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MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly

Volume 29… Number 50, December 12, 2023


In This Issue:

Mark Your Calendar:

Attention All Mariners:

Job Opportunities:



Secretary of the Navy Carlos Del Toro has renewed his call for a national strategy to “recapitalize” U.S. maritime power by increasing the number of ships built in this country and forging new partnerships with investors at home and abroad.

In a Nov. 13 interview with Megan Eckstein of Defense News, Del Toro warned that without a stronger private sector maritime industry, the country is limited in its ability to meet international commercial challenges and the military is restricted in its capacity to respond to foreign threats.

“A thriving maritime industry would mean more trained builders and maintainers the Navy could tap in the event of a crisis; more dry docks and construction facilities the service could leverage; and more investments in innovative tooling, technology and processes to build ships faster and cheaper,” Eckstein wrote in a Dec. 5 article detailing her conversation with the Navy secretary.

“And, chiefly,” she added, “it would mean a larger fleet of American-built ships the military could call into service if a war broke out.”

Del Toro advanced a number of specific proposals during a speech at Harvard University, when he called for adoption of “a national, whole-of-government effort to build comprehensive U.S. and allied maritime power, both commercial and naval.”

He said the decline in U.S. commercial maritime capability “has exposed ourselves, as a nation, to shipbuilding, sealift and economic trade vulnerabilities.”

According to 2022 CIA estimates, China has 7,362 commercial vessels engaged in carrying goods. The United States has 178.

Del Toro is calling for “a Department of the Navy effort to drive not just our own initiatives but a whole-of-government awareness, advocacy and action to rebuild the comprehensive maritime power of the nation in order to meet the challenges and opportunities we’re going to face as a maritime nation in the 21st century.”

As part of the effort to establish what he has termed “maritime statecraft,” he said he’s working with his counterparts across the government to identify what the shipbuilding industry needs and how government can help.

In mid-November, he convened the first meeting of a new Government Shipbuilders Council in Baltimore, Md., where participants included the Army, the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Coast Guard, the Maritime Administration, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

In terms of specifics, Del Toro said other government agencies could leverage the program used by the Maritime Administration to construct five national multi-mission security vessels for the maritime academies.

He also suggested using “construction differential subsidies” to incentivize private companies to buy ships from American builders instead of cheaper foreign yards.

This provision of Title 46 of the U.S. Code, which allows the government to pay up to half the cost difference, hasn’t received funding from Congress since the early 1980s.

But Del Toro said he and the U.S. Secretary of Transportation retain the authority to grant the subsidies, as long as he and the homeland security secretary certify there’s a national security need for a vessel.

He said he has also been speaking with both foreign and domestic investors about committing funds to small- and medium-sized U.S. shipyards and their suppliers.
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The U.S. is in discussions with allies to establish a multinational naval task force to guard ships traveling through the Red Sea, according to a report by Peter Baker in The Washington Post.

“We are in talks with other countries about a maritime task force of sorts involving the ships from partner nations alongside the United States in ensuring safe passage of ships,” Jake Sullivan, President Biden’s national security adviser, told reporters last week.

“I don’t have anything formal to announce. But that would be a natural part of the comprehensive response to what we’re seeing.”

The administration’s plan is said to involve expanding Combined Task Force 153, a military unit focused on the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden, which is part of the Combined Maritime Forces, a group with 39 member nations that is headquartered in Bahrain.

“Our focus,” a National Security Council spokesperson told reporters, is “ensuring that there are sufficient military assets in place to deter Houthi threats to maritime trade in the Red Sea and the surrounding waters.”

On Nov.19, the Houthis hijacked a car carrier, the GALAXY LEADER, in the Red Sea and took 25 crew members hostage.

A week later, the U.S. Navy destroyer USS MASON responded to a distress call in the Gulf of Aden from a chemical tanker, the CENTRAL PARK, as five armed men attempted to seize it.

Hours later, at least one short-range ballistic missile was launched from Yemen in the direction of the MASON and the CENTRAL PARK.

On Dec. 10, a French warship operating in the Red Sea shot down two drones that were launched at it from Yemen’s coast.

Major maritime industry players have called on governments to do everything possible to halt the wave of attacks on merchant ships.

“These attacks must stop immediately, and the innocent seafarers [held hostage in Yemen must be] released,” the International Federation of Shipmasters’ Associations and the International Chamber of Shipping said in a joint statement delivered to the International Maritime Organization Assembly on Dec. 4.

The two called the attacks by paramilitary forces in Yemen “a flagrant breach of international law and maritime norms against vessels conducting their right of freedom of navigation and innocent passage…. [which have] jeopardized the lives of international crews representing multiple countries around the world.”

