|The Marine Exchange of Alaska is a non-profit, |
maritime organization established to serve
the Alaska Maritime Community by providing
information, communications and services to ensure
safe, secure, efficient and environmentally
responsible maritime operations.
TWIC Mobile Enrollment/Activation Updates
Anticipated future mobile activation centers:
The Skagway mobile enrollment center has officially closed for business. The original schedule called for the card activation visit in December, but this scheduled is likely to change due to the seasonal nature of Skagway (most of the enrollees won't be there in December!) We will continue to work with TSA and Lockheed Martin to find a timeframe which will allow the majority of the enrollees to activate their cards in Skagway. Stay tuned...
Our thanks go out to Chief Ray Leggett and the Skagway Police Department, as well as Mark Schaefer and the folks at White Pass Railroad for all their help in pulling off this mobile enrollment.
The Haines mobile enrollment center has officiallyclosed for business. We anticipate the mobile activation visit for these enrollees will occur around the first week of December. I'll keep everyone updated as this gets closer.
Thanks to Harbormaster Phil Benner, Fred Gray (Delta Western), and especially the staff of the Haines Public Library for making this enrollment center happen.
The Cordova mobile activation center opened for business on Tuesday, Sept 2 and will close Friday, Sept 5. It is located in the Cordova Public Library. Hours: 10:00a-5:00p. If you're in Cordova and haven't activated your card yet, please do so soon!
The Sitka mobile activation center will open for business on Monday, Sept 8 through Friday, Sept 19. It will be located at Harrigan Centennial Hall. Hours: Mon-Tues 8:00a-5:00p Wed-Fri 12:00p-9:00p. The online appointment tool is not yet activated for this center but should work shortly, walk-ins are welcome.
No exact dates for activation have been announced, but I anticipate activation occurring during the last week of September and first week of October.
No exact dates for activation have been announced, but I anticipate activation occurring in late September.
No exact dates have been announced, but I anticipate activation occurring in mid to late October.
|Missed Remote Activation Options |
As we enter the mobile activation phase in Alaska, there's a possibility some of you might not receive your cards during the scheduled activation visits. This could be due to being out of town during the visit, your background check not being completed in time for the visit, etc.
For those of you whose cards arrive at a mobile activation site, but who miss the window to pick them up, your cards will be returned to the fixed centers in either Juneau (for SEAK enrollees), or Anchorage (for all other enrollees). The same goes for the cards which arrive after the mobile activation visit.
At the moment, the only choice you will have if you fall into this category is to arrange to travel to the fixed center to activate your card. The Marine Exchange is currently working with Lockheed Martin and TSA on the following options:
1) The Marine Exchange has several personnel who are very close to being designated as "Trusted Agents" for TWIC enrollment/activation. We hope to be able to take care of remote areas we normally travel to during the course of our normal business by providing enrollment and delivering cards for activation.
2) Lockheed Martin is working to develop a process which will allow cards to be transferred from one fixed center to another fixed center. Although the enrollee will likely have to pay for the express shipping of the card between centers, this will allow the enrollee to activate the card at a center which may be more convenient to get to than Juneau or Anchorage (i.e. Seattle, or other centers in the Lower 48).
|The Future of TWIC in Alaska |
Previous newsletters have discussed the efforts of the Marine Exchange and the "Alaska TWIC Workgroup" in developing solutions to the challenges TWIC enrollment poses in Alaska.
The group's first priority was ensuring that mobile enrollment & activation was made available to as many remote communities as possible during the initial TWIC enrollment phase. Overall, the group was successful in bringing mobile enrollment to the majority of Alaska's remote mariners and waterfront workers. This effort will continue, as we know there are some areas left which were never offered remote enrollment and likely have significant numbers of enrollees. We're still committed to preventing these folks from having to travel (twice) to one of the four fixed sites.
The next priority (which is upon us) will be to develop longer term solutions for Alaska. We will hopefully convince the decision-makers that, while very important, the mobile enrollment offered to this point is certainly not the end of the road. I'm sure there are already workers in places like Dutch Harbor, whose mobile enrollment period ended just a month ago, who have been recently hired and will now need to travel to Anchorage for their cards. This same scenario will continue to play out throughout Alaska - and will likely be a problem for years to come.
With this in mind, the Marine Exchange recently met with representatives of TSA Headquarters, and arranged for them to also meet with various stakeholders throughout Alaska. The goal of these meetings is to educate TSA on the challenges we're facing with TWIC compliance, and to reinforce our commitment to work with them to develop realistic, workable solutions to these challenges. While this was only the first step, these folks were very interested in what we had to say, and promised to being the "message" back to the Beltway.
Another bright spot for the future of TWIC in Alaska is the "Small Marine Business and Fishing Guide Relief Act of 2008" recently introduced into Congress by Sen. Coleman (R-MN). If passed, this act will likely exempt many of Alaska's mariners not working aboard vessels with security plans. This is a big deal, and will greatly affect many remote areas in Alaska where the majority of the TWIC enrollees fall into this category (i.e. Yakutat, Bristol Bay Region, etc).
|Upcoming Mariner Courses at UAS |
The University of Alaska, Southeast is announcing the following courses being offered in the next few months:
- Radar Renewal
- 100 Ton Master
- Able Seaman
- Outboard Motor Maintenance
- Radar Observer
- Fast Rescue Boat
- 200 Ton Master
- Proficiency in Survival Craft
to see a complete schedule, including locations and cost.
Marine Exchange of Alaska