|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.
I know it's been awhile since I've sent out an update on TWIC. In reality, I suspect most of you have enjoyed not hearing about it for a few months! But there have been some important changes in the TWIC program which I'd like to bring to everyone's attention:
As most of you are aware, Lockheed Martin is TSA's prime contractor for performing TWIC enrollments and activations. Until recently, Lockheed Martin used a company called Abbtech Staffing Services as a subcontractor to staff their offices and provide mobile enrollments within Alaska. Abbtech has now been replaced by a company call L-1 Identity Solutions. One of the most interesting changes which came with L-1 is that they are starting to subcontract some of Alaska's enrollment centers out to local, private entities (see Nikiski below as an example).
Current Enrollment Center Locations/Hours:
Anchorage Enrollment Center
207 E. Northern Lights
Anchorage, AK Hours: Mon-Fri, 8:30a-4:30p
Juneau Enrollment Center
3200 Hospital Dr
Juneau, AK Hours: MONDAY ONLY, 8:00a-12:00p & 1:00p-5:00p
Valdez Enrollment Center
501 East Bremner St
Valdez, AK Hours: MONDAY ONLY, 8:00a-12:00p
Nikiski Enrollment Center
V.I.P Alaska, Inc.
43530 Kalifornsky Beach Rd
Kenai, AK Hours: Mon-Fri, 8:00a-5:00p
Mobile (Remote) Enrollments:
There hasn't been much action in this arena once Alaska made it past the TWIC compliance date. I get the impression that we've been experiencing the calm in "eye of the storm." Of course in the past 6 months since the compliance date, there are a lot of new hires, lost cards, new mariners, and possibly even a few cards which have already expired (but that's another story...) Lately I've been feeling the effects of the eye wall approaching again with phone calls from various remote communities wondering about continued mobile enrollments.
As before, in order for us to approach Lockheed Martin and/or L-1 to request mobile enrollments, we'll need an idea of how many "customers" they'll have in each community. Therefore, I request each company representative reading this (particularly the Company, Facility and Vessel Security Officers) provide me with the number of folks you have in your communities who would benefit from a mobile enrollment and/or activation visit. Armed with this info, I'll see if we can get some of these visits going.
|Man Overboard Stories Wanted |
The Nerland Agency Worldwide Partners is an employee-owned advertising and public relations firm in Anchorage, Alaska. The company is seeking to interview persons who have fallen overboard from vessels in Alaska waters. The information will be used in a campaign to encourage boaters to wear personal flotation devices. If you have fallen overboard and are willing to describe your experience for this project you should contact the agency. The complete information on the project and whom to contact is available here
|New Response Plan Requirements |
In a recent Federal Register, the Coast Guard is updating its requirements for oil-spill removal equipment associated with vessel response plans and marine transportation-related facility response plans. These changes will add requirements for new response technologies and revise methods and procedures for responding to oil spills upon the navigable waters of the United States, adjoining shorelines, and the exclusive economic zone. The Coast Guard is also revising the compliance date for updates of vessel response plans (VRPs) required by the Salvage and Marine Firefighting final rule. This extension of the compliance date will ensure that plan holders are not required to update their VRPs twice within a 12-month period. This final rule is effective September 30, 2009.
Read the final rule by clicking here
|New Member Spotlight:
I'd like to introduce the newest member of the Marine Exchange: TRI-MAX/Kingsway Industries
TRI-MAX/Kingsway specializes in Cold Compressed Air Foam Systems (CAFS). This "state of the art" fire suppression technology provides a finished foam expansion ratio of 20:1 and a small durable foam bubble that lasts longer to seal flammable vapors and solution spills.
All of the TRI-MAX CAFS systems are portable, easy to service and
maintain, and include an extensive operations, training and maintenance manual. Kingsway also provides all types of AFFF foam and decontamination agents.
TRI-MAX Cold CAF provides a new technology to the industry that cuts costs
while more effectively combating simple, to the most complex of fires.
Based in Redding, CA, TRI-MAX has sales representatives and distributors throughout the world and the U.S., including Alaska. While new to the maritime community, TRI-MAX products are ideally suited for Alaska's small bulk oil and/or hazmat handling facilities and ports. The company is currently testing fixed CAFS onboard vessels as an alternative or supplement to CO2 and dry chemical systems. We're confident TRI-MAX can help ensure the safety of Alaska's maritime operations and welcome them aboard!
To see additional information on TRI-MAX and their products, or to contact a sales representative, please visit their website here
or contact Dan Krusze (in Anchorage) via email at email@example.com
|MXAK Vessel Tracking Enhancements |
This has been a busy (and productive) summer for MXAK in the area of vessel tracking.
We now have over 70 Automatic Identification System (AIS) receivers installed throughout Alaska. These receivers span from Ketchikan to Cook Inlet, from Bethel to Kaktovik (Western AK to the North Slope), from Kodiak to Adak, and many locations in between (including St. Paul, St. George and St. Lawrence Islands).
We have also expanded into incorporating existing Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) satellite tracking data into our PACTRACS display (when requested by vessel owners). This allows the owners of fishing vessels required to participate in VMS to easily access the positions of their vessels and view not only their positions reported via satellite, but real-time data when these vessels are in range of our AIS receivers. This data is also being provided to the 17th Coast guard District to aid in search & rescue.
This also marked the first year that large cruise ships operating in Alaska were able to provide the USCG and State of Alaska with regular position reports during their transits without the use of satellite tracking. MXAK's extensive AIS network allowed these vessels to provide real-time reports to the USCG (voluntarily) and to the State of Alaska (as required by recent legislation), and saved each company the costs of satellite polling which they've incurred in the past.
Finally, as MXAK's tracking system expanded we recognized the need for additional quality assurance and network monitoring. We have now established a 24X7 "watch" manned by a staff of maritime information specialists. The folks are also standing by to help any of our customers with vessel tracking questions and technical support. You can contact our "watch" at 907-463-3142 or via email firstname.lastname@example.org
at any time, day or night.
|Fall/Winter Mariner Courses at UAS |
Now that the boating season is winding down, why not consider taking a course at UAS to improve your skills on the water, increase your license, or even go for your first license?
to see the upcoming schedule of courses. Some of these are even being offered at nights or web-based to make it even easier!
Marine Exchange of Alaska