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Unions in several countries have pledged their support for 120 mechanics at a Tesla service center in Sweden who walked off the job in October.

At least 10 other Swedish unions have demonstrated their support for the strike by withholding services from the company, including by refusing to clean Tesla facilities or repair its vehicles.

After Swedish dockworkers’ unions closed the country’s ports to Tesla imports, dockers in Denmark, Finland, and Norway said they would stop unloading Tesla vehicles and parts that are ultimately destined for Sweden.

They issued strike notices in response to reports that Tesla might be seeking to divert cars bound for Sweden into neighboring countries and drive them across the border.

The Swedish postal workers’ union has blocked delivery of mail—including the license plates needed to deliver Tesla cars to buyers. Tesla has gone to court to force the union to deliver its mail; a final ruling is pending.

The strikers and the unions that support them “are fighting an incredibly important battle right now,” said Jan Villadsen, who heads the union representing Danish dockworkers.

“Even if you are one of the richest [people] in the world,” he said, in a reference to Elon Musk, “you can’t just make your own rules.”

“We have some agreements on the labor market in the Nordics, and you have to comply with them if you want to do business here.”

“Solidarity is the cornerstone of the trade union movement and extends across national borders.”

Support for the Swedish strikers is also coming from beyond the labor movement.

The Central Bank of Norway, one of Tesla’s largest shareholders, has urged the company to sign an agreement with the union.

“We expect companies in which we invest to respect fundamental human rights, including labor rights,” a spokesperson for the bank told Reuters.

A regional pension fund, PensionDanmark, has sold its shares in Tesla because of the company’s refusal to sign a contract.

“It seems that it has not dawned on Tesla’s management that proper working conditions create more value and fewer risks in companies,” said a spokesperson for another Scandinavian pension fund.

IF Metall, the union that represents the striking Tesla mechanics and over 300,000 other Swedish manufacturing workers, says it is prepared for a long battle.
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The Coast Guard has issued a safety alert following an accident in which a wire rope parted while a ship’s crane was being used to hoist part of a 69-ton wind turbine.

No one was hurt, “but the potential for injury was high,” the agency said.

The load fell eight feet and landed within three feet of deck personnel. The vessel suffered significant damage and the cargo was a total loss.

The investigation revealed that the failure was caused by corrosion, wear, and monotonic ductile overload of the wire.

Although gravely corroded and worn, the rope was still within its permitted service life.

“The industry standard period of employment is ten years, but suitability for service can be limited by corrosion and fatigue,” the agency said, adding, “it is imperative that vessel operators employ robust inspection and testing to ensure equipment suitability through its lifespan.”

“Multi-layered construction inhibits inner core inspection and maintenance,” the Coast Guard warned, “creating physical condition uncertainty.”

“To address this hazard, some manufacturers recommend using pressure lubricating devices to inject lubricant into the inner core, providing corrosion protection and

reducing friction.”

The Coast Guard said the only way to verify safe loading capacity is through periodic load tests. It strongly recommends that vessels equipped with cranes:

— implement increased load-testing frequency between class society mandated 5-year load tests;

— use pressure lubricating devices as recommended by the manufacturer for routine maintenance;

— ensure maintenance tracking systems align with manufacturer’s recommended maintenance protocol, including the period of use and renewal of wire ropes;

— consider shortened periods of employment and early renewal of crane wire ropes to prevent corrosion- and fatigue-induced failures;

— train all personnel to never position themselves—even temporarily—under cargo suspended by any crane;

— ensure all crane operators are properly trained and cognizant of industry best practices;

— implement increased wire rope visual inspection frequency;

— degrease and remove all lubricant prior to crane wire rope visual inspections to ensure surface defects are not concealed.
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The Plan Office received approval to close the year-end Internal Revenue Service and company reports and to process Vacation and PRO payments for 2023 no later than Monday, Dec. 18, 2023, at 3:30 p.m. EST.

All requests for 2023 Vacation and PRO payments received after this date and time will be held until Jan. 3, 2024, for processing and will therefore be taxable in 2024.

If you have any questions, please contact the Vacation Department at 410-850-8625 or Ken Ryan at 410-850-8617.

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All MM&P union halls, the MM&P Plan Office, the MM&P Federal Credit Union, and MM&P headquarters will be closed for the holidays on Dec. 22, Dec. 25, Dec. 29, and Jan. 1.
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MM&P is welcoming the holiday season with parties in the union halls.

You must RSVP by emailing or calling the hall if you are planning to attend so there is an accurate headcount for food orders.

