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  #1  
Old 03-07-2008
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the TWIC card--your TSA at work...

Okay, this may be of marginal concern to those not at all related to the commercial maritime industry, but to anyone who holds a 6-pack license though Oceans Master, or anyone who has to get to a commercial dock, facility, or refinery:

You have to get a "Transport Worker Identification Credential" (thank the 9/11 terrorists once again for this) if you hope to set foot on a dock, waterfront facility, ship, or even your own small 6-passenger charter vessel, before whatever date your local Coast Guard Captain of the Port has set, without waiting for an "escort" (ha, ha--try waiting for one) to take you to wherever you needed to go.

Okay, fair enough, but the application process seems designed to burn the maximum amount of time possible in order to get the card. It takes about a half-day to figure out the web site and apply, another half-day to go to wherever is the closest TSA office (God help you if you're not close to a seaport), then another half-day to wait in line to be fingerprinted and photoed, then after another 7 weeks (?) they tell you the card is ready. Then, you go back to their office and wait in line with the other applicants to get your card "acitivated" so you can finally walk out with it. None of this can be done by mail, and the fact that you already have a license, with fingerprint, or military ID, means nothing.

Figure on one and a half days of lost productivity for every maritime/waterfront worker who has to apply.

I sure hope it's worth it, because it sure is a PITA to apply, and get one, in case you ever need it. And at the rate they're going, they're never going to make it when the last-minute rush of applications come before the effective date, and it takes two months (and by then, maybe more) to get one from the application date. If you're a longshoreman who had some kind of record when you were younger and before you straightened out, add a couple more months to this timeline (this is why stevodoring companies hate this program).

End of rant. Those of you who have had to renew captain's, mate's, or engineer's licences will understand, just multiply your frustration by a factor of two or three. I hope this actually helps in stopping, or deterring, maritime terrorism, but at this point it just seems like another hoop to jump through.

Aaaah. Now I feel better....
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Old 03-07-2008
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Ah, our tax dollars at work supporting yet another bureaucratic empire in the making.
I thought that ya'll already had to do all the identification parts, just need a picture on your capt/mate eng. licence.

Trust gov to make it more, more more.
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Old 03-07-2008
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IIRC, if you're only an six-pack holder on a six-pack vessel, you don't need the TWIC... Actually, the way everything I've read on the TWIC says that if you don't need to be in secured areas of secured facilities... you probably won't need the TWIC card at all. There was another thread on this a couple of weeks ago.
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Old 03-07-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingdog View Post
IIRC, if you're only an six-pack holder on a six-pack vessel, you don't need the TWIC... Actually, the way everything I've read on the TWIC says that if you don't need to be in secured areas of secured facilities... you probably won't need the TWIC card at all. There was another thread on this a couple of weeks ago.
Dog, I've seen some stuff to the contrary, such as the below:

Red Right Returning

Occasionally, I may have to use my 100-ton motor/steam/sail license, and occasionally in my weekday job, I may have to visit the waterfront facilities to get to a ship. So now I have a shiny new "TWIC", but it took a lot of effort and lost time to get it...
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Old 03-07-2008
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Yes, there was a thread on this 2 weeks ago. Have you talked directly to your local Coast Guard Captain of Port? What is unclear to me is whether you need the TWIC card even if your boat is not in a so-called secure area? There are a lot of people out there with 6=pack licenses who will never set foot in a secure port. Maybe the marina where they keep their boat, but not in the Port of Baltimore as an example. As I said 2 weeks ago, it's worth contacting the TSA and Coasties directly for information before someone goes off to get one of these cards.

At any rate, here's a quote from the TSA site:

Who can I contact to get more information on TWIC?
TSA is responsible for conducting background checks, reviewing waivers and appeals , card issuance, revocation and renewal. The Coast Guard is responsible for enforcing the TWIC program as an access control measure and incorporating compliance into existing inspection policies. Both agencies are participating in stakeholder outreach activities. Since TSA and the USCG perform different roles, each agency established a Help Desk to address questions and concerns.
TSA's TWIC Program Help Desk can be reached at 1-866-DHS-TWIC (1-866-347-8942). The help desk will be available Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. until 12:00 a.m. EST.
USCG's TWIC Help Desk can be reached at 1-877-MTSA-AID. You may also correspond by email at uscg-twic-helpdesk@uscg.mil. For specific questions regarding implementation for 105 or 106 facilities, owners/operators/FSOs/CSOs are encouraged to seek guidance directly from the local Captain of the Port.


