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US government shutdown closes USCG centers

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The U.S. Coast Guard has closed the National Maritime Center (NMC) and all Regional Exam Centers (RECs) due to the partial U.S. government shutdown, which started Dec. 22.

The centers are closed until further notice, customer walk-in service is suspended, and examinations and other REC appointments are cancelled.

But approved testing facilities, including Maritime Professional Training in Fort Lauderdale, continue to administer tests, according to Ann Aylesworth, admissions manager at MPT.

“All of MPT’s USCG-approved courses are running as scheduled,” Aylesworth said. “Those courses where we are an approved testing site are running as scheduled.”

The training facility continues to submit completed tests and paperwork to the government, and other applicants may continue to email or mail in paperwork, which will be processed when the shutdown is over.

“We are still submitting applications to the NMC,” Aylesworth said. “The NMC is not processing any paperwork until the government reopens.”

Bluewater Crew Training in Fort Lauderdale also continues to test and submit paperwork, according to Brian Luke, chief operations officer.

“Our courses are USCG approved and any testing that we provide is completed in-house, after which the student receives a certificate indicating they have completed all theoretical and/or practical requirements of the course,” he said. “The government shutdown theoretically should only affect training centers attempting to get approvals, re-approvals, audits, etc. Student training should be relatively unaffected by the shutdown.”

The U.S. Coast Guard maintains limited operations on the following:

  • Customer Service Center call center is open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday, at 1-888-IASKNMC (427- 5662) and IASKNMC@uscg.mil.
  • The NMC website will provide updates on NMC and REC operating status.

For questions regarding credentialing issues related to national security, contact the call center.

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Dorie Cox is editor of The Triton.

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