MOBILE, Ala. – The year 2016 marks the 50th anniversary of the Coast Guard Aviation Training Center’s establishment in Mobile. In 1966, Coast Guard Air Station Mobile was commissioned with the transfer of an HU-16E Albatross aircraft from Coast Guard Air Station Biloxi, and the establishment of a fixed and rotary-wing pilot training unit.
Air Station Mobile is now known as ATC Mobile. ATC is a multi-mission unit, serving as the Coast Guard’s aviation training and capabilities development center, and an operational air station.
Pilots trained at ATC will ultimately fly the MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter, the MH-65 Dolphin helicopter, the HC-130 Hercules and Super Hercules fixed-wing aircraft, or the HC-144 Ocean Sentry fixed-wing aircraft. All pilots initially trained at ATC also return once a year for a weeklong proficiency refresher course in their designated aircraft.
In 2015, ATC completed initial training for 92 new pilots, conducted proficiency courses for 595 pilots, and accomplished 34 unit assessment visits across the Coast Guard aviation fleet.
As an operational air station, ATC serves as the fixed-wing response capability for the Coast Guard’s Eighth District, executing missions such as search and rescue, homeland security, and environmental protection. ATC’s area of responsibility spans from the Louisiana and Texas border to the eastern edge of the Florida panhandle, north to the Canadian border and extending hundreds of miles offshore deep into the Gulf of Mexico.
In 2015, ATC conducted 180 SAR cases which saved the lives of 10 mariners, saved $570,000 in property, and assisted 35 additional individuals in distress.
ATC will be celebrating its 50th anniversary throughout 2016 with a variety of activities honoring the accomplishments and sacrifices of the men and women who have served in Mobile over the past 50 years.