Wheelhouse Weekly – May 8th, 2018

Volume 23… Number 19… May 8, 2018


In This Issue:



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A government agency in Panama charged with investigating ethics violations and corruption has announced it will launch an inquiry into the Panama Canal Authority’s treatment of tugboat captains protesting forced overtime, unilateral manning cuts and other safety concerns.

The captains are members of the MM&P Panama Canal affiliate Union de Capitanes y Oficiales de Cubierta (UCOC), which represents about 200 tug captains and associated vessel personnel.

For months, they have been protesting dangerous working conditions on the canal.

Panama Canal Authority (ACP) managers have been cutting corners to reduce costs. Most recently, the ACP unilaterally moved to reduce the number of deckhands handling lines aboard tugboats in the locks from three to two.

Representatives of the Panamanian government accountability agency, the Autoridad Nacional de Transparencia y Accesso a la Informacion (ANTAI), met with the tug captains on April 24.

ANTAI Executive Director Angélica Maytín said afterwards it was the agency’s duty to launch an investigation into “the campaign mounted by Canal Administrator Jorge Luis Quijano.”

UCOC Secretary-General Cristóbal Fálquez said ANTAI had confirmed it would open an administrative investigation into all aspects of the stand-off.

The ACP is not providing proper staffing and equipment for the new larger locks, putting workers and safe shipping at risk, UCOC says.

Rather than address safety issues that have led to wear and tear on the locks, the death of a worker in November, and the collision of the U.S. Coast Guard cutter TAMPA, the ACP has begun disciplinary proceedings for 22 Panama Canal tugboat captains who raised questions about short-staffing and crew fatigue.

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American President Lines has announced the dates on which the five C-11s in the Maritime Security Program fleet will be replaced with newer vessels from the CMA CGM international fleet.

The PRESIDENT KENNEDY (CC NARMADA) is scheduled to be flagged in on or about June 27 in San Pedro, Calif.

It will replace the APL SINGAPORE which is tentatively scheduled to flag out on July 8 in Oakland.

The PRESIDENT FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT (APL HAWAII) is scheduled to be flagged in on July 3.

It will take the place of the APL PHILIPPINES, which will be flagged out in Busan the same day.

The PRESIDENT EISENHOWER (CC INDUS) is scheduled to flag in on July 18 in San Pedro.

It will replace the APL CHINA, which is set to flag out on July 23 in Busan.

The PRESIDENT TRUMAN (HS ROME) is scheduled to be flagged in to the U.S. fleet on or about July 27.

It will replace the APL KOREA, which is scheduled to be flagged out in Busan on August 3.

The PRESIDENT CLEVELAND (HS PARIS) will be flagged in on July 25 in San Pedro.

It will replace the APL THAILAND, which will flag out in Busan on or about Aug. 3.

APL says the scheduled dates and locations may be subject to change.

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The U.S. has issued a new advisory on GPS Interference for the Eastern Mediterranean Sea

The advisory reports “multiple instances of significant GPS interference… by vessels and aircraft operating in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea since March 18.”

The reports have been concentrated in the vicinity of Port Said, the Suez Canal and south of the Republic of Cyprus.

The interference is resulting in lost or otherwise altered GPS signals affecting bridge navigation, GPS-based timing and communications equipment.

Vessels in the area are advised to exercise caution and to report GPS disruptions or anomalies to NAVCEN at or by phone at 703-313-5900, 24 hours a day.

In related news, the U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT) has issued an alert regarding Russian state-sponsored cyber actors targeting network infrastructure devices.

U.S. maritime industry stakeholders are advised to thoroughly review and take appropriate action on US-CERT Alert TA18-106A at

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Patriot Contract Services (PCS) has recognized a number of MM&P and MEBA members who served aboard the Surge LMSRs.

“There are quite a few individuals who deserve recognition and appreciation for the time that they did spend and for their assignment completions on the YANO, SHUGHART, GORDON or GILLILAND,” the company said in a message to MM&P headquarters.

“Special thanks to those who were employed on the Surge contract that came from the Watson Fleet and did the extra assignments while they were on vacation, like Don Agold, Charles Carubia, James Mixon and Deatra Thompson.”

“Kudos and thanks to retirees who filled big gaps, like James Carbone, Steven Kanchuga, Glenn Strathearn and Jim Staples.”

“We had those who completed multiple, extended and repetitive assignments like Stephen Procida, Robert Kuskis, Keith Finnerty and William Bagby, who deserve our thanks. “

“And, especially, our final four—Michael LaBonte, John Denton, Edward Ruth and Daniel Corn–who maintained in the final leg, helped us finish strong and crossed the finish line.”

