Wheelhouse Weekly – September 13, 2016

September 13th 2016

Volume 21 . . . Number 37. . . Sept. 13, 2016


In This Issue:


News for MM&P Members:

Apprentice Pilots Sought:

Coast Guard Update:

Mark Your Calendar:

MM&P Membership Meetings:


Other News:


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China and Russia yesterday began eight days of war games in the South China Sea off southern China’s Guangdong province.

The operation, “Joint Sea-2016,” includes ships, submarines, fixed-wing aircraft, helicopters and marines.

As part of the exercise, China and Russia have said they will carry out live-fire drills, defense, rescue and anti-submarine operations.

The two say they will also practice defending and seizing islands, drills that take on particular significance in light of the tensions in the South China Sea, where China is establishing a series of militarized outposts on reefs and islands in waters that are also claimed in part by Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam.

An arbitration panel in The Hague last month issued a ruling invalidating China’s claims to virtually the entire South China Sea, a decision that Beijing has rejected.

Russia is a strong supporter of China’s territorial ambitions in the region.

Joint Chinese-Russian drills have become increasingly common in recent years; this week’s exercises are the fifth since 2012.

Following the ruling in The Hague, China said it would continue to build man-made reefs in the disputed Spratly Islands. It also said it would continue fly-overs of disputed areas of the South China Sea, where an estimated $5 trillion in trade passes each year.

China’s rapidly expanding maritime footprint and aggressive territorial claims put the United States at risk of “sea strangulation,” according to a report by two professors at Hawai`i Pacific University.

The report, “Sea Strangulation: How the United States Has Become Vulnerable to Chinese Maritime Coercion,” outlines threats to U.S. civilians and military personnel as a result of an over-dependence on the ships of other nations, in particular China, and simultaneous vulnerability caused by a dearth of American-flagged vessels in international trade.

The report is posted on at

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MM&P Government Fleet Representative Randi Ciszewski attended the Aug. 29 change of command ceremony for Captain Donn R. E. Pratt, longtime MM&P member and master of NOAA SHIP GORDON GUNTER.

Top officials of NOAA were also in attendance. The ceremony took place in Pascagoula, Miss.

Pratt now assumes command of NOAA SHIP NANCY FOSTER.

“Captain Donn gave a very heart-warming speech thanking his chain of command, especially Adm. David Score, his shipmates and his family, all of whom were in attendance, for their support throughout his assignment aboard,” Ciszewski said. “He is looking forward to his new command.”

Lt. Cmdr. Lindsay R. Kurelja (NOAA) will assume command of GORDON GUNTER.

“MM&P has long enjoyed an excellent working relationship with NOAA,” Ciszewski said. “NOAA leadership truly does put their CIVMAR workforce first and as a result of labor and management’s genuine partnership efforts, significant matters are resolved swiftly and informally.”

“Other government employers should take note of such a productive working relationship and follow suit,” she added.

MM&P masters and mates sail aboard NOAA vessels. MM&P’s training institutes, MITAGS and PMI, are among the schools that train mariners as part of NOAA’s license advancement program.

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The most recent edition of The Master, Mate & Pilot has been posted on

This issue includes: MM&P convention coverage; MM&P President’s convention report; MAERSK KENTUCKY officers and crew rescue 11 fishermen; WETA approves five-year extension of contract with Blue and Gold; MM&P and International Boatmen’s Union blast proposal to outsource tanker escort jobs in Alaska; awards for meritorious service to three MM&P vice presidents; nominations for elected office.

The magazine will be in members’ mailboxes soon. In the meantime, access it online. Just go and click on “News,” then on MM&P magazine.

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About 400 workers at the Just Born plant in Bethlehem, Pa., went on strike on Sept. 7 after voting unanimously to reject the company’s most recent contract offer.

The workers, members of the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco and Grain Millers Union (BCTGM), have been without a contract since June, when negotiations deadlocked over wages, health care and pension benefits. Just Born wants to replace the defined benefit pension plan with a 401(k) and force employees to make other concessions.

A spokesperson for the company told journalists last week that management is committed to working with the union to reach an agreement, but reports have surfaced that replacements for the striking workers are already being hired.

The company says it has enough candy for Halloween and Christmas, but is concerned about producing enough of the sticky treats for Easter.

Besides marshmallow Peeps, workers at the Bethlehem plant also make Mike and Ike and Hot Tamales.

They are marching to chants that include, “No Justice, No Peeps.”