— Norfolk—12/14 @ 12:00 pm (Dockside Seafood) RSVP by November 7th

— Miami/PEV—12/15 @ 12:00 pm (Umberto’s) RSVP by December 8th

— Houston—12/15 @ 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm (Whiskey Cake at Baybrook) RSVP by December 8th

— Honolulu—12/19 @ 11:00 am (Union Hall) RSVP by December 12th
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The MM&P United Inland Group has jobs available with Grand River Navigation, Weeks Marine, Cetacean Marine, and Key Lakes.

At Grand River Navigation on the Great Lakes, there are:

— licensed deck jobs for those with Great Lakes pilotage;

— jobs for open water mates with a Towing Officer Assessment Record (TOAR);

— licensed engineering jobs.

GRN now offers a signing/retention bonus of $3,000 to all mates and assistant engineers who complete the 2023 sailing season and return for the 2024 sailing season.

At Cetacean Marine, there are licensed and unlicensed engineering jobs.

At Weeks Marine, there are licensed and unlicensed engineering jobs aboard their growing fleet of dredges.

WMI is offering a $3,000 new hire sign-on bonus. It is payable in three payments of $1,000 each, the first $1,000 after the successful completion of the second hitch, the second $1,000 upon successful completion of the third hitch, and $1,000 upon successful completion of the fourth hitch.

Cross-shipping rights for Offshore applicants/members are available for licensed personnel, with sea time and points counting towards upgrading Offshore membership.

Key Lakes is looking for a mate with Great Lakes pilotage and an open-water mate.

The regular relief is for 30 days but could be modified if mutually agreed on.

These are long-term, permanent jobs.

For more information, go to the Jobs page on bridgedeck.org.

If you are interested, please contact UIG Vice President Tom Bell (tbell@bridgedeck.org or 216-776-1667) with any questions.
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CM needed for HAINA PATRIOT.

Positions available aboard Patriot LMSR’s at all levels including new vessels SEAY and PILILAAU.

Members and applicants who are interested in MSC training, please sign up with MITAGS and for those who do not qualify for training benefits yet, please email Jeremy Hope, VP Gulf and Gov’t Contracts at jhope@bridgedeck.org with the subject line MSC TRAINING.

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There are openings for engineers in the MM&P Offshore fleet and the Great Lakes & Gulf Region.

For engineering jobs in the Offshore Group, contact Atlantic Ports Vice President Tom Larkin, tlarkin@bridgedeck.org, or 201-963-1900.

For engineering jobs on the Lakes, contact MM&P Great Lakes & Gulf Region Vice President Tom Bell, tbell@bridgedeck.org, or (216) 776-1667.
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For registration contact our Admissions Department: 866.656.5568 or admissions@mitags.org

Classes are 5-day unless otherwise noted

Class dates followed by an * are full
AB – Able Seaman (5-Day): 01/22/24, 01/29/24

AIS-1 – Automatic Identifications Systems Orientation (1-Day): Not currently scheduled

ARPA-OIC– Automated Radar Plotting Aids (4-Day): 02/05/24, 03/04/24

AZIPOD (2-Day): Not currently scheduled

BRM – Bridge Resource Management (5-Day): Not currently scheduled

BRMP –Bridge Resource Management for Pilots (2-Day): Not currently scheduled

BRMP-EMR –Bridge Resource Management for Pilots with Emergency Shiphandling – (Now also included in BRMP-Refresher) (3-Day): Not currently scheduled

BRMP-Refresher (Now including Emergency Shiphandling for Pilots) (3-Day): Not currently scheduled

BT – Basic Safety Training (5-Day): 01/15/24, 02/12/24

BT-Revalidation (2-day) (Must have 1 year of sea service in last 5 years): 01/29/24, 03/11/24

BT-Refresher (3-day): 01/29/24

CHS-OIC – Cargo Handling Basic (5-Day): 04/15/24

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]

ADVSTB-CMM – Advanced Stability (5-Day): 01/29/24, 04/29/24, 06/24/24

ADVWX-CMM – Advanced Meteorology (5-Day): 01/22/24, 04/22/24, 06/17/24

CHS-CMM – Advanced Cargo Operations (10 Days): 02/05/24

CM-OPS 1 – Chief Mate Operations (5-Day): 02/26/24

CM-OPS 2 Maersk – Chief Mate Operations II Maersk Specific (5-Day): 03/04/24

CM-OPS 2 APL – Chief Mate Operations II APL Specific (5-Day): Not currently scheduled

ECDIS – Electronic Chart Display Information Systems (5-Day): 03/11/24

LMS – Leadership and Managerial Skills (Management Level – Formerly MCL-CMM) (5-Day): 03/18/24

