanced Watchkeeping
19-23 Leadership & Managerial Skills
24-26 Basic Training Refresher
26-30 Engine Resource Management
27-29 Integrated Electronic Navigation

Back to Stories Covered

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 © 2017. 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