Military Sealift Command lockdown

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.


Any increase in resignations and quitting since the start of lockdown? There are some sources that say folks are walking off the gangway and some are being talked to to stay for a little while longer.

I think more than a few are expediting their retirements if they have the time and age. Why hang around with this policy? Many will not quit/resign. They can’t afford the loss of income and will be hard pressed finding work that pays this good.


Factoring cost of living and food, I would argue no one else would pay them on that level not even Federal jobs. No chance on the Private sector in current market climates.

Mates and Engine department maybe with other shipping companies but not in the office.

Highly doubt most of the other non-Mate/Engineer tracked has any chance against the hundreds of thousands that graduate every year entering the workforce plus all the express Greencard programs for PhD holders and those with expertise from foreign countries.

No shortage of good hired help in the regular job market in a postmodern Capitalistic society.

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Quarantine don’t suck, at least for me. Luxury resort with pool and ocean views, food delivered ain’t terrible. Two 30 minute rec periods.

Ya can’t go into town, but things change after 5 days if your swab is clean. You can go to your ship. But…if that ship ain’t there yet you’ll transfer to another even nicer resort and you are given more freedom at the resort but still can’t go into town. You just have to practice social distancing. Food deliveries are allowed. Your results may vary…

Met some Edison Chouest guys on the overseas flight. MSC will allow them to quarantine on-board. They will be fully separated from the current guys, opposing watch I guess.

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Can you tell us what country /resort you are at ?

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Angeles City. :smirk:

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Two folks in a pre-assignment ROM bubble just tested positive. There’s about sixty people on that ship. That’ll hold up reliefs further.

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Current process for a 5th fleet assignment is a navy flight from Norfolk to Bahrain, a 3 week quarantine in a Bahrain hotel/apartment (no exiting the room). Then 2 more weeks quarantine aboard assigned vessel before actually working.

The Bahrain government requires a 2 week general quarantine for all entering the country, and Bahrain tests you at airport. Will call you if result is positive.

So far no mention of the US Navy testing anyone. I think quarantine time have been halved through the use of testing. Hotel is $241 and per diem $122 per day, $7,623 for the 21 days. There’s drive through testing in the US so the navy should be up to the task.