Wheelhouse Weekly – October 22, 2013

October 22nd 2013


– Bridging the Information Gap With E-News You Can Use –

Volume 17 . . . Number 43 . . . Oct. 22, 2013


Did you miss a week? Back editions of the Wheelhouse Weekly are available in the archives section.


President Obama signed legislation on Oct. 17 to reopen and fund the federal government through Jan. 15, 2014. The legislation contains a funding provision for the Maritime Security Program (MSP) that restores a $12 million shortfall anomaly in the program. This guarantees that each of the 60 U.S.-flag vessels in the MSP program will receive full funding from Oct. 1, 2013 through Jan. 15, 2014. It also means that all the ships currently participating in MSP will remain in the program during this period. 

“This is a significant victory for our industry, thanks in great part to the efforts of MIRAID in Washington, D.C., and to our members who took the time to contact their congressional representatives,” said MM&P International President Don Marcus in a message that was sent to the MM&P fleet on the day that Obama signed the measure.

“Your efforts made a difference. Thank you to everyone who contacted their members of Congress. Your voice has been heard and must continue to be heard. We will keep working to ensure that subsequent funding proposals include full funding for the Maritime Security Program.”

Marcus said that while we can take satisfaction in this victory, “the fight is not over as it will be necessary to continue working to eliminate the mandatory cuts to the Maritime Security Program called for by sequestration.”  

“Our challenges continue but we continue to fight,” he said. “Thank you for supporting your union, the U.S. merchant marine and our time-honored profession.”


The National Maritime Center (NMC) Regional Exam Centers (RECs) were open on Monday morning for business, following the end of the government shutdown which had paralyzed federal administrative functions nation-wide.

In other USCG news, NMC asks mariners with STCW endorsements to verify and update their contact information. Here is the official notice released by NMC last week.

“This notice serves as a request to merchant mariners with non-expired Standards of Training, Certification, and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW) endorsements to confirm their contact information with the National Maritime Center.

The regulation that implements amendments to the STCW Convention is expected to be published soon. In order to ensure timely delivery of documentation from the NMC that will result from this rulemaking, we are requesting that all mariners with non-expired STCW endorsements provide us with their most current contact information as soon as possible. If there have been no changes to your contact information (including mailing address, phone number, and e-mail address) since your last credential transaction, no action is required.

For questions, or if you are unable to access the link above, contact the National Maritime Center via or by calling 1-888-IASKNMC (427-5662).  


Members of International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA) Local 333 agreed Friday to return to work for 90 days while negotiators discuss the terms of the local contract that triggered a three-day strike last week in the Port of Baltimore. The strike shut down Seagirt and Dundalk public marine terminals. The port’s other ILA locals refused to cross the picket lines in solidarity.

The MM&P manned car carrier GREEN COVE arrived in the port of Baltimore Wednesday morning when the strike began. MM&P pledged support and honored the picket line. The longshoremen returned to work Friday evening and the GREEN COVE sailed for Rhode Island early Saturday morning following completion of cargo discharge.

The halt to the strike came after an arbitrator ruled that it violated the no-strike clause in the union’s coast-wide master contract with United States Maritime Alliance (USMX). An expedited arbitration hearing was held on Friday afternoon. 


Pairing the release of the Hollywood blockbuster “Captain Phillips” with a broader initiative aimed at educating decision-makers and the public about the American Merchant Marine is a good example of how movies can help increase awareness of important issues facing the nation, according to The Hill, the congressional newspaper that publishes daily when Congress is in session. 

MM&P member Captain Richard Phillips and the crew of the MAERSK ALABAMA are the subjects of a newly released film which chronicles their dramatic battle with Somali pirates in 2009. “The real-life Capt. Richard Phillips is… [working with] officials from the International Organization of Masters, Mates & Pilots (MM&P) to shed light on the merchant marine’s problems,” writes Kevin Bogardus,  staff writer for The Hill.

“The movie has grabbed people’s attention,” Phillips told The Hill. “It opens the door, but that is all it does. We have to… get the facts out there, so people know and make the right decisions.”

“You have got to think of the situation on the ALABAMA as a microcosm of what’s happening to our industry,” MM&P Secretary-Treasurer Captain Steven Werse told the Hill. “You are under siege and you need to fight to survive.” In public appearances with Phillips, the union has underlined the risks to national security implicit in any spending cuts to the Maritime Security Program and in a proposed change in food aid policy that would give officials in developing countries money instead of American-grown and U.S.-merchant marine shipped foods.

“We have reached a critical point where if we do any more outsourcing … we will not be there for the next war,” Werse says. And movies like “Captain Phillips” can be instrumental in getting the word out. “A lot of people get their news from Hollywood, not when they sit down with [“NBC Nightly News” anchor] Brian Williams at the end of the day,” The Hill quoted a Washington lobbyist as saying.

Phillips is expected to attend an Oct. 23 screening of the movie in Washington along with MM&P members and officials, Washington decision-makers, members of Congress and their staffs.