“To all the below, who were the OICs, CMs and Captains and to those in the MM&P leadership and to those dispatchers in the halls, THANK YOU!”

Patriot commends: Donald Lewis Agold, Darryl Edward Hagar, Michael Victor Parr, Michael Wilhelm Bacher, David Harlan Hudson, Brian Pemberton Patten, William Hugh Bagby III, Darin Lauren Huggins, Stephen Frank Procida, James Marple Buchanan, Steven Wayne Kanchuga, Edward Nelson Ruth, James Anthony Carbone, Roman Kasparyan, George Joseph Single, Charles Paul Carubia, Semyon Kleytman, Charles Michael Spradlin, Daniel Wayne Corn, Robert Kuskis, James Kevin Staples, Wilbur James Dahn III, Michael David LaBonte, Glenn David Strathearn, David Duncan DeCastro, Bruce Raymond Lachance, Deatra Marie Thompson, John Adamson Denton, Daniel P. MacLean, Russell Wilson, Keith Wayne Finnerty, Michelle Marie Mitchell, James Robert Zatwarnicki Jr., Gary Cameron Ford, James Louis Mixon, Thomas Carl Grose and Kevin Patrick O’Halloran.

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Members of the MM&P Federal Employees Membership Group (FEMG) aboard Military Sealift Command (MSC) vessels participating in Operation Pacific Partnership 2018 were restricted to ship without liberty after a warning that the Abu Sayyaf terror group was planning to abduct foreigners in the region.

MSC informed MM&P that it had imposed the liberty restriction for crewmembers aboard USNS BRUNSWICK and other ships participating in the operation.

It advised all vessels transiting the waters off Sabah, Malaysia, to exercise extreme caution.

The warning was issued after Philippine and Malaysian intelligence sources said they had uncovered a terrorist plot to kidnap foreign tourists in the Sabah Islands.

Among the areas targeted for kidnappings were Pulau Selingan, the famous turtle island; fish farms in Sandakan waters; and Pulau Langkayan in the waters of Beluran on Sabah’s east coast.

The plan was first revealed after the military killed an Abu Sayyaf leader, Muamar Askali, on April 10.

The last large-scale kidnapping in Sabah took place at the diving haven of Sipadan Island on April 23, 2000, during the Easter holidays.

In that incident, a total of 21 hostages were kidnapped from Sipadan and held in the jungles of Jolo for nearly six months.

“MM&P often challenges and has prevailed on grievances filed over liberty restrictions intended solely to regulate CIVMAR conduct ashore,” says MM&P Government Fleet Representative Randi Ciszewski.

“But liberty restrictions based on genuine, substantiated civil strife and Force Protection concerns are clearly different. Our members’ safety is always the Union’s primary concern.”

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Arizona teachers returned to their classrooms last week after the governor signed a bill to increase school funding and give teachers the first of what should be two pay raises.

Average teacher salaries in Arizona have fallen by nearly $9,000 since 2003, while funding per student has declined by 14 percent as legislators steered public funds to finance corporate tax cuts.

The new bill gives teachers a 9 percent pay raise next year, which, combined with a 1 percent raise already given, gets them halfway to the 20 percent hike they have called for.

The bill also increases state spending for schools, but it does not meet teachers’ demands that funding be restored to 2008 levels adjusted for inflation.

Some teachers reportedly wanted to continue the strike until the governor committed to additional school funding, but the largest teachers union, the Arizona Education Association, has advised them to return to classrooms, mount a second campaign later in 2018 and make their voices heard at the ballot box in the November mid-term elections.

The Arizona protest came on the heels of walkouts in West Virginia, Kentucky and Oklahoma, all states where legislatures have slashed school budgets to fund tax cuts.

Teachers in Louisiana, North Carolina and Nevada are also said to be weighing strikes.

In related news, Dana Goldstein of The New York Times reported in an article published on May 2 that teacher pay is so low in some U.S. school districts—including in Arizona—that officials are now recruiting in low-wage countries such as the Philippines.

“Recruited teachers hold J-1 visas, which allow them to work temporarily in the United States, like au pairs or camp counselors,” she reports.

“More than 2,800 foreign teachers arrived on American soil last year through the J-1, according to the State Department, up from about 1,200 in 2010.”

“Rather than increase salaries, districts may once again resort to recruiting internationally as a way to solve the teacher shortage,” American Federation of Teachers (AFT) President Randi Weingarten said in a statement.

