Wheelhouse Weekly – Nov. 10, 2015

November 10th 2015

Volume 20 . . . Number 45. . . Nov. 10, 2015


In this issue:

International News:



News for MM&P Members:


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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 Wednesday, Nov. 11, for Veterans Day. Additionally, all MM&P union halls, the MM&P Plan Office, the MM&P Federal Credit Union and MM&P headquarters will be closed on Thursday and Friday, Nov. 26 and 27, for Thanksgiving. Day.

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The House of Representatives has again passed defense authorizations legislation that includes a much-needed increase in funding for the Maritime Security Program (MSP) for Fiscal Year 2016. Under the terms of the legislation, in Fiscal Year 2016 each vessel in the Maritime Security Program would be authorized to receive $3.5 million rather than the currently authorized $3.1 million.

An earlier version of the defense bill had been vetoed by the President for budgetary reasons having nothing to do with MSP. The President has indicated he will sign the new legislation.

The defense authorizations legislation is expected to be considered and passed by the Senate prior to the Congressional Thanksgiving recess. 

The effort will then shift to the appropriations process, when we will work to ensure that the newly authorized money for MSP is made available.

In a further demonstration of support for MSP, the legislation passed by the House states that "dedicated and enhanced support is necessary to stabilize and preserve the Maritime Security Fleet program, which provides the Department of Defense with on-demand access to world class, economical commercial sealift capacity; assures a U.S.-flag presence in international commerce; supports a pool of qualified U.S. merchant mariners to crew U.S.-flag vessels during times of war or national emergency; and serves as a critical component of our national security infrastructure."

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The House of Representatives has joined the Senate in passing legislation to renew the operations of the Export-Import Bank of the United States for four years. The reauthorization language is included in the broad surface transportation legislation passed by both chambers. It is now the responsibility of a small group of House and Senate conferees to reconcile the differences in the two bills covering the surface transportation programs so the legislation can be sent to the President for his signature.

At least 50 percent of the products exported with Export-Import Bank financing must be transported on U.S.-flag vessels.

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Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), a powerful advocate for the U.S.-flag fleet during a long and distinguished Congressional career, was honored by American maritime labor unions last week at an event that was held at the headquarters of the Marine Engineers’ Beneficial Association (MEBA). The senator announced last year that she will not seek reelection when her current term finishes at the end of 2016. Mikulski has served in Congress since 1977.

"The event gave maritime the opportunity to thank her for all her efforts on behalf of the entire industry," said MM&P Chief of Staff Klaus Luhta. "The senator assured us that even in retirement she would not be going far and would continue to educate her colleagues on the importance of a strong American maritime industry."

Mikulski is a trailblazer: she is both the longest-serving woman in Congressional history and the first to head the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee. An even-handed and outspoken lawmaker, she is widely respected by colleagues on both sides of the aisle.

"We are greatly indebted to her for her many interventions in Congress on behalf of our industry," said MM&P President Don Marcus. ‘We salute her efforts to preserve the U.S.-flag fleet. Her knowledge of the American Merchant Marine and the ‘heroes in dungarees’ is unsurpassed in Congress, and her outstanding voting record and service to the American people deserve our undying appreciation."

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In New Jersey the battle has resumed over a proposed $600 million offshore liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal which is supported by industry but opposed by environmentalists and fishermen. Opponents of the terminal, which would be sited off the New Jersey and New York coasts, slammed the plan last week as a dangerous source of pollution. Supporters, including those who see it as an opportunity to boost local employment, say it would also lower home heating bills in winter.

The terminal would be sited in U.S. waters 19 miles off Jones Beach, N.Y., and 29 miles off Long Branch, N.J. MARAD has the responsibility to make a final decision. The governor of either state could, however, veto any plan.

MM&P Secretary-Treasurer Steve Werse, who attended the hearings on the proposal, said the project will help the maritime trades. "This project creates good paying, local jobs–the kind of jobs you can raise a family on, the kind of jobs that are worth having," he said. "This project will also reduce energy costs for working families during the cold winter months."

Coverage of the hearing was reported by the Associated Press.

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The International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) has established a new task force to fight attempts to undercut national maritime cabotage statutes such as the Jones Act.

