Wheelhouse Weekly – November 14th, 2017

November 15th 2017

Volume 22… Number 46… Nov. 14, 2017


In This Issue:

News for MM&P Members:

Sad News:


Mark Your Calendar:

Other News:


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Leaders of the 32 unions that make up the AFL-CIO Transportation Trades Department (TTD) underlined their support for the Jones Act at the TTD Executive Council meeting on Nov. 9 in Washington, D.C.

“U.S. maritime cabotage laws–collectively known as the Jones Act–have served an essential role promoting our nation’s economic and national security since 1920,” the group said in a statement.

“The Act serves not only to create domestic maritime employment opportunities but also acts as a bulwark against an exploitative international shipping market that seeks to undermine labor rights and wishes to get a foothold into domestic marine service.”

“Without the Jones Act, domestic waterborne commerce would be controlled by foreign vessels that provide their mariners with dangerous working conditions, substandard pay and benefits. For these reasons, transportation labor stands ready to defend the Act from the same political forces that oppose all laws that meaningfully regulate the terms and conditions of work.”

The TTD Executive Council cited post-hurricane attacks on the Jones Act as “unfair criticism” that “allows politicians to conveniently ignore the very real problems that Puerto Rico faces.”

It called for “immediate, real aid” for the people of Puerto Rico, noting that “working people from dozens of unions have contributed their time, money and unique skills to relief efforts” on the island.

Members of the maritime unions, including the Civil Service mariners who operate the hospital ship USNS COMFORT and the crews of Jones Act vessels, have brought “real progress to the recovery effort,” the union leaders said.

TTD and its affiliated unions, including MM&P, also called for a large-scale nationwide job creation campaign offering safe, family-supporting jobs.

“At a time when the middle class eludes too many Americans, our vast transportation system has the power to create the kinds of jobs and economic growth that are so desperately needed,” said TTD President Larry I. Willis.

“We must also safeguard our transportation system from threats and ensure frontline workers have the training and resources they need to perform their duties.”

Transportation labor leaders discussed their priorities with Rep. Bill Shuster (R-Pa.), chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), a member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation.

TTD’s Executive Committee also took positions on the following transportation issues: driverless commercial vehicles with an eye to protecting workers and working conditions; holding foreign aircraft repair stations to the same high standards as domestic stations; protecting Amtrak and other passenger rail employees from assault; ensuring commercial airline pilots receive adequate training; and putting the proper policies in place to deal with sleep apnea and fatigue in the bus, rail and truck sectors

Transportation labor unions also renewed their commitment to shaping a national transportation infrastructure package that prioritizes middle-class job creation and economic growth.

“We are at a critical point in our history: the economy is changing, our infrastructure is failing, and too many Americans feel left behind by a system that favors the wealthy,” Willis said.

“Now more than ever, we must work with Republicans and Democrats to invest boldly in our nation’s transportation system to create and sustain the kinds of jobs working Americans can raise families on, and rebuild our country.”

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The Senate last week unanimously passed a bill that will give participants in federal employees’ 401(k)-style retirement savings program more options in managing their investments.

The bipartisan measure will now go to President Trump for his signature.

The TSP Modernization Act will allow U.S. employees and retirees to make multiple age-based withdrawals from their Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) accounts and remain eligible for partial withdrawals after they leave government as well.

Additionally, those who have left government would be able to make multiple partial post-separation withdrawals.

Those receiving monthly payments would be able to change the amount of their annuity at any time, instead of only once per year. Participants could change the frequency of payments as well.

As government employees, Civil Service mariners represented by the MM&P Federal Employees Membership Goup (FEMG) have the option of investing in the TSP.

TSP officials have said program participants want the flexibility the measure offers.

The National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association (NARFE) applauded passage of the bill, noting that lack of flexibility is one of the main reasons people move money out of the TSP.

“This bill will provide the proud men and women who serve this nation in the civil service and in the military greater control over their own retirement savings and the ability to plan responsibly for their future,” NARFE President Richard Thissen said in a statement.

“The changes, common in the private sector, are much needed and long overdue.”

Once the bill becomes law, TSP participants may need to wait for the board overseeing the retirement savings program to write the regulations that will allow the new withdrawal options to take effect.

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A group that advocates for federal employees says too little is known about the substances that will be used in new uniforms that have been ordered for employees of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and thousands of other federal workers.

Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) says new uniforms ordered by the U.S. for employees of land-management agencies could put them at risk for diseases and have harmful effects on the environment.

