Commandant News

22 Feb 2019

The USCG -Mandated Drug Testing Increase:

Lee Seham, partner, Seham, Seham, Meltz & Petersen and General Counsel of the non-profit drug testing consortium American Maritime Safety, Inc.

Wasteful, Unwarranted and does not address the ‘Marijuana Challenge.’On December 28, 2018, the United States Coast Guard published a notice in the Federal Register alerting the maritime industry of its determination to increase the minimum annual rate of random drug testing for 2019 from twenty-five percent (25%) to fifty percent (50%). American Maritime Safety, Inc. (AMS), a non-profit industry consortium that facilitates the industry’s compliance with these regulations, regrets the Coast Guard’s decision.AMS counts as members over 400 maritime employers including cruise liners…

31 Jan 2019

OP/ED: Advancing the Passenger Vessel Industry:

Gus Gaspardo, President, Padelford Packet Boat Co.

A Strategic Look Forward.It is my honor to serve as PVA’s President. My company, Padelford Packet Boat Co., Saint Paul, MN, has proudly, and actively, been a member of this organization since its inception almost 50 years ago when it was previously known as the National Association of Passenger Vessel Operators (NAPVO).While PVA is rich in history, it by no means is stuck in old ways. PVA is always evolving to mirror the ever-advancing world of passenger vessel operations. As the voice of the passenger vessel industry…

30 Jan 2019

INSIGHTS: Admiral Karl Schultz, Commandant, U.S. Coast Guard

Admiral Karl L. Schultz, the 26th Commandant of the United States Coast Guard.

Admiral Karl L. Schultz assumed the duties as the 26th Commandant of the United States Coast Guard on June 1, 2018. He previously served from August 2016 to May 2018 as Commander, Atlantic Area where he was the operational commander for all Coast Guard missions spanning five Coast Guard Districts and 40 states. Previous operational assignments include Sector Commander in Miami, Florida, as well as command tours aboard Cutters VENTUROUS, ACACIA and FARALLON. His senior staff assignments include Chief of the Office of Congressional and Governmental Affairs; Congressional Liaison to the U.S.

21 Jan 2019

Safety Management Systems: A Good fit for Passenger Vessels?

Captain Lee Boone is the Chief of the U.S. Coast Guard’s Office of Investigations & Casualty Analysis

The evidence and industry subject matter experts both say ‘yes.’In its recently released SAFER SEAS DIGEST, Lessons Learned from Marine Accident Investigations (2017), the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) reports investigating numerous accidents across all modes of transportation where a properly implemented safety management system (SMS) could have prevented injuries, loss of life, or material damage. That document spans analysis of casualties across the full spectrum of all manners of marine craft…

11 Jan 2019

Surface Navy Association to Hold Annual Symposium

Rear Adm. Ronald A. Boxall, director, Surface Warfare, addresses attendees of the Surface Navy Association's 30th National Symposium in 2018. (U.S. Navy photo by Timothy Hale)

The Surface Navy Association will hold its 31st National Symposium January 15-17, 2019 at the Crystal City Hyatt Regency Crystal City Hotel in Arlington, Va.The symposium will feature senior Navy leaders delivering keynote remarks, focused on the theme of “Ready, Agile, Focused: Own the Fight!”Featured speakers include Vice Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Bill Moran; Commander, Naval Surface Forces/Commander, Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet Vice Adm. Richard A. Brown, USN; Director, Surface Warfare (N96) Rear Adm. Ronald A. Boxall; and Director, Expeditionary Warfare (N95) Maj. Gen.

06 Jan 2019

BAE Systems to Modernise USS Shoup

Image: BAE Systems

BAE Systems has received a $78.8 million contract for the maintenance and modernisation of the US Navy’s Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer, USS Shoup.The value of the competitively awarded contract could reach $87.6 million if all options are exercised, said a press release.According to the release, the scope of the depot modernisation period availability includes dry-docking the ship and performing underwater hull preservation works. BAE Systems will also upgrade the ship’s Aegis combat system and its command and control equipment…

03 Jan 2019

Coast Guard Raises Minimum Random Drug Testing Rate to 50 PCT

Image Credit / AdobeStock © Cozyta

The Coast Guard announced in the Federal Register that the calendar year 2019 minimum random drug testing rate is set at 50 percent of covered crewmembers. This rate is effective January 1, 2019 through December 31, 2019.The Coast Guard has increased the minimum random drug testing rate for 2019 as a result of Drug and Alcohol Management Information System (MIS) data for the most recent reporting year indicating that the positive rate is greater than one percent. 46 CFR part 16.230(f)(2)…

27 Dec 2018

Third Party Oversight

File Image: the El Faro's VDR as it looked installed on the vessel.