She said that while the AFT “will fight for everyone working in our communities and educating our kids to have fair wages, rights and workplace protections regardless of where they’re from, the use of the J-1 visa program to fill long-term shortages is an abuse of an exchange program.”

Teachers in North Carolina may be the next to strike.

Three of the state’s largest school districts now plan to shut down for one day next week and some smaller districts plan to do the same because thousands of teachers are expected to rally for better working conditions and education funding.

In inflation-adjusted numbers, North Carolina teachers now earn 5 percent less, on average, than they did before 2008, while the state today spends 12.2 percent less per pupil than it did before the recession, ranking 39th in the nation.

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Scores of union members from numerous local unions joined MM&P members and officials on April 22 to honor Wendy Karnes, who has represented Masters, Mates & Pilots in the Port of Los Angeles/Long Beach for 20 years.

Karnes was among the honorees at the 24th Annual Cesar Chavez Labor Tribute Banquet, which recognizes “the men and women who dedicated a lifetime to their union and to the rights of all workers.”

Other awardees included James Spinoza, former president of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, who led the ILWU in the successful defense of union jobs during the historic Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) lockout of 2002, when employers locked out 10,500 longshore workers in 29 ports.

Karnes was originally hired in 1998 by former MM&P Vice President Paul Nielsen as a part-time employee.

“She promised that we could rely on her and that was the truth,” Nielsen said when he introduced her at the awards ceremony.

“She has proven her ability and dedication to our members over many years of service.”

Karnes grew up in a union family with strong ties to the waterfront. Her father worked at the port, including the Long Beach Naval Shipyard, and was a member of Teamsters Local 495.

Her mother was a vocational nurse and the office manager of an industrial clinic at the port before “trading in her stethoscope for a hard hat” to join International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 13.

Her stepfather is a former secretary-treasurer with the Marine Engineers’ Beneficial Association.

Besides her work with MM&P, Karnes is also a professor at Long Beach City College.

She has been awarded several degrees, including one in arbitration, negotiation and peace building.

As well as being a member of MM&P, she is a member of the California Teachers Association-American Federation of Teachers Faculty Guild 1521.

“I stand by their mission statement that champions fairness, democracy, economic opportunity, health care and high-quality public education,” she says.

She and her husband Joshua have a five-year-old son, Jaxon-Apollo.

“I would like to thank my parents for showing me that hard work and dedication pay off,” she said.

“I would also like to thank Masters, Mates & Pilots for giving me the opportunity to have a great job with good benefits.”

“I am able to provide for my family because of Organized Labor.”

MM&P President Don Marcus also spoke at the event.

In addition to saluting the well-deserved award presented to former ILWU President James Spinoza, Marcus expressed his gratitude for Wendy Karnes’ outstanding union work and for the honor of her being recognized by the Harry Bridges Institute, which organizes the annual award ceremony.

MM&P Vice President Paul Nielsen was a previous recipient of the award in 2001.

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The newest edition of The Master, Mate & Pilot has been posted on under “Latest News.”

In this issue:

— commendations to officers and crew of Maersk Kensington for extinguishing a fire in a cargo hold;

— three MLL ships report GPS interference in the vicinity of Port Said and the Suez Canal;

— mariners who responded to Nautilus Federation survey see little chance of commercially viable unmanned ships in short or medium term;

— MM&P and Navy salute first woman to sail as Military Sealift Command master;

— members of MM&P Federal Employees Membership Group “adamantly oppose” MSC crewing proposal;

— news from the CNIC Pilots, the MM&P Great Lakes & Gulf Group, and more.

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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 Monday, May 28, for Memorial Day.

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The contributions of American merchant mariners will be celebrated during the month of May at Maritime Day ceremonies around the country.

In San Pedro, Calif., the American Merchant Marine Veterans Memorial Committee will begin the day with a service at the American Merchant Marine Veterans Memorial (Harbor Ave. and 6th Street, San Pedro) followed by a luncheon at the Ports O’Call Restaurant (Berth 76).

There is free parking at the restaurant, which is located at 1200 Nagoya Way, San Pedro, with free transportation provided by the San Pedro Trolley between Ports O’Call and the Memorial from 1000 to 1300.

The Memorial is maintained by the committee and supported by your donations and by advertisements in the National Maritime Day program book.

Your support is extremely important. The deadline for placing an ad is May 7. Reservations are required for the luncheon.

You can reserve a seat or a table for lunch, book advertising space and donate, at:

If you have any questions, please contact Jerry Aspland: or by phone or fax to: 714-968-4409.

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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. 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 or

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.