The news was reported in the Nov. 10 edition of the online newsletter Government Executive in an article by Eric Katz, “Employee Group Raises Concerns That New Park Service Uniforms Could Increase Disease Risk.”

The National Park Service (NPS) in October awarded a $60 million contract for the new uniforms for 35,000 of its own employees, six branches of the Department of the Interior and the USACE. The new uniforms are expected to be phased in starting next spring.

The contract calls for use in the fabric of antimicrobial materials. But the advocacy group PEER cites Food and Drug Administration (FDA) studies that have linked antimicrobial products to the spread of drug-resistant “super bug” diseases.

In a rule finalized last year, the FDA said that “certain active ingredients used in over-the-counter consumer antiseptic products intended for use with water … are not generally recognized as safe and effective.”

The contract requires the company that will supply the uniforms, VF Imageware, to consider potential harmful substances, but neither the company nor the NPS has responded to open records requests from PEER regarding what chemicals or other materials will go into making the uniforms.

Silver ions serve as the antimicrobial agent in some such clothing, but compounds such as triclosan and pyrethrins—which can lead to new bacteria resistant to disease treatment—are used in others.

Additionally, over time, researchers say the compounds can wear off after repeated washings to be released into public waterways and the food chain.

In some cases, chemicals used as antimicrobials can be carcinogenic to humans. In addition, they can actually increase the risk of insect-borne illnesses because their effectiveness is oversold and those using them neglect to take further protections.

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The AP Moller Maersk Group has released a report anticipating that profits for the full year for its Transport and Logistics Division will be around $1 billion, below the previously expected figure of up to $1.4 billion.

The report put the cost to the company of dealing with the Petya ransomeware attack that struck during the summer at $250-$300 million.

The results reported by the group did not include the one-off impact of charges relating to the planned sale of Maersk Drilling.

Maersk Line reported a net profit of $220 million in the third quarter, compared with a loss of $122 million in the same period in 2016.

In the same period, APM Terminals reported a loss of $267 million, in part due to the cyberattack but also because of increased competition and over-capacity in the port sector, the company said.

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New Jersey Republican Frank LoBiondo, a strong supporter of the U.S.-flag fleet and the American Merchant Marine, has announced he will retire from Congress in 2018.

LoBiondo serves on several House committees with jurisdiction over the policies and programs essential to the U.S.-flag shipping industry, including the House Armed Services Committee and the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee’s Coast Guard & Maritime Transportation Subcommittee.

He said last week that he will not seek reelection in 2018, pointing to growing partisan polarization on Capitol Hill.

“People before politics has always been my philosophy and my motivation,” the 12-term congressman said in a prepared statement.

“Regrettably, our nation is now consumed by increasing political polarization; there is no longer middle ground to honestly debate issues and put forward solutions,” he added.

“Today a vocal and obstinate minority within both parties has hijacked good legislation in pursuit of no legislation.”

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MM&P members who sail on the Great Lakes and on the Gulf Coast have ratified four contracts.

Two five-year contracts, one covering licensed personnel and the other covering unlicensed personnel, have been approved by members at Grand River Navigation Company (GRN).

MM&P members who work aboard the hopper dredges at Weeks Marine Inc. (WMI) have also approved a three-year contract.

MM&P members at Key Lakes have agreed to a nine-year agreement with an economic re-opener in 2023.

Each of these contracts benefitted from the direct involvement of rank-and-file members who actively participated in the process, said MM&P Great Lakes & Gulf Vice President Tom Bell

“For GRN, our team included Bridget Nagle, Mike Cannon, Mark Stanger, Jeff Porinchok, Scott Chouinard, Jim Whitlock, Lee Meeker, George Bouhall, Rich Gephart, Jim Shultz, Paul Braun, Craig Fishbough, Jeff Patrick and Seth Porter.”

“For negotiations at WMI, I want to thank Richard Marshall, Rusty Bradshaw, Sean Sheehy, Webster Wells and John Switzer.”

“At Key Lakes, a shout-out to Tim Alfson and Peter Walton,” Bell said.

“As we are all well aware, the ultimate strength of the union lies in the determination and participation of its members.”

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Members of the MM&P Offshore Group have approved the Matson Navigation Company C/V 700 MOU and the Columbia University MOA Extension Agreement.

The ballots were counted on Nov. 13 at MM&P headquarters.

The members of the International Ballot Committee were David Ryan and Ken Ryan.

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Robert J. Lowen, 91, who served as president of MM&P from 1978 to 1993, died at his home in Boca Raton, Fla., on Nov. 7.