A number of other U.S. confectioners–including Nabisco, maker of the iconic Oreo cookie–have relocated production facilities to Mexico where they can pay workers significantly less than U.S. minimum wages.

BCTGM has organized a boycott of Nabisco products that are made in Mexico. To find out more, go to

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Ballots for the 2016 MM&P officer election and Constitutional amendments have been mailed to all union members. There are two separate ballots—both of which go into the same Secret Ballot Envelope.

If you do not receive a ballot, or if you lose or destroy your ballot, you may request a duplicate ballot by contacting American Arbitration Association at 1-800-273-0726 (Monday to Friday, 0900 to 1700 ET).

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The Delaware Board of Pilot Commissioners and the Pennsylvania Navigation Commission for the Delaware River and its Tributaries are accepting applications for apprentice pilot for the Delaware River.

The Delaware Board of Pilot Commissioners is accepting Apprentice Pilot applications from Sept. 1 through Oct. 14 only.

To access the application, go to:

The Pennsylvania Navigation Commission for the Delaware River and its Navigable Tributaries announces openings in its apprentice river pilot program.
The Commission will accept apprentice pilot applications through Sept. 23. At this time, the commission anticipates appointing a maximum of four apprentices in 2016.

To access the application, go to:

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The U.S. Coast Guard has posted the transcripts of the first public hearing of the EL FARO Marine Board of Investigation (MBI). The transcripts are posted at

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The U.S. Coast Guard seeks an experienced Merchant Marine Engineer to work at the National Maritime Center in Martinsburg, W. Va. The position is responsible for evaluating maritime training courses and programs to determine if they meet national and international requirements.

The work involves using international code, U.S. regulation and policy, industry experience and subject matter expertise to review course materials and instructor qualifications to independently certify courses and programs for applicability toward qualification for a U.S. Merchant Mariner Credential.

The position also evaluates and certifies the competence of mariners to act as Qualified Assessors allowing them to independently certify the competence and proficiency of mariners working toward international endorsements.

The successful candidate will play a significant role in the establishment and review of U.S. regulation and policy as a subject matter expert for all matters related to merchant marine engineering including review and applicability of new technology used in the industry and to train mariners.

The position requires applicants to hold or have held a U.S. Merchant Mariner Credential in the grade of 2nd Assistant Engineer, Unlimited; Chief Engineer Limited; Designated Duty Engineer, Unlimited; or higher in the Merchant Marine or the equivalent military experience.

Previous experience as an instructor or trainer of maritime engineering subject matter would be a plus.

This is a General Services Level 12 Position with potential for advancement.

For more information:

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The Annapolis Marine Society Hosts “A Night on the NS SAVANNAH” on Sept. 15, starting at 1800. It features an introduction to the vessel and tours by Erhard Koehler, project manager for the NS SAVANNAH, followed by dinner in the vessel lounge and more.

Featured speakers include Tony Fisher, deputy associate administrator for commercial sealift, Mike Reagoso, vice president and general manager of McAllister Towing, Baltimore, and Roger DeLoach, ship broker Washington Maritime.

This is a limited seating event for 50 people. Tickets in advance are suggested with a $20 donation. All profits will go to the NS SAVANNAH Fund.

For more information, go to!events/c192n

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The next Los Angeles/Long Beach Offshore Membership Meeting will be held on Oct. 12, directly after the 1100 job call. All members in the area are encouraged to attend the meeting.

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MM&P President Don Marcus and Secretary-Treasurer Steve Werse will join Atlantic Ports Vice President Don Josberger to inaugurate the new MM&P Charleston Hall on Thursday, Sept. 15, at 1200. An Offshore membership meeting will follow. All members in the area are urged to attend.

The MM&P Charleston Hall is located at 1481 Tobias Gadson Blvd., Suite 2C, Charleston, SC 29407-4794. The phone number is 843-766-3565.

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The Offshore Familiarization Course will be held in the Los Angeles/Long Beach Hall on Wednesday and Thursday, Oct. 12-13.

The course begins at 0830 on both days.

Interested applicants should sign up for the Familiarization Course by calling the hall at 310-834-7201.

The Los Angeles/Long Beach Hall is located at 533 N. Marine Ave., Suite A, Wilmington, CA 90744.

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.

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Sailors’ Snug Harbor, one of the oldest secular charities in the United States, has funds available to help mariners with demonstrated financial need.