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 – 8/27/18, 10/15/18

AIS-1 – Automatic Identifications Systems Orientation: 5/23/18, 8/29/18

ARPA-OIC – Automated Radar Plotting Aids: 9/25/18

AZIPOD 2-Day – 5/21/18, 10/15/18

BRM-35 – Bridge Resource Management: 6/18/18, 9/24/18, 10/29/18

BRMP –Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 5/21/18, 7/16/18, 12/19/18

BRMP-EMR –Bridge Resource Management for Pilots with Emergency Shiphandling: **Now included in BRMP-Refresher**

BRMP-Refresher – 5/23/18, 7/18/18, 9/11/18

BT – Basic Safety Training: 8/13/18, 10/22/18

BT-Revalidation (2-day) (Must have 1 year of sea service in last 5 years) – 6/18/18, 7/31/18, 8/27/18, 9/26/18, 10/31/18, 12/18/18

BT-Refresher (3-day) – 7/30/18, 9/26/18, 12/17/18

CHS-OIC – Cargo Handling Basic: Contact Admissions

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]

ADVSTB-CMM – Advanced Stability: 6/11/18, 7/30/18, 9/24/18, 12/10/18

ADVWX-CMM – Advanced Meteorology: 6/4/18, 8/6/18, 9/17/18, 12/3/18

CHS-CMM – Advanced Cargo Operations (2 weeks): 10/1/18

CM-OPS 1 – Chief Mate Operations – Week 1: 6/4/18, 8/6/18, 10/1/18

CM-OPS 2 Maersk – Chief Mate Operations II Maersk Specific: 6/11/18, 8/13/18, 10/8/18

ECDIS – Electronic Chart Display Information Systems: 6/25/18, 8/13/18, 11/12/18

LMS – Leadership and Managerial Skills (Management Level – Formerly MCL-CMM): 5/14/18, 6/18/18, 8/20/18, 11/26/18

MPP-CMM – Marine Propulsion Plants: 10/15/18

SEC-APPS – Practical Defense Tactics: 10/1/18

SHMGT-CMM- Ship Management (2 weeks): 10/29/18

SHS-ADV-I-CMM – Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 6/4/18, 6/18/18, 7/16/18, 7/30/18, 8/13/18, 9/10/18, 10/1/18, 11/5/18, 11/26/18

SHS-ADV-II-CMM – Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 5/14/18, 6/11/18, 6/25/18, 7/23/18, 8/6/18, 8/20/18, 9/17/18, 10/8/18, 11/12/18, 12/3/18

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

VPEN-CMM – Voyage Planning & Electronic Navigation: 10/22/18

WKP-CMM – Advanced Watchkeeping: 9/10/18

CNAV-OIC – Celestial Navigation: Contact Admissions

CONT PLNG – Contingency Planning Workshop: Not currently scheduled

CRISIS-COMMS – Crisis Communications: Not currently scheduled

CRSMGT – Crisis Management and Human Behavior – Not currently scheduled

CDMGT – Crowd Management – Not currently scheduled

CSE – Confined Space Entry: 7/23/18

CSE-AWR – Confined Space Entry Awareness: 5/24/18, 7/26/18

DDE – Great Lakes: 6/4/18

DPA – Contact Admissions

ECDIS for Pilots – 5/24/18, 8/27/18, 12/17/18

ERM – Engine Resource Management: 11/26/18

FF-BADV – Fire Fighting Combined Basic & Advanced: 8/13/18, 10/22/18

FF-ADV-Rev (1-day) (Must have 1 year of sea service in last 5 years) – Advanced Fire Fighting Revalidation: 6/20/18, 8/2/18, 8/29/18, 9/25/18, 10/30/18

FF-ADV-REF (2-day) – Advanced Fire Fighting Refresher: 7/28/18, 9/29/18, 12/15/18

FSM – Fatigue, Sleep, & Medications: 9/11/18

GL-Pilot – Great Lakes Pilotage Familiarization: Contact Admissions

GMDSS – Global Maritime Distress and Safety System: Contact Admissions

HAZ – Hazardous Materials (5 day): 5/21/18, 8/20/18, 12/10/18

IEN – Integrated Electronic Navigation – Not currently scheduled

LAP – 7/9/18, 9/17/18

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

LAP-ORG3rd – License Advancement Program for Original 3rd Mate, Oceans, Any Gross
Ton License: Contact Admissions

LEG – Legal Aspects of Pilotage: 9/12/18

LNG-TPIC – 12/3/18

LTS –Leadership and Teamworking Skills (Formerly MCL-OIC): 5/21/18

MEECE – Management of Electrical and Electronic Control Equipment (Assessments not included): 7/16/18, 12/3/18