“Captain Bob,” as he was called by family and friends, joined Local 2 in August 1952. He worked for many years with States Marine Lines, both ashore and afloat, before being elected MM&P secretary-treasurer in April 1971.

He served as president of MM&P until 1993. During this time, he was also a vice president of the International Longshoremen’s Association.

A native of Brooklyn, he served in the U.S. Navy during World War II, after graduating from the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point.

A memorial service will be held sometime in the future, his family said.

More information will be published in The Master, Mate & Pilot when it becomes available.

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An Indonesian port worker was killed on the night of Nov. 9 at the International Container Terminal Services Inc. (ICTSI) facility in Jakarta.

Union officials said the 40-year-old was crushed when a refrigerated container was dropped onto his truck, crushing the cabin.

This is the second workplace fatality reported at the Port of Jakarta in three weeks.

International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) President Paddy Crumlin said the accident could have been avoided if the ICTSI Jakarta terminal was properly run.

“While we cannot pre-empt the findings of an official inquiry, ICTSI has a demonstrably poor record when it comes to safety in the workplace,” Crumlin said, adding “the incident raises serious questions about ICTSI’s traffic management systems and specifically whether they had adequately separated moving vehicles from suspended loads.”

He said poor maintenance, equipment failure and fatigue may also have played a role in the tragedy.

The longshoreman who died, like many workers at the terminal, was employed by an outsource labor supply company.

“Low-paid outsource workers at ICTSI terminals are paid poverty wages and frequently work massive hours just to make ends meet,” Crumlin said.

“The link between high rates of outsourcing and bad safety outcomes is well documented,” he added.

The ITF last month launched a global report into ICTSI which showed a pattern of severe safety deficiencies across the Philippines-based company’s network of terminals, including a lack of adequate systems to separate people and machinery and a failure to safely manage the risks of suspended loads.

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Nearly 90 union organizers have been murdered in Guatemala since 2004.

The grim tally increased earlier this year, when unknown shooters killed Tomas Francisco Ochoa Salazar, an organizer for the meat packing union SITRABREMEN, as he left the factory where he worked.

Another member of the union was injured in the shooting.

The authorities have had little or no success in finding those responsible for any of the murders committed since 2004.

In the most recent case, co-workers say that after the meat packers’ union was recognized by Guatemala’s Ministry of Labor, Ochoa Salazar was offered bribes and even visas to the United States for himself and his family.

When he refused to accept the bribes, he was killed.

“Tomas was always concerned about defending the rights of the members,” said a spokesperson for the union who was quoted in an article by Jeff Abbott in The Progressive.

“He would never allow for the company to manipulate and divide us.”

Prosecutors assigned to investigate Ochoa Salazer’s killing have labelled it “a crime of passion” that had nothing to do with his work as a union organizer.

Union membership in Guatemala has steadily declined in the past two decades: in 1996, organized labor represented 12 percent of workers, but today the figure is only 1.2 percent.

In a 2013 report, the International Trade Union Confederation listed Guatemala as one of the worst countries in the world for workers and the “most dangerous country in the world to be a trade unionist.”

In 2017, Guatemala, Columbia and Qatar were named the countries in which being a member of a labor union was likeliest to get a person killed.

The Central America Free Trade Agreement, ratified in 2004 between the United States, the countries of Central America and the Dominican Republic, includes an agreement on labor rights that was inserted thanks to the intervention of the AFL-CIO.

But Guatemala has never implemented the protections it contains.

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MarEx is reporting that two men sailing aboard the Portuguese-flagged MSC GIANNINA have been arrested in the port of Genoa on suspicion of being involved in the disappearance of the ship’s master.

Captain Yuri Kharytonov disappeared on the night of Oct. 19.

Members of the crew who were interviewed by the authorities said he was acting normally when he was seen several hours before being reported missing.

An examination of his quarters showed no sign of a struggle.

Based on evidence recovered from the ship’s voyage data recorder, the authorities say Dmytro Savinykh and Oleksandr Maltsev may have conspired to attack and kill Kharytonov.

A blood trail on deck and blood spots on a uniform belonging to one of the two are also being considered evidence in the case.

Investigators have ordered DNA testing for the entire crew.

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Holiday parties are being scheduled at the MM&P union halls. The schedule is as follows:


Norfolk, Monday, Dec. 4, at The Dockside, 1230-1530;

Charleston, Tuesday, Dec. 5, at The Kickin Chicken, 1230-1530;

Boston, Friday, Dec. 15, in the union hall, 1100-1500;

Pompano, Monday, Dec. 18, 1230-1530, at Brew Fish Bar & Grill in Pompano Beach;

Newark, Thursday, Dec. 21, for both the Offshore Group & the Atlantic Maritime Group, at the Robert Treat Hotel, 1200-1700.


