Wheelhouse Weekly – Oct. 6, 2015

October 6th 2015

Volume 20 . . . Number 40. . . Oct. 6, 2015


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Members of the MM&P community are keeping the 33 men and women aboard the containership EL FARO in their thoughts and prayers as the search for possible survivors continues. Our prayers and thoughts go out to the family members and friends of the crew, and to everyone touched by the tragedy.

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Legislation that would provide an increase in funding for the Maritime Security Program (MSP) in Fiscal Year 2016 has cleared another hurdle. The legislation, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2016, has been approved by House and Senate conferees, clearing the bill for consideration by the full House of Representatives and the Senate. The legislation contains a $24 million increase in funding for the MSP which, if enacted, would provide each vessel in the program with $3.5 million in Fiscal Year 2016.

“The U.S.-flagged merchant fleet is a key tool of U.S. national security, ensuring the free flow of goods across the world’s oceans,” said Congressman Randy Forbes (R-Va.), chairman of the House Seapower Subcommittee and a strong proponent of MSP. “Support for our maritime security fleet is an important step toward further strengthening this important asset.”

It is expected that the House and Senate will each consider the legislation over the next few weeks.

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Legislation that would strengthen America’s security and increase employment by allowing crude oil exports would also provide a significant boost for the Maritime Security Program (MSP). Included in the oil export legislation (HR 702) is a provision that would authorize the additional funding needed to stabilize the MSP and preserve its maritime security fleet of 60 militarily useful commercial U.S.-flag vessels through Fiscal Year 2021.

The additional funding is necessary to compensate for the significant reduction in defense and other government cargoes available to the U.S.-flag fleet as well as the increasing competition from flag-of-convenience vessels that do not meet U.S. labor and operational standards.

Without the funding authorized by this legislation, the ability of the maritime security fleet to support American troops overseas and to protect and support the military security of the United States and its allies will be weakened as U.S.-flag vessels will be forced to consider leaving the U.S. flag and outsourcing our jobs to foreign mariners.

The oil export legislation with the MSP provision is scheduled for a vote in the House of Representatives within the next week. MM&P, MIRAID, our contracted MSP shipping companies and the other maritime unions are working together in strong support of this bill. Our industry’s letter to Congress urging Members of the House of Representatives to vote for HR 702 is posted on and on, the website of the U.S.-flag coalition.

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The United States has reached a deal with 11 Pacific Rim countries to move forward with the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). The trade deal now heads to Congress for ratification.

The pact, which is bitterly opposed by labor unions, environmentalists, consumer groups and some industries, would be the largest regional trade accord in history, covering 40 percent of the world’s economy. The full 30-chapter text of the agreement, which now faces months of debate in Congress, is still being kept secret. Unions have said it favors corporations over working families and that it will lead to more mass outsourcing of American manufacturing jobs.

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Aker Philadelphia Shipyard Inc. has begun production of two 3,600 TEU “Aloha Class” containerships for Matson Navigation Company. The contracts for the vessels were originally signed in 2013 for a total value of $418 million, with deliveries expected in Q3 and Q4 of 2018, Aker said in a press release.

Since the contracts were signed, engineering, planning and procurement have been underway at the shipyard. The 260-meter (853-foot) long vessels will be the largest Jones Act containerships ever constructed and will be used in Matson’s service from the U.S. West Coast to Hawaii. The vessels will be built with dual-fuel engines that can be adapted to use liquefied natural gas (LNG) and are designed to operate at speeds in excess of 23 knots.

Aker Philadelphia Shipyard and Matson previously partnered on the construction of four containerships that were delivered between 2003 and 2006. All four vessels are currently servicing Matson’s Pacific trade.

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Gen. Darren McDew, the new head of U.S. Transportation Command (USTRANSCOM), met last week with transportation sector operators, including the leaders of the maritime labor unions and representatives of the U.S.-flag shipping companies. The meeting took place in the context of the annual National Defense Transportation Association (NDTA)-USTRANSCOM Fall Meeting at National Harbor outside Washington, D.C.

NDTA is the professional association of transportation sector organizations and businesses that support our country’s sealift and other defense transport needs. USTRANSCOM is responsible for the global movement of combat units, sustainment cargo and service-member household goods.

McDew, who comes to USTRANSCOM from the Air Force, was accompanied by USTRANSCOM Deputy Commander (Army) Lt. Gen. Stephen Lyons, also a recent appointee. After plenary speeches, both officials met in separate session with representatives of the maritime industry.

During the course of the meeting, McDew said he is fully cognizant of the importance of the U.S.-flag fleet and the U.S. Merchant Marine to America’s national defense and sealift capacity. He said he strongly supports an increase in the per-ship funding levels for the vessels that participate in the Maritime Security Program (MSP).