FYI -- When I retired from the feds I was working on the HSPD-12 implementation for my agency and served on several govt-wide committees for all this. HSPD-12 set up the "smart card" program for fed. employees and contractors. TWIC is the transportation version of that card. TWIC also is way behind schedule and woefully mismanaged by Chertoff and company. To top it off, Chertoff had to ask OMB for an extension for DHS to implement HSPD-12 due to not knowing what the hell they are doing, but I shan't comment further.
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Old 03-07-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nolatom View Post
Dog, I've seen some stuff to the contrary, such as the below:

Red Right Returning

Occasionally, I may have to use my 100-ton motor/steam/sail license, and occasionally in my weekday job, I may have to visit the waterfront facilities to get to a ship. So now I have a shiny new "TWIC", but it took a lot of effort and lost time to get it...
He states he is accessing waterfeont facilities so it makes sense he would need one. My question is whether every 6-pack holder needs a card no matter what.

At any rate, anyone who thinks they may be affected had best check with the TSA and Coasties and not rely on what you read here!
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Old 03-07-2008
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From everything I've read and heard, if you don't have to have unescorted access to secure facilities... you don't need a TWIC... You really should call the USCG to find out if you will require one for whatever your needs are.

The fact that Chertoff and company are screwing things up doesn't surprise me. DHS, TSA and many of the associated organizations couldn't find their butts if you shoved a lit flare up it...and put them in a dark room.
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Old 09-23-2008
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Exclamation 6-Pack & TWIC

Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingdog View Post
IIRC, if you're only an six-pack holder on a six-pack vessel, you don't need the TWIC... Actually, the way everything I've read on the TWIC says that if you don't need to be in secured areas of secured facilities... you probably won't need the TWIC card at all. There was another thread on this a couple of weeks ago.
I keep hearing this rumor over and over again and I want to set the record straight and help my fellow captain's get into compliance.

I just got off the horn with a former USCG Chief Evaluator for CG licensing and she said as the laws states, ANYONE caring a CG document i.e. MMD card, OUPV-aka 6-pack, master of whatever tons. Must have a TWIC card even if you never plan to step on a secured facility. The is talk about having this changed, but as the law reads currently, everyone carrying a document you must have a TWICs card or risk having your license suspended or revoked.

This information is current as of 9/23/2008. I know this sucks, but to be legal we must get that damn card. So be it. I hope this clears up the confusion.

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Captain Jack Richards
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"May the Winds be at your Back and the Stars to Guide you by." ___/)____*_
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Old 09-23-2008
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Capt. Jack:

You read it the way I do. While it makes little sense (to me) for a no-crew 6-Pack Operator to have a card to ensure he/she is safe to board and operate own boat, that's what the guidance says. How that benefits port security I don't know, but we follow the orders, rather than give them.

This requirement will further overburden a system which has already been inadeqate to process all those who need, or think they need, TWIC cards. The Sept 15 deadline was too much for the TSC-contracted processors, and I guess too much for the maritime industry too. So now it's slipped to next April 15.

So sign up early, be prepared to kill off a day or two of work time, and bring your $135 (and some work to do, or an interesting book), and you too can protect your license and (finally) get the card after only two visits if you're lucky.

(for those of you who favor mandatory boat operator licensing, this may be what the future looks like ;-)
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Old 12-24-2008
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TWIC times

One of my students pick up his TWICs card in two weeks from start to finish. He was thinking part of the speedy process was from his prior military background. I have heard of others getting their cards in about the same time. It sounds like the bottle neck has been relieved a bit, but I fear when the deadline comes up it will get worse. I also heard that if you don't have a TWICs card by the deadline you could forfeit your license permanently. It's a whole new world out there and it's not business as usual. Now the question is what's next? I heard of this new security officer certification for captain's. Will have to wait and see what this evolves into.


Captain Jack Richards
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"May the Winds be at your Back and the Stars to Guide you by." ___/)____*_
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Best Regards

Captain Jack Richards
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"May the Winds be at your Back and the Stars to Guide you by."
____/)________*_____
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