Houston, Friday, Dec. 15, at Brady’s Landing.


Honolulu, Wednesday, Dec. 6, 1000-1400, in the union hall;

San Francisco/Oakland, Friday, Dec. 8, 1215, in the union hall;

Los Angeles/Long Beach, Friday, Dec. 15, 1200, in the union hall;

Seattle, Monday, Dec. 18, 1200, in the union hall.

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The MM&P General Executive Board (GEB) will meet on the following dates in 2018: Feb. 21-2, May 1-2, June 26-7 and Nov. 7-8.

The meetings will take place at MM&P headquarters in Linthicum Heights, MD, unless otherwise noted.

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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:

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 – 4/16/18

AIS-1 – Automatic Identifications Systems Orientation: 3/19/18, 5/23/18

ARPA-OIC – Automated Radar Plotting Aids: 1/16/18, 4/3/18

AZIPOD 2-Day – 3/22/18, 5/21/18

BRM-35 – Bridge Resource Management: 2/26/18, 6/18/18

BRMP –Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 1/16/18, 2/22/18, 3/29/18, 5/21/18

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

BRMP-Refresher – 3/26/18, 5/23/18

BT – Basic Safety Training: 1/15/18, 4/9/18

BT-Revalidation (2-day) (Must have 1 year of seatime in last 5 years) – 12/12/17, 2/7/18, 3/6/18, 4/2/18, 4/30/18, 6/18/18

BT-Refresher (3-day) – 12/11/17, 2/7/18, 3/5/18, 4/29/18

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

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]

ADVSTB-CMM – Advanced Stability: 12/11/17, 1/29/18, 4/2/18, 6/11/18

ADVWX-CMM – Advanced Meteorology: 12/4/17, 1/22/18, 3/12/18, 6/4/18

CHS-CMM – Advanced Cargo Operations (2 weeks): 4/9/18

CM-OPS 1 – Chief Mate Operations – Week 1: 12/4/17

CM-OPS 2 Maersk – Chief Mate Operations II Maersk Specific: 12/11/17

ECDIS – Electronic Chart Display Information Systems: 1/15/18, 3/26/18, 6/25/18

LMS – Leadership and Managerial Skills (Management Level – Formerly MCL-CMM): 1/8/18, 2/19/18, 5/14/18, 6/18/18

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

SEC-APPS – Practical Defense Tactics: 3/12/18

SHMGT-CMM- Ship Management (2 weeks): 4/23/18

SHS-ADV-I-CMM – Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 12/4/17, 1/15/18, 2/5/18, 3/5/18, 3/19/18, 4/9/18, 4/23/18, 5/7/18, 6/4/18, 6/18/18

SHS-ADV-II-CMM – Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 12/11/17, 1/22/18, 2/12/18, 3/12/18, 3/26/18, 4/16/18, 4/30/18, 5/14/18, 6/11/18, 6/25/18

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

VPEN-CMM – Voyage Planning & Electronic Navigation: 3/19/18

WKP-CMM – Advanced Watchkeeping: 5/7/18

CNAV-OIC – Celestial Navigation: Contact Admissions

CONT PLNG – Contingency Planning Workshop: Contact Admissions

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

CRSMGT – Crisis Management and Human Behavior – 7/12/18

CDMGT – Crowd Management – 7/13/18

CSE – Confined Space Entry: 1/15/18

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

DDE – Great Lakes: 1/22/18, 6/4/18

DPA – Contact Admissions

ECDIS for Pilots – 2/20/18, 3/20/18, 5/24/18

ERM – Engine Resource Management: 4/23/18, 7/9/18, 11/26/18

FF-BADV – Fire Fighting Combined Basic & Advanced: 1/15/18, 4/9/18

FF-ADV-Rev (1-day) (Must have 1 year of seatime in last 5 years) – Advanced Fire Fighting Revalidation: 12/14/17, 2/6/18, 3/8/18, 4/4/18, 5/2/18, 6/20/18

FF-ADV-REF (2-day) – Advanced Fire Fighting Refresher: 12/9/17, 2/10/18, 3/3/18, 4/27/18

