Drew Stephens, VP Geosciences
‘Credible, Professional, and Capable’ are perhaps the best words to describe CPC, a leading marine services and technology company serving government and industry customers. Formally known as Cardinal Point Captains, this California-based Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business is widely recognized for its comprehensive suite of unrivaled maritime services that serves the needs of a wide range of government and commercial clients, including the U.S. Navy and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). “We combine our personnel expertise, advanced geospatial technology, and robust hardware systems to provide a range of solutions for our customers,” says Drew Stephens, VP for Geosciences at CPC.
With a core focus on client satisfaction and safe mission accomplishment, CPC offers USCG-licensed, highly compatible crews that possess exceptional operational experience in sensitive military and research operations—which is specifically targeted towards the U.S. Navy. “To do this, we leverage our strong maritime legacy and extensive partner networks in both the hardware and software spaces,” says Stephens. “As autonomous technologies continue to grow quickly in maritime applications, we know our success is in having highly trained, experienced professionals to manage this wide array of hardware and software.”
When it comes to NOAA, CPC goes the extra mile to provide marine vessel support, scientific and technical support for data collection and processing, as well as GIS and other geospatial application services. In a nutshell, the company helps NOAA modernize and augment their existing geospatial technology stack to ensure safe mission accomplishment.
CPC’s ability to fulfill the terms and conditions of contracts and perform challenging task orders make it the go-to partner for demanding marine missions. CPC's collaboration with NOAA in a whale disentanglement mission well exemplifies its value proposition. Led by a CPC Captain, the NOAA Research Vessel Fulmar was deployed to rescue an entangled whale spotted off the California coast. Leveraging his longstanding experience at sea, the Captain got close to the whale, cut lines and nets endangering it, and saved it. With several such instances of success, CPC prides itself on helping NOAA to ensure the wellbeing of marine mammals off the U.S. coasts.
What makes CPC unique is its collaborative work culture that allows flexible communications within the ecosystem and eliminates red tape. These strategies help the company quickly respond to clients’ needs, manifest a can-do attitude, and execute their capabilities with speed and safety in mind. The staffing structure, active program management strategies, and communication capabilities have always supported synergistic interactions between CPC’s teams deployed at various missions. With such powerful capabilities and having experience in handling remote working employees, CPC kept its business running smoothly during the pandemic. For example, the company redirected divers and marine experts into onshore tasking, as most diving operations were on a halt at NOAA sites. This is just the latest example of how CPC innovates and augments its performance at scale in real-time.
CPC is also well recognized for maintaining strong liaison with the world’s most prominent vendors—both in the hardware and software space. These partnerships help the company not only meet challenging customer requirements but also keeps them ahead of the competition. For example, on the hardware side, it has a close partnership with Ocean Aero, which manufactures the Gen 3 Triton, a dual-modality solar-powered autonomous underwater and surface vessel (AUSV). By serving agencies that are potential users of Ocean Aero vehicles, CPC has the staff and logistical resources to launch, recover, maintain, and manage their missions.
Anticipating the maritime industry’s growing dependency on geospatial and autonomous technologies, CPC is deploying robust solutions to support geographic marine domain awareness and monitoring systems. These systems bring a significant change in the way illegal activities are being detected and prevented. For example, if a CPC Triton has been deployed for a scientific study or any monitoring mission, it can be used to detect Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated (IUU) fishing and other illegal activities, inform authorities instantly and help respond and prevent such incidents. “We believe we are making a difference in the maritime services industry by helping customers operate safely, save time and money, all while making faster, informed decisions and contributing to sustainability goals and environmental protection initiatives,” concludes Stephens.