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Posted: September 20, 2019

STAR Center to upgrade Radar simulators; Radar Recertification unavailable during upgrade work period starting November 15


Starting Friday, November 15, 2019, and ongoing for the remainder of the year, STAR Center will be upgrading its Radar simulators and will be unable to provide Radar Recertification or other Radar training during that time. AMO members and applicants are encouraged to plan any required training prior to that date or delay until January 2020. However, should any member require Radar Recertification during that period, he or she may apply in advance for reimbursement under the STAR Center Non Resident Training Program.

As published in AMO Currents on June 10, 2019, those AMO members and applicants who have accrued 365 days of sea service in the previous five (5) years should no longer need a formal recertification certificate, as detailed below:

U.S. Coast Guard publishes long-awaited Radar Observer final rule

The U.S. Coast Guard has published the final rule titled: "Amendments to the Marine Radar Observer Refresher Training Regulations." The rule amends the requirements for renewal of a Radar Observer Endorsement for mariners who have at least one year of relevant service in the previous five years, or who have taught a Coast Guard approved or accepted Radar course at least twice within the past five years.

The final rule is effective July 22, 2019 and can be found in the Federal Register at Amendments to the Marine Radar Observer Refresher Training Regulations, 84 Fed. Reg. 26580 (June 7, 2019). Associated CG-MMC Policy Letter 03-19 provides guidance for renewal of endorsements as Radar Observer (Unlimited), Radar Observer (Inland), and Radar Observer (Rivers). The Policy Letter can be found online.

The most significant change in the new rule is the elimination of the requirement that a mariner actively using their MMC complete an approved or accepted refresher or recertification course to maintain a Radar Observer Endorsement. A mariner who serves in a relevant position onboard a Radar-equipped vessel for one year in the previous five years will no longer be required to complete a Coast Guard approved or accepted Radar refresher or recertification course per 46 CFR11.480 to renew his or her Radar Observer Endorsement.

This rule also eliminates the requirement to carry a certificate of training if the Radar Observer Endorsement is on the MMC, and allows the Radar Observer Endorsement and MMC to expire at the same time.

Specifically, under the new rule (and policy) to renew a Radar Observer Endorsement, a mariner must provide evidence of ONE of the following:

  1. Completing an appropriate approved or accepted original, refresher, or recertification course (46 CFR 11.480(d));
  2. Meeting the requirements in 46 CFR 10.227(e)(1)(v) of having instructed a Coast Guard approved or accepted Radar course at least twice within the past five years (46 CFR 11.480(f));
  3. Having at least one year of relevant sea service within the last five years in a position that routinely uses Radar for navigation and collision avoidance purposes (46 CFR 11.480(g)).

Mariners will be considered to have met the requirement in 46 CFR 11.480(g) for relevant service routinely using Radar for navigation or collision avoidance if they have at least one year of service as master or mate in the previous five years on vessels that are REQUIRED TO BE FITTED WITH RADAR. The policy letter provides a list of specific vessels/tonnages to which this provision applies.

Mariners who have served on vessels other than those required to be fitted with Radar and listed in the policy letter, or in capacities other than master or mate, should provide documentation of their relevant service on a vessel equipped with Radar in a position in which they routinely used Radar for navigation and collision avoidance purposes.

Service on vessels that do not get underway or occasionally get underway for short voyages, such as vessels in reduced operating status (ROS), will only be credited for days the vessel was underway.

Mariners who cannot meet the relevant service requirements must provide evidence of having completed an approved or accepted original, recertification, or refresher course appropriate to the Radar Observer Endorsement being renewed within five years of application submission.

STAR Center will be monitoring and adjusting the scheduled offering of Radar Recertification courses to reflect the reduced demand as a result of this rule change.

Any questions regarding these courses should be directed to Jeffrey Jones, Head, Deck Department, at 800-942-3220 Ext. 7721 or via .

Enrollment questions or applications should be directed to Student Services at 800-942-3220 Ext. 201 or via .