MED-PIC – Medical Person in Charge: 7/9/18, 10/8/18, 11/26/18

MED-PIC-REF– Medical Person in Charge Refresher: 6/25/18, 8/20/18, 9/17/18

MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 10/8/18, 11/26/18

MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Transportation Drug & Alcohol Testing: 5/12/18, 6/21/18, 7/14/18, 8/30/18, 9/24/18, 10/13/18, 10/29/18, 12/1/18, 12/21/18

MSA –Maritime Security Awareness: Not currently scheduled

[MSC – Military Sealift Command Courses]

MSC-CBRD-1 – Military Sealift Command Chemical, Biological, Radiological Defense Orientation (Basic): 5/24/18, 6/8/18, 8/8/18, 9/12/18, 11/14/18

MSC-DC – Military Sealift Command Damage Control: 5/22/18, 6/6/18, 8/6/18, 9/13/18, 11/12/18

*MSC-ENVPRO – 6/3/18, 8/5/18, 11/4/18

*MSC-FF-HELO – 6/4/18, 8/13/18, 10/31/18

MSC-SMA – Military Sealift Command Small Arms Qualifications: 5/14/18, 6/11/18, 7/16/18, 8/12/18, 9/17/18, 11/5/18

*MSC-Security Watch Basic – 5/13/18, 6/9/18, 8/9/18, 9/15/18, 11/2/18

*MSC-Security Watch Advanced – 5/18/18, 6/10/18, 7/15/18, 8/10/18, 9/16/18, 11/3/18

*MSC-Ship’s Reaction Force – 5/19/18, 6/15/18, 7/20/18, 8/17/18, 9/21/18, 11/9/18

NSAP-MMP – Navigational Skills Assessment Program-MM&P – 6/25/18, 6/27/18, 7/31/18, 8/2/18, 8/28/18, 8/30/18, 11/12/18, 11/14/18, 12/17/18, 12/19/18

ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal: 9/24/18

ROR-1N – Radar Observer Renewal Evening Classes: 5/16/18, 6/6/18, 6/20/18, 7/11/18, 7/25/18, 8/8/18, 8/22/18, 10/3/18, 10/17/18, 10/31/18, 11/7/18, 11/14/18, 11/28/18, 12/5/18, 12/12/18, 12/19/18

ROU-OIC – Radar Observer Program – Unlimited: 9/17/18

SAR – Search & Rescue – (Now with OIC and CMM assessments): 12/17/18

SHS-BAS-OIC – Basic Shiphandling: 5/14/18, 8/27/18, 10/22/18

SHS-EMR5 – Emergency Shiphandling-5 Day – 5/21/18, 7/23/18, 9/24/18, 10/29/18, 12/10/18

SMS – Not currently scheduled

STB-OIC – Ship Construction and Basic Stability: Contact Admissions

TCNAV/CO – Terrestrial Navigation and Compasses: Contact Admissions

TPIC – Tankerman Person in Charge: 7/9/18

TRAC-TUG-2: Contact Admissions

TTT – Not currently scheduled

VPDSD – Vessel Personnel with Designated Security Duties: Contact Admissions

VSO – Vessel Security Officer: Contact Admissions

WKP-OIC – Watchkeeping (Operational Level): Contact Admissions

WX-OIC –Meteorology (Operational Level): Contact Admissions

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Spring 2018

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

May 2018
9th Hazwoper Refresher
11-12 Basic Training Revalidation
11-14 Basic Training Refresher (no class on Sunday)
14th Radar Renewal
14-18 Basic Training
14-18 Ship Construction and Basic Stability
15th Advanced Firefighting Revalidation
21-23 Search and Rescue
21-25 ECDIS
23-25 24-Hour Hazwoper
25th Vessel Personnel w/ Designated Security Duties (VPDSD)
29-31 Security Officer – Vessel, Company, and Facility
29-1 Advanced Firefighting

June 2018
2-4 Basic Training Revalidation (no class on Sunday)
4th Radar Renewal
4th Leadership & Teamworking Skills
4-8 Medical Care Provider
4-15 Medical Person-In-Charge
5-8 ARPA
11-14 Advanced Firefighting
11-22 GMDSS
11-22 Watchkeeping (Operational Level)
18-22 Engine Resource Management
22-23 Basic Training Revalidation
22-24 Basic Training Refresher
25th Advanced Firefighting Revalidation
25-29 Meteorology (Operational Level)
25-29 Leadership & Managerial Skills
26th Medical DOT

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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 © 2018. 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