Cabotage laws, which reserve a portion of national maritime trade to a country’s own domestic mariners and fleets, are in place in some 47 countries, the ITF says. But there is a growing chorus of calls to undercut or barter away national cabotage statutes, in particular in the context of international trade deals such as the TTP, TISA, the TTIP and CETA.

MM&P and MEBA were among the unions that participated in the first meeting of the new ITF cabotage task force at the end of October. Other participants represented unions based in Norway, Australia, Canada, Nigeria, Greece and Brazil.

The task force will work to preserve and promote cabotage statutes by educating members of the public about the risks inherent in outsourcing domestic shipping to the lowest bidder. The task force will also provide support to affiliated maritime unions in countries that are developing cabotage or are fighting off attacks on their own domestic systems.

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Maersk Line has announced it will cut costs, reduce its workforce by approximately 20 percent and cancel orders for the Triple-E megaship as a result of slowing trade.

Maersk Line CEO Soren Skou told reporters in a conference call last week that the company has made the decisions because demand has weakened, in part because of China’s slowing economy, and that Asia to Europe trade has dropped. Skou said that the trade in raw materials headed to China from West Africa and Latin America has also slowed.

The company says that over the course of the next two years, it will save $250 million in sales and administrative costs and cut its workforce by about 4,000 people, or 17 percent, mostly through attrition.

Maersk will also not exercise options to order six 400-meter-long mega-vessels, called Triple E’s, which can hold about 20,000 20-foot containers. In addition, the company announced it will lay-up at least one currently sailing Triple E during the winter shipping season.

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The U.S. Trade Representative last week released the full text of the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Publication of the 30-chapter, 12-nation pact on Nov. 5 starts a 90-day period before President Obama can sign the deal and send it to Congress for a vote.

AFL-CIO Trade & Globalization Policy Specialist Celeste Drake summed up the reaction of the labor community in a blog entitled, "TPP Text: Corporations Win, Working People Lose."

"It’s hard to believe but the text of the TPP is worse than we imagined when it comes to working families," she wrote. "As it stands the TPP deal is made by corporations, for corporations, at the expense of working people and our democracy."

"There are improvements, but we do not believe those improvements are significant or meaningful for workers," Drake says.

Among the provisions she singles out: rules on the origin of automobiles and parts that would allow a car or truck that is majority "Made in China" to qualify for TPP tariff benefits; watered down "Buy American" purchasing rules that would mean, for example, that the U.S. government would be required to treat bidders from every TPP country as if they were U.S. bidders when making many purchasing decisions; the lack of any enforceable currency manipulation rules; a provision that would allow more than 9,000 foreign companies to bypass U.S. courts and access a private justice system called Investor-State Dispute Settlement. This system allows companies to file suit over U.S. federal, state and local government policies they call "unfair." There is no limit on taxpayer funds that can be won by foreign companies in these cases.

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka blasted the "expansive new legal rights and powers" corporations could use under TPP to challenge workplace, environmental and financial protections. "Our policy recommendations and those of our trade reform allies in the environmental, consumer, public health, global development and business sectors were largely ignored," he said.

The TPP negotiation process has been weighted toward major corporations and away from labor, environmental and citizens’ groups. Out of 566 official trade advisers, 480 represented corporations and trade groups while fewer than 30 represented labor.

Over the past six years, the AFL-CIO has requested more than 100 specific changes to the TPP’s wording but has achieved scant success. As the organization said in a 2014 statement, "because the U.S. government treats trade deals differently than all other policies-it is allowed to negotiate rules that affect our lives in these areas behind closed doors. This is undemocratic."

The President and his staff are preparing a public relations campaign to sell the deal to the American people. The pact faces an uphill battle in Congress, as well as strong criticism from 2016 Presidential candidates Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump. 

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A message from Medical Services Officer Paul Manning on the eve of Veterans Day:

"Nov. 11 is the day set aside to honor those who serve in our military. This is only fitting in view of the contract–moral and written–that our service members make willingly, understanding that they may have to pay with their lives. Often our U.S. Merchant Marine gets overlooked on this day as they are civilians and "not in uniform." Unknown and unacknowledged are the risks taken by merchant mariners past and present." 

