Wheelhouse Weekly – November 09, 2001

November 9th 2001


Bridging the Information Gap With E-NewsYou Can Use

Volume5. . . . . Number 45. . . November 9, 2001





The Congressional Information Bureau reports that the Senate is likelyto soon begin consideration on S. 1214, the Port and Maritime SecurityAct of 2001. The bill cleared the Commerce, Science and TransportationCommittee in September (SR 107-64). Amendments are expected when floorconsideration commences.

One such amendment may contain language which would mandate utilizationof US mariners on certain foreign-flag cargo vessels entering US seaports.

During a press conference last week, Sen. Bob Graham (D-FL), co-sponsorof S. 1214, stressed the fact that America’s seaports represent a criticalcomponent of US economy and infrastructure, yet less than 3 percent ofthe 16,000 containers entering the country daily are monitored. There isno federal security or guidelines for our ports, he noted. US port managementsystem has fallen behind the rest of the world.

Also attending the press conference was USCG Commandant Admiral JamesLoy who pointed out that seaport and maritime security is and must be theresponsibility not only of federal agencies, but also of states, localitiesand the private maritime sector. Maritime security leadership must be blended.

He briefed reporters on four major initiatives of the USCG since theSeptember 11 attacks:
    Control movement of vessels to and from the US;
    Increased USCG presence at ports;
    Inventory of critical infrastructure;
    Outreach to ports, state, local and private sector.

On the subject of how commercial vessels approaching US ports are treatednow as compared prior to September 11, Admiral Loy said that there is aheightened examination of cargo awareness, profile of vessels and controlof personnel on board.

Concerning reports that the USCG may be brought under the jurisdictionof the Defense Department rather that the Department of Transportation,Admiral Loy discounted the idea, noting that the organizational profilenow in place is just right. However, he did disclose that on or about November7, the USCG will be using US Navy employees and gunboats to increase security.

MM&PWheelhouse Weekly



MARAD has issued the following advisory to operators of US-flag and effectiveUS-controlled vessels and other maritime interests regarding maritime industryreporting of suspected/actual terrorist incidents. This USCG message wasoriginally sent to all USCG units on Oct 31.

This message is to provide the maritime industry with one national telephonenumber (800-424-8802) to report suspected and actual terrorist incidents.

The National Response Center (NRC) is the central point of contact forall oil, chemical, radiological, biological and etiological releases inthe US. These substances may potentially be used in a terrorist incident,and given the existing capabilities, the NRC can serve as an effectiveclearinghouse for notification of terrorism incidents.

While it may be difficult to predict and prevent a terrorist attack,certain steps can be implemented to minimize the chance that the attackwill disrupt vessel/port operations. USCG HQ is working with industry,field units, and other law enforcement agencies to develop and communicatethe best practices for prevention.

The FBI and USPS have published guidance on their websites that providetell-tale signs for identifying suspicious packages. Further, some cruiseship companies have set up satellite mail processing trailers to minimizethe impact of an anthrax threat on both the vessel and terminal operations.

Upon notification of a potential terrorist incident the NRC will connectthe caller to the FBI’s Strategic Intelligence and Operations Center (SIOC),who will coordinate with other agencies to perform an immediate assessmentof the threat credibility.

In some instances, the FBI may be able to verify that the report isa false alarm or hoax and requires no response.  Other cases may requirean on-scene assessment by the FBI and other federal, state and local officials.In conjunction with the threat assessment, the NRC will also notify otherNRT response agencies under existing protocols.

In addition to oil and hazardous substance releases, the NRC shouldbe notified of any suspected terrorist incident, particularly those affectingtransportation systems. Units should ensure all reports of suspected oractual incidents are reported to the NRC at 800-424-8802 or 202-267-2675.

MM&PWheelhouse Weekly



Florida Governor Jeb Bush announced November 1 that the Florida NationalGuard will be used to protect port and nuclear plants to provide enhancedsecurity at “high risk” facilities. Four Florida seaports that have a highlevel of cruise ship traffic and high volumes of fuel and hazardous materialsreceived Florida National Guard protection.

Funding was provided by shifting $5 million from the Coastal ProtectionTrust Fund. Up to 335 guard personnel will be assigned by November 9 tothe Ports of Miami, Everglades, Tampa, and Canaveral. They will be usedto provide assistance with passenger and baggage screenings, as well asenhancing security levels at the perimeter and storage areas of the ports.

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Many US maritime interests have urged the Senate to include repeal of theAlternative Minimum Tax (AMT) in the fiscal stimulus package currentlyunder consideration.

In a letter to Sen. John Breaux (D-LA.), maritime labor, ocean carriers,shipbuilding interests and organizations, said that the AMT has severelyhampered the industry in its ability to compete with foreign companieswho pay little or no corporate income tax.

In particular, the November 1 letter said that AMT discourages Americanparticipation in capital intensive businesses, like the maritime industry,that are vital to the nations economic and security interests.