... one year after the commandant’s Final Action Memo on the El Faro sinking.“… the Coast Guard is ultimately responsible to monitor the performance of third parties that perform delegated functions and also to guarantee the effectiveness of vessel inspections and surveys. Yet the Coast Guard failed to adequately oversee the third party in this case, and the investigation reveals that the Coast Guard has not sustained the proficiency and policy framework to do so in general. The…

18 Dec 2018

NMC Announces Revised Comment Period for MM Medical Manual

Revised Comment Period: Draft Merchant Mariner Medical Manual, Notification of Availability and Request for Comments.The Coast Guard is seeking public comment regarding the draft Merchant Mariner Medical Manual. The guidance in this manual should assist medical practitioners, the maritime industry, individual mariners, and Coast Guard personnel in evaluating mariner applicants’ physical and medical statuses to meet the requirements of the merchant mariner medical certificate. This draft commandant instruction manual incorporates and consolidates prior guidance on the medical evaluation of merchant mariners contained in several Coast Guard documents.

12 Dec 2018

U.S. Coast Guard Publishes first Domestic Vessel Annual Report

Rear Admiral John P. Nadeau, Assistant Commandant for Prevention Policy, United States Coast Guard.

The Office of Commercial Vessel Compliance announced the release of the 2017 Domestic Vessel Annual Report, the first of its kind issued from the Coast Guard.The report collates data from the Coast Guard’s Marine Information Safety and Law Enforcement (MISLE) database regarding vessel population, inspections conducted, and deficiencies issued for the 2017 calendar year.In 2017, the Coast Guard’s fleet of responsibility contained 12,189 vessels with active Certificates of Inspection (COI). There were 905 Marine Inspectors (MI) assigned to field units who conducted 18,424 inspections.

07 Dec 2018

Coast Guard Commandant Optimistic About Icebreaker Funding

A file image of the Coast Guard's lone heavy icebreaker, the Polar Star. Image CREDIT: USCG

The United States may soon get funding for a new heavy icebreaker ship, the head of the U.S. Coast Guard said on Thursday, as global warming spurs the race to stake out the Arctic, which is rich in oil, gas, and minerals.The United States has two operational icebreakers - a heavy one, the Polar Star, which is more than 42 years old and has outlived its life expectancy by a dozen years, and a medium one, the Healy cutter.By comparison, Russia has about 40 to 50 icebreakers, purpose-built vessels that can rescue other ships…

05 Dec 2018

Interview: Shuichi Iwanami, Commandant, Japan Coast Guard

Shuichi Iwanami, Commandant, Japan Coast Guard. Photo: JCG

As the Japan Coast Guard celebrates its 70th anniversary, Maritime Reporter & Engineering News offers insights on the current status and future direction of the JCG courtesy of an interview with Shuichi Iwanami, Commandant, Japan Coast Guard.*Note: At the time this interview was conducted, Shuichi Iwanami was still Vice Commandant for Operations.Could you please tell us the history and future development of the Japan Coast Guard (JCG)?The JCG, in 2018 celebrates the 70th anniversary of its foundation. When it was founded, the Japanese waters were in an eclipse period.

04 Dec 2018

Interview: Admiral Karl Schultz, Commandant, United States Coast Guard

Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Karl Schultz visits with Coast Guard crews stationed in
New York City. U.S. Coast Guard photo illustration by Petty Officer 1st Class Jetta Disco.

Maritime Reporter & Engineering News was offered the opportunity to interview Admiral Karl Schultz, the 26th Commandant in the history of the United States Coast Guard, in his office in Washington, DC. Just five months into his tenure, his plate is predictably full with a number of challenges, including: Attracting and retaining future U.S. Coast Guard personnel; addressing a number of assymetric threats, including cyber attacks; and ensuring captial and operating budgets are adequate to safely and efficiently carry out a global mission envelope, to name but a few.

26 Nov 2018

Shipyards: FMG & its Quest to Build USCG Icebreakers

Image: Fincantieri Marine Group

As the U.S. Coast Guard moves to rebuild its icebreaker fleet we spoke with RADM Bruce Baffer (Ret.), head of Fincantieri’s effort to win the contract to build the Polar Security Cutters.The case for the U.S. to build a new class of icebreakers is strong. While news of global climate change and the shrinking ice caps at both poles is daily headline fodder, maritime navigation in and around the Arctic and Antarctic remains one of the most difficult and dangerous operating arenas on the high seas.

20 Nov 2018

Vard Begins Construction of Le Commandant Charcot

Image: Ponant

Construction of Ponant's new polar exploration vessel Le Commandant Charcot has begun  with the traditional steel cutting ceremony at Vard's shipyard in Tulcea, Romania.Delivery of the new flagship, the most ambitious ever designed both in terms of travel experience and respect for the environment, is scheduled for 2021.The vessel will bear the name of a great French explorer: Le Commandant Charcot. An explorer by vocation with a true passion for sailing, Jean-Baptiste Charcot…

13 Nov 2018

U.S. Flag Vessel Safety

Image: NTSB

Congressional and Agency Actions to Implement Changes to U.S.-Flag Vessel Safety Requirements Three Years after the M/V El Faro IncidentOctober 1, 2018 marked three years since the tragic sinking of the M/V El Faro – ranking as one of the worst maritime disasters in U.S. history and resulting in the highest death toll for a U.S. commercial vessel sinking in almost 40 years. Following this incident, both the  National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and U.S. Coast Guard spent considerable  effort to investigate this incident.