More than 16,500 mariners have been helped by Sailors’ Snug Harbor since it was founded in the early nineteenth century.

Sailors’ Snug Harbor has recently expanded its eligibility criteria to include inland mariners.

Today, the organization assists mariners in their homes, where they are more likely to be near family and friends. It no longer maintains facilities at Sea Level, N.C., or in Staten Island, N.Y.

If you are interested in learning more about SSH and its benefits:

The Trustees of the Sailors’ Snug Harbor
40 Exchange Place, Suite 1701
New York, NY 10005
Tel: 646-465-8585, Toll Free: 1-888-257-5456
Fax: 212-513-0243

To be eligible, mariners must meet the following criteria:

— 2555 days of deep sea time, at least five years on U.S. flagged ships or 14 years working on inland rivers;

— 65 years of age or older or on disability–some exceptions may be made;

— proven need for financial assistance;

— an individual with $50,000 or more in assets will not be eligible (primary residence excluded);

— a three-year look back period will be used;

— all public benefits available to a mariner must be accessed, if eligible, before any subsidy from SSH is approved. For example, VA benefits, Medicaid, SNAP etc.).

Because of the considerable interest from mariners to receive financial help, the review of the applications may take several months. SSH’s ability to assist is dependent upon mariner demand and available funds. SSH will maintain files of fully completed applications and will contact the mariner when the opportunity arises.

For more information, go to

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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 – 10/17/16

AIS-1 – Automatic Identifications Systems Orientation: Contact Admissions

ARPA-OIC – Automated Radar Plotting Aids: 9/27/16, 1/24/17

AZIPOD 2-Day – 11/14/16, 3/6/17

BRM-35 – Bridge Resource Management: 10/31/16, 1/30/17

BRMP –Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 11/14/16, 3/6/17

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

BT – Basic Safety Training: 10/10/16, 1/23/17

BT-Revalidation (2-day) – 10/31/16, 3/9/17

BT-Refresher (3-day) – 10/30/16, 3/9/17

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

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]

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

ADVSTB-CMM – Advanced Stability: 10/17/16, 1/16/17

ADVWX-CMM – Advanced Meteorology: 11/7/16, 1/9/17, 3/13/17

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

ECDIS – Electronic Chart Display Information System: 10/10/16, 11/7/16, 11/28/16, 12/19/16,1/23/17, 3/27/17

LMS – Leadership and Managerial Skills (Management Level – Formerly MCL-CMM) –10/3/16,10/31/16, 11/14/16,11/28/16, 12/5/16, 12/12/16, 12/19/16, 1/30/17, 2/20/17

MPP-CMM – Marine Propulsion Plants: 9/19/16

SEC-APPS – Practical Defense Tactics: 10/31/16, 3/13/17

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

SHS-ADV-I-CMM – Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 10/24/16, 11/7/16, 11/28/16, 12/5/16,1/16/17, 2/6/17, 3/6/17, 3/20/17

SHS-ADV-II-CMM – Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 9/19/16, 10/31/16, 11/14/16, 12/5/16,12/12/16, 1/23/17, 2/13/17, 3/13/17, 3/27/17

**SHS-ADV-I & II now approved to include SAR-CMM assessments at MITAGS effective immediately. Both weeks must be taken together in order to complete SAR-CMM**

VPEN-CMM – Voyage Planning & Electronic Navigation: 3/20/17

WKP-CMM – Advanced Watchkeeping: 9/26/16

CNAV-OIC – Celestial Navigation: 10/24/16

CONT PLNG – Contingency Planning Workshop: Contact Admissions

CRISIS-COMMS – Crisis Communications: 3/2/17

DDE – Great Lakes: 1/30/17

DPA – Contact Admissions

ECDIS-OIC – Contact Admissions

ECDIS for Pilots – 11/14/16, 2/28/17

ERM – Engine Resource Management: 9/26/16, 10/24/16, 11/14/16, 11/28/16, 12/5/16, 12/12/16,12/19/16, 2/27/17

FF-BADV – Fire Fighting Combined Basic & Advanced: 10/10/16, 1/23/17

FF-ADV-REV – Advanced Fire Fighting Revalidation & Refresher: 3/7/17

FSM – Fatigue, Sleep, & Medications: 9/20/16, 10/3/16

GL-Pilot – Great Lakes Pilotage Familiarization: 1/6/17

GMDSS – Global Maritime Distress and Safety System: 3/6/17

HAZ – Hazardous Materials (5 day): 12/5/16

LAP- 9/19/16, 2/13/17

LAP-Great Lakes – License Advancement Program – Great Lakes: 1/9/17

LAP-ORG3rd – License Advancement Program for Original 3rd Mate, Oceans, Any Gross
Ton License: 12/5/16

