KINGS POINT, N.Y., February 26, 2016 – U.S. Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA) Professor in the Department of Marine Transportation, Capt. George E. Edenfield ’79, USMS, served as technical advisor on education and training issues for the U.S. delegation to the International Maritime Organization (IMO) Third Session of the Sub-Committee on the Human Element, Training and Watchkeeping (HTW 3) meeting in London earlier this month.
The delegation was led by and included multiple USMMA alumni. Mrs. Mayte Medina ’89, U.S. Coast Guard, Chief, Maritime Personnel Qualifications Division, Commercial Regulations and Standards Directorate, was the Head of Delegation. In addition to Edenfield ’79, the delegation included Mr. Davis Breyer ’75 and Mr. Emanuel Terminella ’95 from the U.S. Coast Guard, Maritime Personnel Qualifications Division, Commercial Regulations and Standards Directorate, and Mr. Ira Douglas ’03, Crowley Maritime Corporation, Director, Marine Personnel.
This was the fourth consecutive year that Edenfield was asked by the U.S. Coast Guard and approved by the U.S. Department of State to provide advice to the U.S. delegation.
The HTW03 agenda included validating model training courses, guidance for the implementation of the 2010 Manila Amendments, comprehensive review of the 1995 STCW-F Convention, revision of the Guidelines on Fatigue, review of STCW passenger ship-specific safety training, and Amendments to the IGF Code and development of guidelines for low-flashpoint fuels, among other things.
In past years he has chaired a drafting group for the IMO model courses in support of the 2010 amendments to the STCW Convention. As such he has been responsible for the validation of the major model courses including the Basic and Advanced Tanker Cargo Operations model courses and deck and engine officer model courses, both operational and management level.
This year, Edenfield not only participated in the review and validation of model training courses, he was also invited to chair a sub-group tasked to develop the first set of model course developer instructions under MSC-MEPC.2/Circ.15, Revised Guidelines for the Development, Review and Validation of Model Courses. These extensive instructions were written for eleven new and to be revised model courses and include the training of mariners subject to the IGF Code, the Polar Code and Able Seafarer (deck and engine), ratings forming part of a watch (deck and engine) among others.
Medina remarked, “George has been the nucleus of our U.S. delegation to IMO for the review of the existing model courses and development of new model courses implementing the convention requirements. He has become the worldwide expert on these courses.”
Edenfield explained, “my contribution at this session of HTW 3 was to chair the sub-group tasked with preparing draft terms of reference for eleven courses, with a view to validation by HTW 4. The goal was to underscore the significance of the instructions/terms of reference for model course developers to ensure that the course content must align directly with the STCW Code, as amended, without omission and without addition of extraneous content. As this session was the first to develop the instructions/terms of reference under revised guidelines, it was of particular importance to “get it right” and to establish the precedent/template which should be followed in successive years ahead.”
The delegation was also privileged that United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon visited the IMO, and addressed representatives of IMO Member States and IMO staff. Mr. Ban praised the shipping industry and rescue services for saving hundreds of thousands of lives, often at considerable cost and danger to themselves, in what he referred to as the biggest crisis of forced displacement since the Second World War.
Participation supports U.S. foreign policy goals, and improves the international presence of both U.S. Department of Transportation and the U.S. Merchant Maritime Academy, and supports the Academy’s Strategic Plan Cutting Edge Programs Maritime Partnership and Policy Action. Participation.