"A few years before I retired in 2005 after 20 years of honorable service in the U.S. Navy, I started to volunteer in the engine room of the SS JOHN W. BROWN, one of only two remaining operating Liberty Ships in the world. It was on the BROWN that I met World War II merchant marine veterans who were more than willing to show me what it took to run and maintain a triple expansion steam engine."

"Mariners like Joe Carbo, "Blackie" Blackston and Delacy Cook, just to name a few, were my mentors. I learned what these mariners experienced moving war cargo from one continent to another through waters thick with Nazi U-boats. I learned that the U.S. Merchant Marine suffered more loss of life per capita than the Army or the Navy during World War II. I learned that a mariner’s pay was stopped if his ship was sunk because his "voyage was ended." I learned to what extent the Allied victory in World War II was made possible by the sacrifice of the American Merchant Marine."

"I have been sailing for Military Sealift Command for just over nine years as a Medical Services Officer and the rewards have far surpassed the challenges. One thing I have witnessed is the same willingness to go into harm’s way, side by side with U.S. Navy combat vessels, to make sure that the Navy and our allies have the ordnance, fuel and food to fight and win in conflicts and contested waters around the world."

"Many of today’s credentialed merchant mariners are veterans who wore uniforms and still serve their country today. Some never wore a uniform but serve our great nation nonetheless. Collectively they are called Civilian Mariners, or simply CIVMARs.

"CIVMARs perform the same dangerous tasks as our great Navy: refueling at sea, handling ordnance and span wires parting, facing pirates and Iranian patrol boats to name just a few. CIVMARs are very much behind the scenes and often out of the public eye. They miss important holidays and many of the same life events that we all hold dear to ensure that the U.S. Navy has fuel, food and maybe some reminders of home in the form of mail. CIVMARs are fathers, mothers, grandparents and more, the same as many reading this message."

"This Veterans Day please take a moment to stop and reflect not just on those who have gone into harm’s way in uniform but also on those who faced the same perils and are not required to wear a uniform but take the same risks for a greater purpose: our Nation." 

— Paul Manning, MM&P member since 2011

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Thanksgiving is the ultimate comfort day and if you’re helping with the meal this year, we’ve got the union-made goods that will comfort you at the checkout, too. Put on a great feast for family and friends while supporting good jobs the union way!

Get your whole turkey from Butterball or Foster Farms. Pair it with a ham from Boar’s Head, Hormel, Farmland, Cook’s, Hillshire Farm, Thumann’s, John Morrell, Alexander & Hornung or Sahlen’s.

Get your potatoes and sweet potatoes from Ore-Ida, Homestyle Bakes, Mann’s, Betty Crocker or Dole. Consider stuffing by Stroehmann Bakery Products or Kraft. Round out the menu with cranberries and cranberry sauce made by the union brothers and sisters at Dole and Ocean Spray.

For the salad and veggie dishes, check out Amaral Ranches broccoli and romaine lettuce; Andy Boy broccoli, cauliflower and lettuce; Birds Eye and Mann’s green beans; Del Fresh mushrooms; Dole salads; Fresh Express salad; Gargiulo tomatoes; and Monterey mushrooms.

And for the all-important dessert course, try a pie from Entenmann’s or Marie Callender. For more ideas, go to:

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The regular Offshore Division union meeting in the Port of Los Angeles/Long Beach has been rescheduled to Tuesday, Nov. 18, directly after 1100 job call. All members in the area are encouraged to attend the meeting.

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Holiday parties are being scheduled at the MM&P union halls. We will publish more information when it becomes available. For now, the schedule is as follows:

Pacific Ports: San Francisco-Oakland (Joint party with UIG and MEBA), Friday, Dec. 4, at 1230, in the Oakland Union Hall; Los Angeles-Long Beach (Joint party with UIG and MEBA), Friday, Dec. 11 at 1230, in the LA/LB Union Hall; Seattle (Joint party with UIG), Thursday, Dec. 17, at 1200, downstairs in the Seattle Union Hall.

Please note: if you are planning to attend the Seattle party, you must call the hall so enough food can be ordered. The phone number of the Seattle Hall is: 425-775-1403.

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The Offshore Familiarization Course will be held in the Los Angeles/Long Beach Union Hall on Nov. 18-19, Wednesday and Thursday.

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.