FSM – Fatigue, Sleep, & Medications: 1/16/18, 4/17/18

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

GMDSS – Global Maritime Distress and Safety System: 3/5/18

HAZ – Hazardous Materials (5 day): 11/27/17, 5/21/18, 8/20/18, 12/10/18

IEN – Integrated Electronic Navigation – Contact Admissions

LAP – 2/26/18, 7/9/18, 9/17/18

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: 12/4/17

LEG – Legal Aspects of Pilotage: 3/28/18

LNG-TPIC – 12/4/17

LTS –Leadership and Teamworking Skills (Formerly MCL-OIC): 5/21/18 (*2-Evening Session)

MEECE – Management of Electrical and Electronic Control Equipment (Assessments not included): Contact Admissions

MED-PIC – Medical Person in Charge: 1/22/18, 3/19/18, 5/7/18, 7/9/18, 10/8/18, 11/26/18

MED-PIC-REF– Medical Person in Charge Refresher: 1/8/18, 4/23/18, 6/25/18

MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 11/27/17, 1/22/18, 3/19/18, 4/16/18, 5/7/18

MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Transportation Drug & Alcohol Testing: 12/15/17, 1/13/18, 1/27/18, 2/5/18, 3/9/18, 4/5/18, 5/3/18, 5/12/18, 6/21/18

MSA –Maritime Security Awareness: Contact Admissions

[MSC – Military Sealift Command Courses]

MSC-CBRD-1 – Military Sealift Command Chemical, Biological, Radiological Defense Orientation (Basic): 2/23/18, 5/24/18, 6/8/18

MSC-DC – Military Sealift Command Damage Control: 2/21/18, 5/22/18, 6/6/18

*MSC-ENVPRO – 2/25/18, 6/3/18

*MSC-FF-HELO – 6/4/18

MSC-SMA – Military Sealift Command Small Arms Qualifications: 1/8/18, 2/26/18, 5/14/18, 6/11/18

*MSC-Security Watch Basic – 2/24/18, 5/13/18, 6/9/18

*MSC-Security Watch Advanced – 1/12/18, 3/2/18, 5/18/18, 6/10/18

*MSC-Ship’s Reaction Force – 1/13/18, 3/3/18, 5/19/18, 6/15/18

NSAP-MMP – Navigational Skills Assessment Program-MM&P – 1/22/18, 1/24/18, 3/29/18, 4/23/18, 4/25/18, 6/25/18, 6/27/18

ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal: 1/15/18

ROR-1N – Radar Observer Renewal Evening Classes: 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, 4/4/18, 4/18/18, 5/2/18, 5/9/18, 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: 11/27/18, 1/8/18

SAR – Search & Rescue – (Now with OIC and CMM assessments): 5/22/18

SHS-BAS-OIC – Basic Shiphandling: 1/29/18, 5/14/18

SHS-EMR5 – Emergency Shiphandling-5 Day – 11/27/17, 2/19/18, 4/2/18, 5/21/18

SMS – Contact Admissions

STB-OIC – Ship Construction and Basic Stability: 1/22/18

TCNAV/CO – Terrestrial Navigation and Compasses: 1/29/18

TPIC – Tankerman Person in Charge: 2/12/18, 4/16/18, 7/9/18

TRAC-TUG-2: Contact Admissions

TTT – Contact Admissions

VPDSD – Vessel Personnel with Designated Security Duties: 4/12/18

VSO – Vessel Security Officer: 2/14/18, 4/9/18, 7/9/18

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

WX-OIC –Meteorology (Operational Level): 3/19/18

Back to Stories Covered


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

November 2017

17th Leadership & Teamworking Skills
17th Flashing Light Exam
18-19 Basic Training – Revalidation
18-20 Basic Training – Refresher
20th Radar Renewal
20-22 Security Officer – Vessel, Company, & Facility
27-29 24-Hour HAZWOPER
27-1 Radar Observer Unlimited
27-1 Basic Shiphandling

December 2017

2-3 Basic Training – Revalidation
2-4 Basic Training – Refresher
4th Flashing Light Exam
4-8 Basic Training
4-8 Leadership & Managerial Skills
4-8 Medical Care Provider
4-15 Medical Person-In-Charge
4-15 GMDSS
8th HAZWOPER Refresher
11th Radar Renewal
11th Vessel Personnel w/ Designated Security Duties (VPDSD)
11-15 Construction & Stability (Operational Level)
11-15 Engine Resource Management
16-17 Basic Training – Revalidation
16-18 Basic Training – Refresher
18-20 Search & Rescue
18-21 Advanced Firefighting
18-22 ECDIS
20-22 24-Hour HAZWOPER

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