Among others, the letter is being endorsed by: American Maritime Congress,Central Gulf Lines, Crowley Maritime Corporation, MEBA, MM&P, MaritimeInstitute for Research and Industrial Development, Matson Navigation Company,Inc., SIU, Shipbuilders Council of America, Transportation Institute andWaterman Steamship Corporation.

MM&PWheelhouse Weekly



The Department of Defense has completed its review of the
proposals by General Dynamics Corp. and Northrop Grumman Corp. to acquireNewport News Shipbuilding Inc.

The DoD concluded that the proposal by General Dynamics would eliminatecompetition for nuclear submarines, resulting in a monopoly. Additionally,the acquisition would harm competition for surface combatants and for thedevelopment of emerging technologies for both nuclear submarines and surfaceships.

The department determined that the benefits and savings offered by eachtransaction were comparable. The Northrop Grumman transaction has the additionalbenefit of preserving competition. DoD’s views have been communicated tothe
Department of Justice.

MM&PWheelhouse Weekly




Openings in classes through the end of February 2002

Remainder 2001

  • 11/26-30: BRM, TPIC, HAZ
  • 12/1: ROR-1
  • 12/3-7: BRM, FF-ADV
  • 12/10-21: GMDSS
  • 12/10-14: BRM, COMP-NET, DCS
  • 12/15: ROR-1
  • 12/17-21: FF-ADV, ARPA, COMP-MAR
  • 12/17-20: SMA

January 2002

  • 1/7-18: GMDSS
  • 1/7-11: FF-ADV, BRM, ROP, TPIC
  • 1/12: CBRD-1, ROR-1
  • 1/14-18: FF-ADV, BST, BRM, ARPA
  • 1/19: ROR-1
  • 1/21-2/1: MED-PIC, GMDSS
  • 1/21-25: FF-ADV, BST, BRM, ECDIS
  • 1/21-24: SMA
  • 1/26: CBRD-1, ROR-1
  • 1/28-2/1: FF-ADV, BST,BRM, ARPA, COMP-NET

    February 2002
  • 2/4-2/8: HAZ, SHS-BAS, BRM, WX-HWA
  • 2/11-2/15: BST, SHS-INT I, ARPA
  • 2/11-14: SMA
  • 2/11-22: MED-PIC
  • 2/18-22: FF-ADV, SHS-INT II, COMP-MAR
  • 2-25-3/1: BST, SHS-EMR, BRM

Replacement Certificates

Certificates will only be reissued when there is a clear requirement mandatingpresentation of the certificate. Usually, this will be to support an applicationto the Coast Guard. In the case of company requirements, our operatingcompanies will accept the MITAGS database, as reflected in the halls, asproof of completion. Requests for replacement certificates should be forwardeddirectly to the Registrar via mail, fax, or Email. State clearly the specificrequirement that is driving the request. Actual certificates will onlybe reissued if the course completion is within the last five years. A letterwill serve as documentation for courses beyond five years.

FCC Changes

Effective Dec.1 2001, the FCC will only accept applications for licensesand renewals via the internet (, failure to keep the FCC advised of your correct address and/orfailure to submit your renewal in a timely fashion may well result in fines.For instance, if the FCC tries to contact you and the mailing is returned,you may be fined $7500.00 and have your license revoked. Renewal of yourlicense after it has expired may also result in a fine. The MITAGS websitewill be updated under GMDSS to reflect the changes.

Course Equivalency

Before submitting requests for equivalencies, members should ensure thattheir submissions are in accordance with established policy. Policy canbe found in hard copy at the halls or on the MITAGS website at www.mitags.orgunder Training Policy & Procedures.

Schedule Info

Schedule through June 2002 is being maintained on the website. Hard copiesof the January-June 2002 schedule have been mailed to the halls. Checkthe MITAGS website at: www.mitags.orgfor up-to-date info. For additional course info, contact Mary Matlock atvoice: 443-989-3226 or Email:

MM&PWheelhouse Weekly



Openings in classes through December

  • 12/3-7: ARPA
  • 12/10-14: ARPA, GMDSS, BRM
  • 12/17-21: ARPA, BRM

The first Medical Person-In-Charge course will commence on February 18,2002 in Seattle. Successful candidates will receive STCW certificates inElementary First Aid, Medical First Aid Provider and Medical Person inCharge.

Registration is available on-line at

For further info, contact:

    Gregg Trunnell, Director Pacific Northwest Maritime Institute 2333 Third Avenue Seattle, WA 98121-1711

Phone: 206-239-9965; Fax: 206-441-2995; Email:

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MM&PWheelhouse Weekly

The MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly is the officialelectronic newsletter of the International Organization of Masters, Mates,and Pilots, ILA, AFL-CIO, 700 Maritime Blvd., Linthicum Heights, MD 21090-1941.Phone: 410-850-8700; Fax: 410-850-0973; Email: further info contact John Peige at Wheelhouse Weekly is sent via Email to MM&P-contracted vesselsat sea, broadcast worldwide via FEC marine telex and is posted on our webpage under “News” at:
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