If you are interested in participating in the course, please contact the hall at which the course has been scheduled. The phone number for the Los Angeles/Long Beach Hall is (310) 834-7201.

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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 – 4/18/16, 8/22/16, 10/17/16

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

ARPA-OIC – Automated Radar Plotting Aids:  1/26/16, 4/5/16, 8/9/16, 9/27/16

AZIPOD 2-Day – 2/29/16, 5/25/16, 11/14/16 

BRM-35 – Bridge Resource Management: 2/1/16, 4/4/16, 8/8/16, 10/31/16

BRMP -Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 2/29/16, 05/23/2016, 7/18/16, 11/14/16

BRMP-EMR -Bridge Resource Management for Pilots with Emergency Shiphandling:  3/2/16, 04/13/16

BT – Basic Safety Training: 1/25/16, 2/22/16, 04/11/16, 06/27/16, 8/15/16, 10/10/16

BT-Revalidation – 05/10/16, 8/22/16, 10/31/16

CHS-OIC – Cargo Handling Basic: 4/25/16, 11/14/16

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]

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

ADVSTB-CMM – Advanced Stability: 1/25/16, 3/28/16, 06/20/16, 8/1/16, 10/17/16

ADVWX-CMM – Advanced Meteorology: 1/4/16, 3/7/16, 06/06/16, 8/8/16, 11/7/16

CHS-CMM – Advanced Cargo Operations (2 weeks): 04/04/16, 10/24/16

ECDIS – Electronic Chart Display Information System: 11/30/15, 12/7/15, 1/11/16, 2/22/16, 3/21/16, 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) 11/16/15, 11/30/15, 12/7/15, 12/14/15, 1/18/16, 2/15/16, 2/29/16, 3/14/16, 4/4/16, 4/11/16, 5/23/16, 6/27/16, 7/11/16, 7/25/16, 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: 11/16/15, 05/02/16, 9/19/16

SEC-APPS – Practical Defense Tactics: 3/28/16, 6/20/16, 8/1/16, 10/31/16

SHMGT-CMM- Ship Management (2 weeks): 04/18/16, 10/3/16

SHS-ADV-I-CMM – Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 11/30/15, 1/11/16, 2/8/16, 3/14/16, 04/18/16, 05/09/16, 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): 11/16/15, 12/7/15, 1/18/16, 2/15/16, 3/21/16, 04/25/16, 05/16/16, 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: 11/30/15, 2/29/16, 9/12/16

WKP-CMM – Advanced Watchkeeping: 05/09/16, 9/26/16

CNAV-OIC – Celestial Navigation: 05/02/16, 10/24/16

CONT PLNG – Contingency Planning Workshop: Contact Admissions

CRISIS-COMMS – Crisis Communications:  3/2/16, 7/19/16

DDE – Great Lakes: 2/1/16, 6/6/16

DPA – Contact Admissions

ECDIS-OIC – Contact Admissions

ECDIS-Pilots – 3/2/16, 05/25/16, 7/20/16, 11/14/16

ERM – Engine Resource Management: 12/14/15, 1/4/16, 2/8/16, 3/21/16, 4/18/16, 5/9/16, 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: 1/25/16, 2/22/16, 04/11/16, 06/27/16, 8/15/16, 10/10/16

FSM – Fatigue, Sleep, & Medications: 1/26/16, 04/19/16, 9/20/16

GL Pilot – Great Lakes Pilotage Familiarization: 1/22/16

GMDSS – Global Maritime Distress and Safety System: 3/7/16, 8/22/16

HAZ – Hazardous Materials (5 day): 11/16/15, 6/27/16, 8/29/16, 12/5/16

LAP- 4/4/16, 9/19/16

LAP-Great Lakes – License Advancement Program – Great Lakes: 1/25/16

LAP-ORG3rd – License Advancement Program for Original 3rd Mate, Oceans, Any Gross
Ton License: 11/30/15, 3/7/16, 06/06/16, 8/8/16, 12/5/16

LEG – Legal Aspects of Pilotage: 1/27/16, 3/1/16, 4/20/16, 5/23/16, 7/19/16, 9/21/16, 11/15/16

LNG-TPIC – 12/7/15, 12/5/16

LTS -Leadership and Teamworking Skills (Formerly MCL-OIC): 12/1/15, 1/7/16, 4/4/16

