Military Sealift Command lockdown

From a Chief Mate’s perspective, hell no! At least where commercial ops are concerned. I always wanted to keep the deck looking as good as possible and if we shot the budget by mid year, the deck suffered.

Guys would bitch (but let’s be honest, they always bitch, they’re sailors) so the OT trickles out in manageable amounts so we can stretch the budget for the year. We’ve all been through it. Most of us on the receiving and then the giving end. It would be so much easier if they’d just give us the money to work.


Talk about being stuck between a rock and a hard place…

From a commercial side, I agree. My overtime numbers were scrutinized monthly by the bean counters. Was never a problem. My rigs were well maintained and looked great when potential customers would vet the rig. I credit my most excellent AB’s and engineers for selling our service. Their excellent work during regular watch did not require a lot of overtime, but whenever they requested it, was more than happy to sign off on it. And yes, part of a sailors job is to eat,squawk,and shit. Pardon my spelling. Company never turned down my numbers or request for supplies.

How has this thread spiraled into budget discussions? If you track your overtime/M+R budget you can adjust your offered hours as needed based upon the slackers who don’t work and the rest of us that are out here so we can go home an buy more guns and boats. end surly rant…

In a related note local commanders will soon begin submitting requests for a waiver to the MSC gangway up order. This finally matches up with the April statement from the DOD that had extended the travel ban and hit on a few other COVID topics such as deferring the "gangway up " order to area commanders as they are best aware of the current COVID situation in their perspective commands.



In other news: Stop-movement order to remain in effect, unless local conditions at bases meet criteria for travel

Installations will be assessed by the services, which will report whether they meet four factors: removal of local travel restrictions; availability of essential services such as schools and child care; quality control and assurances for packing and moving household goods, and the capacity and capability to treat and test personnel.

Once areas and installations meet the memo’s criteria, they will be considered for permissions to travel to and from the area.

I rolled with the posts. Still haven’t heard from our pal that went through 3 hibernations.I assume he is underway and checking the oil on a regular basis.

check with your local commander for what’s going on where you are.

The key words are “local conditions” and MSC will accept requests for waivers to follow along with what has been granted in Guam and Okinawa.

No divulging my source but so far has my info been up to spec?

I’m not on a ship at the moment so information takes a while to filter through. The past few months have seen an extraordinary amount of scuttlebutt concerning gangway-up, most of it wildly wrong, so forgive my doubts. I had hoped you were going to point to a new COMSC instruction, MOU or something. I’ll ping my sources in that AOR and see what I can confirm. Here’s to hoping!

I’m with another fed agency and I am about as close to working like a commercial seafarer as you can get without actually being one. I relieve people when there’s a vacancy for any reason. I am dispatched directly from my home. The way it works for us is that when home, you use annual leave or LWOP. I work four or five months a year and make enough to do fine because I grab all the OT I can get. Normally, we don’t get much OT in port so I make most of my OT at sea. It has been a challenge to keep my time straight for leave and retirement.

Right now, most of us are home with skeleton crews on each of our ships. They are working toward getting us back to work, but I’m not yet clear on how they intend to do that. We fly commercial on major carriers under contract, so it’ll be risky because to be honest I fully expect another big spike in Covid 19 infections after seeing all the Covidiots this weekend. We’ve been smart about things thus far and I hope we don’t blow it in the eagerness to get back to work. Many of us relief mariners work other jobs at home or go to school or do volunteer work.

Most of the people at home get base wages with a few exceptions.


Good old Comshaw lives on.

They do allow comp time for OT. However; you are allowed only 30 calendar days off after leaving the ship. They will call and require you to report on day 30. Even if you have another 60 days of leave saved up.


That is BS and explains the low retention when other jobs are available. Either you get comp or you don’t. Of course they could hire enough to have a normal rotation but that will NEVER happen. COuld be the best job in the US maritime business but any changes have to go thru congress and they couldn’t care less.

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why pick up the phone? what can they do if youre past probation ?

SECDEF just adjusted the no travel ban.

travel ban adjustment

Things are starting to move in the right direction.

@Deckape; what is the pretext MSC is using to deny payment of penalty pay or other compensation due per the CMPI as a result of the restriction policy?

The reasoning is there is a provision for the limiting or restricting of liberty in cases of hazard to life, health or safety for things like war, civil unrest, a breakdown of law and order, natural or man-made disaster, unhealthy condition or act of God (not an exact quote). As many national and local authorities around the world, including the United States, declared hazards to life and restrictions of movement it was deemed to qualify for restriction of leave and liberty without compensation.

Yet as USN personnel could come and go between their ships and home, including hybrid crewed ships, it begged the question why, if it was too dangerous for MSC, wasn’t it too dangerous for USN?

I believe the answer from the command was because USN are young and fit while MSC are old and unhealthy. CIVMARs needed extra protections USN did not. Which begged another question. If MSC needed more protection then why does USN come and go and pierce their protective bubble?

It just doesn’t add up. I give the command the benefit of the doubt that they acted in good faith during the initial chaotic and uncertain time. It is better to error on the side of caution. Now that we know more about the disease its long past due to right our course and take the appropriate protective measures.

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Agree with most of you points. A policy for ALL aboard would have made more sense. And less complaints. Hope you guys get home soon without any virus shit. We have many friends affected (not infected we hope) by this debacle which is no fault of your own.

MPS2 Commodore requested, and was granted a waiver for the gangway up order by MSCHQ. They are calling it a “limited exception” most likely because it is limited to MPS2 in DG. MSC, NSF and BIOT will immediately allow liberty to one vessel in the lagoon and on June 5 the remaining vessel crews will be allowed ashore. The one vessel that has been granted immediate liberty did not participate in the recent mass crew change and are considered a “clean” vessel. The other vessels must wait for the on board 14 day ROM of new crew to complete. There is a long list of social distancing and other measures that will need to be followed. I cant see them doing a whole lot of enforcement after witnessing the lax attitude about the measures from the active duty base personnel…but the Merchant Sailors here have always been viewed as second class citizens so maybe they will choose to enforce it on us.


MSCLANT passed their request to COMSC Thursday afternoon. No word yet.

The more this evolves, the more it seems to turn into a question of mission readiness vs mariner health. I get the feeling that was really the issue the whole time, but I wonder if the arbitrators will see it that way.

On my 2 week quarantine now. Can’t leave room. Meals are dropped if at your door 3x day. Two 30 minute recreational sessions 2x day. Wifi. Tv. Hair dryer to warm up your food. So there is that.