28 Sep 2018

Coast Guard Exercises OPC Construction Option with ESG

A rendering of the Offshore Patrol Cutter

US Coast Guard exercises construction option for lead Offshore Patrol Cutter, long lead-time materials for second Offshore Patrol Cutter.Today, the Coast Guard exercised contract options with Eastern Shipbuilding Group to begin construction of the lead offshore patrol cutter (OPC), Argus, and to acquire long lead-time materials for the second OPC, Chase. This milestone, which begins the construction of the lead OPC, is another major step in replacing the Coast Guard's aging fleet of medium endurance cutters.

08 Oct 2018

Destroyer Frank E. Petersen Jr. Christened

Ship Sponsors Alicia J. Petersen (left) and D’Arcy Neller (right) christen DDG 121, the destroyer named for Petersen’s late husband, Frank E. Petersen Jr. Also pictured (left to right) are retired Gen. Alfred Gray, former commandant of the Marine Corps and keynote speaker at the christening; Ingalls Shipbuilding President Brian Cuccias; and Gen. Robert Neller, the 37th commandant of the Marine Corps. (Photo by Derek Fountain/HII)

U.S. shipbuilder Huntington Ingalls Industries’ (HII) Ingalls Shipbuilding division christened the guided missile destroyer Frank E. Petersen Jr. (DDG 121), the 71st in the U.S. Navy’s Arleigh Burke (DDG 51) class of destroyers and the 33rd built by Ingalls.DDG 121 honors Frank Emmanuel Petersen Jr., who was the Marine Corps’ first African-American aviator and the service’s first African-American general. After entering the Naval Aviation Cadet Program in 1950, Petersen would…

25 Oct 2018

U.S. Seeks 'Pragmatic' Approach to IMO 2020 Rules

Rear Admiral John Nadeau, assistant commandant for prevention policy for the Coast Guard

The United States is looking for a "pragmatic" approach to the implementation of new marine fuel emission rules that go into effect in 2020, a U.S. Coast Guard official said on Thursday.The United States hopes like-minded countries will put forth a proposal or proposals for a May 2019 meeting of the International Maritime Organization's environmental body, Rear Admiral John Nadeau, assistant commandant for prevention policy for the Coast Guard, said on the sidelines of a conference in New York.Reporting by Stephanie Kelly

12 Oct 2018

U.S. Coast Guard's Maritime Commerce Strategic Outlook released

U.S. Coast Guard Commandant Admiral Karl L. Schultz

U.S. Coast Guard Commandant Admiral Karl L. Schultz has issued the Coast Guard's 40-paged document that outlines their "VISION for Enabling Maritime Commerce." He introduces the new paper in an open letter to industry, as shown below:America is a maritime Nation. It is a Nation shaped by seafarers who recognized the tremendous economic potential derived from unrestricted access to the oceans, internal waterways, deep-water ports and protected straits and bays. This geostrategic advantage favorably shapes our Nation’s security…

21 Sep 2018

NOSAC Meeting Highlights

Representatives from the Coast Guard, offshore oil and gas industries, recognized organizations and numerous industry associations attended the National Offshore Safety Advisory Committee semi-annual public meeting in Houston, Texas Sept 11, 2018.Rear Adm. John Nadeau, assistant commandant for prevention policy, attended the meeting and discussed with the Committee the new Coast Guard commandant’s strategic vision for the service as well as the reorganization within the Office of Commercial Vessel Compliance to put an increased emphasis on Third Party Organization oversight.During the meeting…

26 Oct 2018

Meet USCG Commandant Admiral Karl Schultz

Admiral Karl Schultz, Commandant of the Coast Guard, U.S. Coast Guard. Photo: USCG

Last week Maritime Reporter & Engineering News had the opportunity to sit with Admiral Karl Schultz, Commandant of the Coast Guard, U.S. Coast Guard, in his office in Washington, D.C. for a wide ranging discussion on all matters coast guard and maritime. The 26th Commandant of the United States Coast Guard has occupied the top seat for just under five months, and he  is starting to clearly shape the major initiatives that will define his tenure. Diversity in the Coast Guard ranks…

02 Nov 2018

U.S. Coast Guard Clarifies U.S. Citizenship Requirement for U.S. Flag Vessels

File Image: AdobeStock / © xmentoys

Rules regarding 'Employment of Non-U.S. Credentialed Personnel On board Certain U.S.-Documented Vessels' defined.An analysis of recent arrival notifications has revealed several cases of U.S.-documented vessels calling on U.S. ports with non-U.S. credentialed personnel in lieu of U.S. citizens. The intent of this MSIB is to provide information and guidance regarding the provisions for employment of non-U.S. credentialed personnel on board certain U.S. documented vessels. Please…

Maritime Reporter Magazine Cover Feb 2019 - Ferry Builders

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