Three MM&P members were featured in a recent edition of ABC World News With Diane Sawyer centered on the anti-piracy training offered at MM&P’s training institute, MITAGS. Prize-winning ABC News Correspondent Pierre Thomas and a seven-person crew spent three hours earlier this month filming in the simulator. In the segment, which was broadcast last week, Captain Richard Phillips describes the training mariners receive at MITAGS.

MM&P members Conor J. Sullivan and Lillian M. Gallo, in the wheelhouse of a simulated containership, are called on during the course of the transmission to deal with an approach by two pirate skiffs. “There is no other way you can learn what you learn here,” Phillips told the reporters. 

MM&P President Don Marcus, who was interviewed for the broadcast, spoke about the importance of the Maritime Security Program (MSP) to American maritime readiness. “What the pirates couldn’t take away, Congress might,” he told ABC, describing how funding cuts to MSP “could cripple the supply lifeline for our troops overseas… They could be Armageddon for the U.S. Merchant Marine.” To see the ABC World News report in its entirety, go to:


John F. Reinhart has announced his retirement as president and CEO of Maersk Line, Limited (MLL). He will continue to lead the company until his departure at the end of January 2014. “MLL will always be present in my heart and thoughts,” Reinhart wrote to his colleagues. “I will be working with the MLL Board and leadership team to finalize a smooth transition plan for the future. MLL has a strong team and financial base, and the company is in position to continue its 30-year tradition of service and growth.” The membership of MM&P salutes John Reinhart and wishes him well in retirement. As CEO of our largest commercial employer, he has been a key advocate for the Maritime Security Program and for the employment of U.S. mariners.


The Pacific Maritime Institute is seeking an assistant director. The assistant director supervises all department heads and is responsible for daily administration, activities and operations of the school. Duties and responsibilities include: managing simulation training; coordinating, managing and administering all aspects of navigation skills assessment programs, to include resource management, financial planning, administration, and report processing; helping the director in managing the operational research division, including the simulators, simulation development and visual modeling; serving as instructor for various courses. Desired qualifications: degree in business admin, education, maritime technology or similar field; USCG License, 1,600 GRT or higher required, experience sailing as chief mate or master a plus. Tug Boat experience a plus. Minimum four years management-level experience in a professional, preferably academic and/or maritime environment. To apply for this job, send an e-mail to Bill Anderson, PMI Director:


The KP Alumni Chesapeake Chapter will host a Veterans Day Commemoration Dinner on Thursday Nov. 7, beginning at 5:30PM. MM&P is cosponsor of this annual event, which will be hosted at The Conference Center at the Maritime Institute, 692 Maritime Boulevard, Linthicum Heights, MD 21090. Special guest speaker is Rear Adm. Mark H. “Buz” Buzby, former Commander, Military Sealift Command. A hosted tour of the MITAGS Simulator Technology Center will be held at 4:30. There will also be business networking opportunities and industry table top exhibitors. The cost of the complete dinner program is $35 advance registration, $40 for payments received at the door. For more information, go to: or contact Gary G. Hicks,


The Offshore Familiarization Course will be held in Los Angeles at the MM&P LA/LB Hall on Nov. 13-14. If you are interested in participating in the course, please contact the Los Angeles/Long Beach Hall: 310-834-7201 or 310-834-6667 (fax). 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.


Public awareness of the merchant marine, and in particular of “what it takes” to become a merchant mariner, has been stoked by the release of “Captain Phillips,” which tells the tale of the crew of the MAERSK ALABAMA. In the Oct. 11 edition of his publication, Maritime Executive Publisher Tony Munoz saw an opportunity to describe the highly specialized training that licensed deck officers receive.

“It is important to understand that mariner training is not one-dimensional or a one-time event,” he quotes MM&P International Secretary-Treasurer Steven Werse as saying. “Mariners are trained for the many situations they may face on the high seas, including crisis management, vessel and port security and shiphandling. There is not one specific module which accomplishes this. In order to be a deck officer like Phillips, it takes a lifetime of commitment and education along with years of experience aboard ships.”

Phillips’ crisis was changing rapidly, and he went from a situation where the ship was out of his control to taking back control to being removed from the vessel. He had to maintain as much control as he could considering the fact that he was at the mercy of others. “His ability to deal with the constantly changing situation is about processing his training at MITAGS as well as being a seasoned officer,” Werse says.

Werse cites the importance of the MITAGS “Chief Mate to Master” program, which has a leadership component as well as a personnel management component, including teambuilding, motivation and psychology. “Remember, a ship works as a team,” he says. “As Captain Phillips has said many times, there were 18 other people on that vessel who deserve just as much credit.”


The 2006 Maritime Labor Convention (MLC) entered into force on Aug. 20. It has been described as the fourth pillar of international shipping regulations along with SOLAS, MARPOL and STCW.  The International Labor Organization consolidated a number of previous conventions in MLC 2006. It establishes minimum standards on conditions of employment, accommodations, health and safety, medical care, crew welfare, recruitment, working conditions and social security protection. MLC will be strictly enforced during port state control inspections, including the potential for more detailed inspections and possible detention where hazardous conditions may exist if ships are not to be in compliance. Visit for more information or to register for the MLC course.