MPP-CMM – Marine Propulsion Plants (5-Day): 03/11/24

(DCS-1 available on request – contact Admissions)

SHMGT-CMM- Ship Management (5-Day): 02/26/24

SHS-ADV-I-CMM – Advanced Shiphandling (week 1) (5-Day): 01/08/24*, 02/12/24, 04/08/24*, 05/06/24, 06/03/24

SHS-ADV-II-CMM – Advanced Shiphandling (week 2) (5-Day): 01/15/24*, 02/19/24, 04/15/24*, 05/13/24, 06/10/24

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

VPEN-CMM – Voyage Planning & Electronic Navigation (5-Day): 02/19/24

WKP-CMM – Advanced Watchkeeping (5-Day): 03/18/24

WX-HW-ATL – Heavy Weather Avoidance Routing: Atlantic Ocean (2-day) – Not Currently Scheduled

WX-HW-IND – Heavy Weather Avoidance Routing: Indian Ocean (2-day) – Not Currently Scheduled

WX-HW-PAC – Heavy Weather Avoidance Routing: Pacific Ocean (2-day) –01/27/24

CIW-DPA/IA – Continual Improvement Workshop: Designated Person Ashore & Internal Auditor (3-Day) ** This course is NOT covered by the MATES Program **

Online: Not Currently Scheduled

CIW-SMS – Continual Improvement Workshop: Successful Safety Management (2-Day) – Online: Not Currently Scheduled

CNAV-OIC– Celestial Navigation (15-Day): 05/06/24

CRISIS-COMMS – Crisis Communications (1-Day): Not currently scheduled

CRSMGT – Crisis Management and Human Behavior (1-Day): Not currently scheduled

CDMGT – Crowd Management (1-Day): Not currently scheduled

CSE – Confined Space Entry (3-Day): Not currently scheduled

CSE-AWR – Confined Space Entry Awareness (2-Day): Not currently scheduled

DDE – Great Lakes (20-Day): 02/05/24

ECDIS for Pilots (2-Day): Not currently scheduled

ERM – Engine Resource Management (5-Day): Not currently scheduled

ADV-FF – Advanced Fire-Fighting (4-day): 02/19/24, 03/24/24

FF-BADV – Fire Fighting Combined Basic & Advanced (5-Day): Not currently scheduled

FF-ADV-Rev (1-day) (Must have 1 year of sea service in last 5 years) – Advanced Fire Fighting Revalidation: 01/31/24, 03/13/24

FF-ADV-REF (2-day) – Advanced Fire Fighting Refresher: 02/01/24

FSM – Fatigue, Sleep, & Medications (1-Day): Not currently scheduled

Online: Not currently scheduled

GL-Pilot – Great Lakes Pilotage Familiarization (2-Day): 02/02/24

GMDSS – Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (10-Day): 01/15/24

HAZ – Hazardous Materials (5 day): Not Currently Scheduled

LAP – License Advancement Program for Mate to Master (20-Day): 03/04/24

LAP-Great Lakes – License Advancement Program – Great Lakes (15-Day): 02/05/24

LAP-ORG3rd – License Advancement Program for Original 3rd Mate, Oceans, Any Gross

Ton License (15-Day): 06/03/24

LEG – Legal Aspects of Pilotage (1-Day): Not Currently Scheduled

LNG-BADV – Basic and Advanced IGF Code Operations (3 Day): 01/08/24*, 02/12/24*, 03/11/24*

LTS –Leadership and Teamworking Skills (Formerly MCL-OIC) (1-Day): 04/04/24

MEECE – Management of Electrical and Electronic Control Equipment (Assessments not included): Not Currently Scheduled

MED-PIC – Medical Person in Charge (10-Day): 01/08/24, 04/01/24, 05/13/24, 08/19/24, 09/30/24

MED-PIC-REF– Medical Person in Charge Refresher: 01/22/24, 03/18/24, 05/26/24, 07/29/24, 11/18/24

MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: (5-Day): 01/08/24, 04/01/24, 05/13/24, 07/08/24, 08/19/24

MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Transportation Drug & Alcohol Testing (1-Day): 01/13/24, 01/27/24, 03/14/24, 03/23/24, 04/06/24, 05/05/24, 05/18/24

[MSC – Military Sealift Command Courses]

MSC-CBRD-1 – Military Sealift Command Chemical, Biological, Radiological Defense Orientation (Basic) (1-Day): 02/29/24, 05/09/24, 06/07/24, 08/08/24, 09/12/24, 10/31/24

MSC-DC – Military Sealift Command Damage Control (2-day): 03/01/24, 05/10/24, 06/07/24, 08/09/24, 09/13/24, 11/01/24