MM&P and the other maritime unions have been working with supporters of our industry in Congress for passage of legislation that would provide for a desperately needed increase in funding for the program.

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The American Maritime Partnership (AMP) has recognized Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) with the 2015 Champion of Maritime Award. The congressman was honored for his extraordinary support of the American maritime industry.

Hunter is a strong advocate for the Jones Act and the U.S.-flag fleet in his role as chairman of the Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation and as a member of the Seapower Subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committee. As the first Marine combat veteran of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan elected to the U.S. Congress, he understands the important role that the maritime industry serves in the lives of members of the armed services.

“The true champions of maritime are the hundreds of thousands of highly skilled men and women in the industry who tirelessly work to protect our waterways,” Hunter says. “I will continue to vocalize my support for the American maritime industry: it creates good paying family-wage jobs, secures our borders and fuels our economy.”

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Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown (D) has been named the 2015 Great Lakes Legislator of the Year by the Great Lakes Maritime Task Force (GLMTF), the labor/management coalition that represents workers and industries involved in shipping on America’s Fourth Sea Coast. The Legislator of the Year Award is presented to a Congressional leader who has worked to advance shipping on the Lakes and the St. Lawrence Seaway.

“Sherrod Brown’s keen understanding of Lakes’ shipping has been invaluable to our industry,” said GLMTF President John D. Baker. “Whenever the Senate takes up issues that affect us, Senator Brown is like a captain on the bridge, carefully choosing the best course. The Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA) of 2014 is a case in point. The years of the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund (HMTF) amassing surpluses while harbors go un- or under-dredged are over because WRRDA requires the government to incrementally increase expenditures from the HMTF until they reach 100 percent of receipts by 2025.”

“Waterborne commerce is critically important to Ohio’s economy,” Baker noted in announcing the award. “Lakes/Seaway shipping supports more than 28,000 jobs in the Buckeye State. Imagine how many more jobs we can generate once the Great Lakes Navigation System is again properly maintained.” Baker is also President Emeritus of the ILA’s Great Lakes District Council.

The past two winters have dramatically slowed shipping on the Lakes and Seaway during the ice season. “Senator Brown’s support will be critical when the Senate takes up the House’s Coast Guard Authorization Act, which authorizes the Commandant to design and build another heavy icebreaker for the Great Lakes,” said Thomas Curelli, first vice president of GLMTF. “The delays and cancelled cargoes during the past two ice seasons cost the economy nearly $1.1 billion in business revenue and 5,000 jobs.”

Much of Brown’s political career has been devoted to protecting American workers from unfair trade practices. He is a strong supporter of the Jones Act. “Senator Brown understands that market-distorting practices have slashed the number of American vessels in the international trades, so he is adamant that our domestic trades must be governed by U.S. laws and regulations so that the playing field is level and the commerce creates jobs for Americans,” said James H.I. Weakley, third vice president of GLMTF.

The Great Lakes Maritime Task Force promotes domestic and international shipping on the Lakes. With 85 members, 25 of which are based in Ohio, it is the largest coalition to speak for the Great Lakes shipping community and draws its membership from both labor and management representing U.S.-flag vessel operators, shipboard and longshore unions, port authorities, cargo shippers, terminal operators, shipyards and other Great Lakes interests.

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The monthly membership meeting will be held at the New York/New Jersey Union Hall on Wednesday, Oct. 14, immediately after job call. All members in the area are encouraged to attend the meeting. Remember that the New York/New Jersey Union Hall is now located at 570 Broad St., Newark, N.J., 07102. The phone number and fax number are the same as before the move.

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There will be an Offshore Membership meeting in the San Francisco/Oakland Hall on Tuesday, Oct. 27, immediately after the 1100 job call. MM&P Pacific Ports Vice President Dave Boatner and Coast Agent Jeremy Hope will attend the meeting. All members in the area are urged to attend.

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The Offshore Familiarization Course will be held starting at 0900 on Oct. 13-14, Tuesday and Wednesday, in the New York/New Jersey Union Hall at 570 Broad St., Newark, N.J., 07102. The course will also 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 New York/New Jersey Hall is (201) 963-1900. 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 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:

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 – 10/12/15, 4/18/16

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

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

AZIPOD 2-Day – 2/29/16, 5/25/16

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

BRMP –Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 11/9/15, 2/29/16, 05/23/2016

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

BT-Revalidation –11/3/15, 05/10/16

CHS-OIC – Cargo Handling Basic: 10/26/15

[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

ADVWX-CMM – Advanced Meteorology: 10/19/15, 1/4/16, 3/7/16, 06/06/16

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

ECDIS – Electronic Chart Display Information System: 11/2/15, 11/30/15,12/7/15, 1/11/16, 2/22/16, 3/21/16, 06/13/16