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 Kelly Michielli, Admissions Coordinator, toll-free at 866-656-5568 or by e-mail: Why not try our on-line calendar to register for class:

AIS-1 – Automatic Identifications  Systems Orientation: 11/21/13

ARPA – Automated Radar Plotting Aids: 10/29/13

BRM – Bridge Resource Management: 12/16/13

BST – Basic Safety Training: 1/20/14

CONSTB – Ship Construction and Basic Stability: 1/27/14

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]

CMM-ADVWX – Advanced Meteorology: 11/18/13

CMM-ADVNAV – Advanced Navigation (=ECDIS & VPEN): 12/2/13

CMM-ADVSTB – Advanced Stability:  10/28/13

CMM-CHS – Advanced Cargo Operations (2 weeks): 11/4/13

CMM-ECDIS – Electronic Chart Display Information System: 10/28/13, 12/16/13

CMM-SHS-ADV-I – Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 11/4/13, 12/2/13

CMM-SHS-ADV-I I – Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 10/28/13, 11/11/13, 12/9/13

CMM-VPEN – 12/9/13

CMM-WKP – Advanced Watchkeeping: 12/16/13

CNAV –11/4/13

CONT PLNG – 11/5/13

ENVIRO-Regs Permit – Environmental Regulations Permit:

FSM – Fatigue, Sleep and Medications:  1/8/14

GMDSS – Global Maritime Distress and Safety System: 3/17/14

HAZ – Hazardous Materials (5 day): 12/2/13

LAP-ORG3rd – License Advancement Program for Original 3rd Mate, Oceans, Any Gross Ton License: 12/2/13

LEG – Legal Aspects of Pilotage: 1/22/14

MCL – Management, Communications and Leadership

MCL OICNW –Management, Communications, and Leadership OICNW level: 9/5/14, 10/7/14

MEDIA-RSP – Media Response Workshop:  11/6/13

MED-PIC – Medical Person in Charge: 12/2/13

MED-PIC -R– Medical Person in Charge Refresher: 11/11/13

MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 10/28/13, 12/2/13

MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Transportation Drug & Alcohol Testing: 12/7/13

MSC-CBRD-1 – Military Sealift Command Chemical, Biological, Radiological Defense Orientation (Basic): 11/20

MSC-DC – Military Sealift Command Damage Control (4 Evenings): 11/18-11/19

MSC -SMA – Military Sealift Command Small Arms Qualification:  11/11/13



MSC-SRF – 11/7-11/9

ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal: 10/28/13

ROR-1N – Radar Observer Renewal Evening Classes: 10/30/13, 11/13/13, 12/4/13, 12/11/13

SAR – 10/28/13

SEC-MSA –11/12PM, 12/10/13 PM

SEC-VPDSD – 11/13/13, 12/11/13

SEC-VSO – Vessel Security Officer: 11/6/13

SHS-BAS – Basic Shiphandling:  11/18/13

SHS-ESH-BRMP3 – Emergency Shiphandling and Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 3/5/14

TCNAV/CO – Terrestrial Navigation and Compasses: 1/6/14

TPIC – Tankerman Person in Charge:  2/24/14

TTT – Train the Trainer: 4/7/14

WKP-BAS – 11/4/13

WX-BAS – Basic Meteorology: 2/24/13

…And remember: If you can’t make the class, make the call.  Be courteous, don’t be a “no show.”

Check the MITAGS website at for course descriptions associated with the course title abbreviations, and schedule revisions.


Please also see our schedule online at For registration, call our registrar, Jennifer Pitzen, at (206) 838-1126.

October 2013

23rd       RFPNW Assessments
28-1       Emergency Procedures/Search and Rescue
28-1       ECDIS

November 2013

4th         Med DOT
11th       Radar Renewal
11-22     GMDSS
18-20     Vessel Security Officer
18-22     ECDIS

December 2013

2-6          Tankerman Person-in-Charge
2-6          Medical Care Provider
2-13       Medical Person-in-Charge
2-13       GMDSS
9-13       ECDIS
11th       Med DOT

The MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly is the official electronic newsletter of the International Organization of Masters, Mates, and Pilots, ILA, AFL-CIO, 700 Maritime Blvd. Suite B, Linthicum Heights, MD 21090-1953. Phone: 410-850-8700; Fax: 410-850-0973; Email: For further info or to subscribe contact Lisa Rosenthal at The Wheelhouse Weekly is sent via Email to MM&P-contracted vessels at sea and is posted on our web page.

© 2013, International Organization of Masters, Mates & Pilots. All the material contained in this publication is protected by copyright. For permission to reprint text from the Weekly, contact the MM&P Communications Department: For changes of address, contact Lisa Rosenthal at