MSC-ENVPRO (1-Day – Evening Class): 03/01/24, 05/10/24, 06/07/24, 08/09/24, 09/13/24, 11/01/24

MSC-FF-HELO (2-Day): Not currently scheduled

MSC-SMA – Military Sealift Command Small Arms Qualifications (4-Day): 01/08/24, 03/04/24, 05/13/24, 06/10/24, 07/15/24, 08/12/24, 09/16/24, 11/04/24

MSC-Security Watch Basic (1-Day/ 8-hour): 03/02/24, 05/11/24, 06/08/24, 08/10/24, 09/14/24, 11/02/24

MSC-Security Watch Advanced (1-Day): 01/07/24, 03/03/24, 05/12/24, 06/09/24, 07/14/24, 08/11/24, 09/15/24, 11/03/24

MSC-Ship’s Reaction Force (3-Day): 01/12/24, 03/08/24, 05/17/24, 06/14/24, 07/19/24, 08/16/24, 09/20/24, 11/08/24

NDMS-ENAV – Navigational Decision Making Series – Best Practice in eNav (3-Day): Not currently scheduled

NSAP-MMP – Navigational Skills Assessment Program-MM&P (2-Day): 01/22/24*, 01/24/24*, 05/13/24, 05/15/24

PSC – Personal Survival Craft (Lifeboatman) (5-Day): 01/29/24, 02/05/24

PSC-REF – Personal Survival Craft Refresher (2-Day): 01/25/24

RFPNW – Ratings Forming Part of a Navigational Watch (3-day): 01/10/24

ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal (1-Day): Not Currently Scheduled

ROR-1N – Radar Observer Renewal Evening Classes (1-Night): 01/31/24

ROU-OIC – Radar Observer Program – Unlimited: 01/29/24, 02/26/24

SAR – Search & Rescue – (Now with OIC and CMM assessments) (3-Day): 04/01/24

SHS-BAS-OIC – Basic Shiphandling: 04/29/24

SHS-EMR5 – Emergency Shiphandling (5 Day): 03/04/24

STB-OIC – Ship Construction and Basic Stability: 04/05/24

TCNAV/CO – Terrestrial Navigation and Compasses (15-Day): 02/05/24

TPIC – Tankerman Person in Charge: 01/29/24, 03/04/24

TRAC-TUG-2 (2-Day): Not currently scheduled

TTT – ** NOT covered by the MATES Program **: Not Currently Scheduled

VPDSD – Vessel Personnel with Designated Security Duties: Not Currently Scheduled

VSO – Vessel Security Officer (3-Day): 02/19/24

WKP-OIC – Watchkeeping (Operational Level) (10-Day): 03/18/24

WX-OIC –Meteorology (Operational Level): 04/22/24
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You can enroll online at www.mitags.org or contact our Admissions Department 866.656.5568 or admissions@mitags.org

January 2024

8-12 Basic Training

15-18 Advanced Firefighting

22-26 Leadership & Managerial Skills

29-30 Basic Training Revalidation

29-31 Security Officer – Vessel, Company & Facility

29-2 Medical Care Provider

29-9 Medical Person-In-Charge

31st Advanced Firefighting Revalidation

February 2024

5-23 Celestial Navigation


19-23 Basic Training

19-1 GMDSS

19-23 Advanced Shiphandling I

26-27 Basic Training Revalidation

26-1 Advanced Shiphandling II

26-1 Able Seaman

28th Advanced Firefighting Revalidation

March 2024

4-8 Meteorology – Operational Level

4-8 Advanced Stability


14th Flashing Light Assessment

18-22 Basic Training

25-26 Basic Training Revalidation

25-29 Able Seaman

27th Advanced Firefighting Revalidation

April 2024

1-4 Advanced Firefighting

8-12 ECDIS

22-23 Basic Training Revalidation

24th Advanced Firefighting Revalidation

May 2024

6-10 Basic Training

13-17 Medical Care Provider

13-24 Medical Person-In-Charge

20-22 Security Officer – Vessel, Company & Facility

30-31 Advanced Firefighting Refresher

June 2024

1-2 Basic Training Revalidation

1-3 Basic Training Refresher

3rd Advanced Firefighting Revalidation

3-7 Basic Training

3-21 Terrestrial & Coastal Navigation

24-25 Basic Training Revalidation

26th Advanced Firefighting Revalidation
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The MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly is the official electronic newsletter of the International Organization of Masters, Mates & Pilots, 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©2023. Articles can be reprinted without prior permission if credit is given to The MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly.

For subscriptions, address changes or messages to the editor, send an email to communications@bridgedeck.org.