LEG – Legal Aspects of Pilotage: 9/21/16, 11/15/16

LNG-TPIC – 12/5/16

LTS –Leadership and Teamworking Skills (Formerly MCL-OIC): 9/26/16, 10/26/16*, 11/14/16*, 12/19/16*, 2/13/17 (*2-Evening Session)

MEECE – Management of Electrical and Electronic Control: 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: 11/7/16, 12/12/16, 1/9/17, 3/20/17

MED-PIC-REF– Medical Person in Charge Refresher: 1/30/17

MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 11/7/16, 11/28/16, 12/12/16, 1/9/17, 3/20/17

MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Transportation Drug & Alcohol Testing: 9/25/16, 11/12/16, 12/17/16, 1/14/17, 3/6/17

MSA –Maritime Security Awareness: Contact Admissions

[MSC – Military Sealift Command Courses]

MSC-CBRD-1 – Military Sealift Command Chemical, Biological, Radiological Defense Orientation (Basic): 10/17/16, 2/23/17

MSC-DC – Military Sealift Command Damage Control: 10/18/16, 2/21/17

*MSC-ENVPRO – 10/16/16, 2/26/17

*MSC-FF-HELO – 10/31/16, 3/9/17

MSC-SMA – Military Sealift Command Small Arms Qualification: 10/23/16, 1/9/17, 2/27/17

*MSC-Security Watch Basic – 10/20/16, 2/24/17

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

*MSC-Ship’s Reaction Force – 10/27/16, 1/16/17

NSAP-MMP – Navigational Skills Assessment Program-MM&P – 10/5/16, 10/25/16

ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal: 9/26/16, 1/23/17

ROR-1N – Radar Observer Renewal Evening Classes: 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, 1/11/17, 2/1/17, 2/8/17, 2/22/17, 3/8/17, 3/22/17

ROU-OIC – Radar Observer Program – Unlimited: 1/16/17

SAR-OIC – Search & Rescue – 11/7/16

SHS-BAS-OIC – Basic Shiphandling: 10/17/16, 2/20/17

SHS-EMR5 – Emergency Shiphandling-5 Day: 10/3/16, 11/28/16, 2/20/17

SMS – 12/19/16

STB-OIC – Ship Construction and Basic Stability: 1/9/17

TCNAV/CO – Terrestrial Navigation and Compasses: 1/30/17

TPIC – Tankerman Person in Charge: 2/13/17

TRAC-TUG-2: Contact Admissions

TTT – 12/12/16

VPDSD – Vessel Personnel with Designated Security Duties: Contact Admissions

VSO – Vessel Security Officer: 10/22/16, 2/14/17

WKP-OIC – Watchkeeping (Operational Level): 10/3/16, 2/20/17

WX-OIC –Meteorology (Operational Level): 9/19/16, 3/20/17

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

September 2016

19-23 ECDIS
19-23 Medical Care Provider
19-23 Leadership & Managerial Skills
19-30 Celestial Navigation
19-30 Medical Person-In-Charge
26-30 MEECE

October 2016

3-7 Leadership & Managerial Skills
3-7 Medical Care Provider
3-14 License Preparation
10-14 Radar Observer Unlimited
10-14 Engine Resource Management
10-14 MEECE
10-21 GMDSS
17th Radar Renewal
17-21 Leadership & Managerial Skills
17-21 Basic Stability
18-21 ARPA
24-28 Leadership & Managerial Skills
24-28 Tankerman Person-In-Charge
24-28 MEECE
31-1 Search & Rescue
31-4 Leadership & Managerial Skills
31-4 Engine Resource Management

November 2016

7th Radar Renewal
8th Leadership & Teamworking Skills
14-18 ECDIS
14-18 Leadership & Managerial Skills
14-18 Engine Resource Management
14-18 MEECE
28-2 Medical Care Provider
28-9 Medical Person-In-Charge
28-9 GMDSS

December 2016

5th Radar Renewal
5-9 Leadership & Managerial Skills
5-9 Engine Resource Management
12-16 ECDIS
12-16 Leadership & Managerial Skills
12-16 MEECE
19-23 Tankerman Person-In-Charge

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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 © 2016. 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