LMS – Leadership and Managerial Skills (Management Level – Formerly MCL-CMM) 10/26/15, 11/2/15, 11/9/15, 11/16/15, 11/30/15, 12/7/15, 12/14/15,1/18/16, 2/15/16, 3/14/16, 4/4/16, 4/11/16, 5/23/16, 6/27/16

MPP-CMM – Marine Propulsion Plants: 11/16/15, 05/02/16

SEC-APPS – Practical Defense Tactics: 10/12/15, 3/28/16

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

SHS-ADV-I-CMM – Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 11/9/15, 11/30/15,1/11/16, 2/8/16, 3/14/16, 04/18/16, 05/09/16, 06/13/16

SHS-ADV-II-CMM – Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 10/12/15, 11/16/15,12/7/15, 1/18/16, 2/15/16, 3/21/16, 04/25/16, 05/16/16, 06/20/16

VPEN-CMM – Voyage Planning & Electronic Navigation: 11/30/15, 2/29/16

WKP-CMM – Advanced Watchkeeping: 11/9/15, 05/09/16

CNAV-OIC – Celestial Navigation: 11/9/15, 05/02/16

CONT PLNG – Contingency Planning Workshop: Contact Admissions

CRISIS-COMMS – Crisis Communications: 3/2/16

DDE – Great Lakes: 2/1/16

DPA – Contact Admissions

ECDIS-OIC – Contact Admissions

ECDIS-Pilots – 11/12/15, 3/2/16, 05/25/16

ERM – Engine Resource Management: 10/19/15, 11/9/15, 12/14/15, 1/4/16, 2/8/16, 3/21/16, 4/18/16, 5/9/16

FF-BADV – Fire Fighting Combined Basic & Advanced: 1/25/16, 2/22/16, 04/11/16, 06/27/16

FSM – Fatigue, Sleep, & Medications: 11/11/15, 1/26/16, 04/19/16

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

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

HAZ – Hazardous Materials (5 day): 11/16/15

LAP- 4/4/16

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: 10/19/15, 11/30/15, 3/7/16, 06/06/16

LEG – Legal Aspects of Pilotage: 11/10/15, 1/27/16, 3/1/16

LNG-TPIC – 12/7/15

LTS –Leadership and Teamworking Skills (Formerly MCL-OIC): 10/19/15

MEECE – Management of Electrical and Electronic Control: 10/12/15, 11/2/15, 12/7/15, 1/11/16, 2/22/16, 3/28/16, 4/25/16, 5/16/16

MED-PIC – Medical Person in Charge: 12/7/15, 1/4/16, 3/21/16, 05/16/16

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

MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 10/12/15, 12/7/15, 1/4/15, 2/15/16, 3/21/16, 05/16/16

MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Transportation Drug & Alcohol Testing: 11/5/15, 12/12/15, 1/9/16, 1/31/16, 3/19/16, 05/14/16

MSA –Maritime Security Awareness: Contact Admissions

[MSC – Military Sealift Command Courses]

MSC-CBRD-1 – Military Sealift Command Chemical, Biological, Radiological Defense Orientation (Basic): 10/29/15, 3/8/16

MSC-DC – Military Sealift Command Damage Control: 10/27/15, 3/5/16 (March is 5 evenings)

*MSC-ENVPRO – 10/31/15, 2/28/16

*MSC-FF-HELO – 2/22/16

MSC-SMA – Military Sealift Command Small Arms Qualification: 10/19/15, 10/31/15, 1/4/16, 2/29/16

*MSC-Security Watch Basic –10/17/15, 2/26/16

*MSC-Security Watch Advanced –10/23/15, 10/30/15, 1/8/16, 3/4/16

*MSC-Ship’s Reaction Force –10/24/15, 11/4/15, 1/10/16, 3/5/16

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

ROR-1N – Radar Observer Renewal Evening Classes: 10/14/15, 10/28/15, 11/3/15, 11/11/15, 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

ROU-OIC – Radar Observer Program – Unlimited: 1/18/16, 2/1/16

SAR-OIC – Search & Rescue – 10/19/15, 04/18/16

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

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

SMS – Contact Admissions

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

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

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

TRAC-TUG-2: Contact Admissions

TTT – Contact Admissions

VPDSD – Vessel Personnel with Designated Security Duties: Contact Admissions

VSO – Vessel Security Officer: 10/17/15, 2/15/16, 04/25/16

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

WX-OIC –Meteorology (Operational Level): 2/29/16

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

October 2015

12-16 ECDIS
12-16 Leadership & Managerial Skills
12-23 GMDSS
19-23 Radar Observer Unlimited
19-23 Leadership & Managerial Skills (waitlist only)
19-23 MEECE
26-30 Leadership & Managerial Skills (waitlist only)

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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