MEECE – Management of Electrical and Electronic Control: 12/7/15, 1/11/16, 2/22/16, 3/28/16, 4/25/16, 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: 12/7/15, 1/4/16, 3/21/16, 05/16/16, 7/11/16, 11/7/16, 12/12/16

MED-PIC-REF- Medical Person in Charge Refresher:   2/1/15, 3/14/16, 05/02/16, 8/29/16, 10/3/16

MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 1/4/15, 2/15/16, 3/21/16, 05/16/16, 11/7/16, 11/28/16, 12/12/16

MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Transportation Drug & Alcohol Testing: 12/12/15, 1/9/16, 1/31/16, 3/19/16, 05/14/16, 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): 3/8/16, 6/10/16, 8/10/16, 10/17/16

MSC-DC – Military Sealift Command Damage Control: 3/5/16 (March is 4 evenings), 6/8/16, 8/8/16, 10/18/16

*MSC-ENVPRO -2/28/16, 6/5/16, 8/7/16, 10/16/16

*MSC-FF-HELO – 2/22/16, 6/6/16, 8/22/16, 10/31/16

MSC-SMA – Military Sealift Command Small Arms Qualification: 1/4/16, 2/29/16, 6/13/16, 8/14/16, 10/23/16

*MSC-Security Watch Basic – 2/26/16, 6/11/16, 8/11/16, 10/20/16

*MSC-Security Watch Advanced – 1/8/16, 3/4/16, 6/17/16, 8/13/16, 10/22/16

*MSC-Ship’s Reaction Force – 1/10/16, 3/5/16, 6/18/16, 8/18/16, 10/27/16

NSAP-MMP – Navigational Skills Assessment Program-MM&P – 12/7/15, 12/9/15

ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal: 1/25/16, 5/9/16

ROR-1N – Radar Observer Renewal Evening Classes: 11/18/15, 12/2/15, 12/10/15, 1/6/16, 1/13/16, 2/3/16, 2/10/16, 2/24/16, 3/9/16, 3/16/16, 04/06/16, 04/20/16, 05/04/16, 05/18/16, 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: 1/18/16, 2/1/16, 8/1/16

SAR-OIC – Search & Rescue – 04/18/16, 11/7/16

SHS-BAS-OIC – Basic Shiphandling:  2/15/16, 04/11/16, 06/27/16, 8/29/16, 10/17/16

SHS-EMR5 – Emergency Shiphandling-5 Day: 1/25/16, 3/7/16, 05/02/16, 8/1/16, 10/3/16, 11/28/16

SMS – Contact Admissions

STB-OIC – Ship Construction and Basic Stability: 2/8/16, 8/8/16

TCNAV/CO – Terrestrial Navigation and Compasses: 1/4/16, 7/11/16

TPIC – Tankerman Person in Charge: 2/22/16, 8/8/16

TRAC-TUG-2: Contact Admissions

TTT – Contact Admissions

VPDSD – Vessel Personnel with Designated Security Duties: 4/28/16

VSO – Vessel Security Officer: 2/15/16, 04/25/16, 7/13/16, 9/7/16, 10/22/16

WKP-OIC – Watchkeeping (Operational Level): 3/21/16, 10/3/16

WX-OIC -Meteorology (Operational Level): 2/29/16, 9/19/16


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

November 2015

9-13     Medical Care Provider
9-20     Medical Person-In-Charge
9-20     GMDSS
16-20   Leadership & Managerial Skills (waitlist only)
16-20   MEECE (waitlist only)
30-4     Leadership & Managerial Skills (waitlist only)
30-4     Engine Resource Management
30-4     MEECE (waitlist only)

December 2015

4th       Radar Renewal
7-11     ECDIS (waitlist only)
7-11     Medical Care Provider
7-18     GMDSS
14-18   Leadership & Managerial Skills (waitlist only)
14-18   MEECE

January 2016

4-8       Leadership & Managerial Skills (waitlist only)
4-8       Engine Resource Management
4-22     Terrestrial & Coastal Navigation
11th     Flashing Light
11-15   ECDIS
11-15   Train the Trainer
18-22   Leadership & Managerial Skills (waitlist only)
25-29   Radar Observer Unlimited
25-29   MEECE

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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