Tuesday, February 5, 2008

C-PORT Summary

The C-PORT annual conference is over, and I think it was a huge success - especially when compared to previous years. A contributor to the success is the shear numbers of attendees. I believe we had over 170 folks attending this year. Holding the conference in conjunction with the networks’ conventions means that companies don’t have to endure two business trips with time off and expenses.

Speaking of expenses, once again Boat/US announced that they would reimburse their towers for the cost of the C-PORT membership dues. This is a strong endorsement of C-PORT, and any Boat/US tower that is not a member of C-PORT is….well, foolish?

The annual banquet was great, and Capt. Chris Hall, Chief of Search & Rescue for the entire Coast Guard, was the speaker after dinner. His speaking style relies on healthy doses of humility and hilarity, and I think everyone in the room immediately took a liking to him. More importantly, he reiterated Dean Lee's theme that the Coast Guard, at the highest levels, has truly accepted commercial marine assistance as a professional industry that is a vital component of the SAR process. I get the impression that the USCG is now actively (rather than reluctantly) seeking to strengthen and improve our partnership. Amen to that.