ATC Mobile to hold change of command

MOBILE, Ala. — Coast Guard Capt. David R. Callahan, who was officer in charge of Aviation Training Center, Mobile when it was the largest operational air station in Coast Guard history during search and rescue operations after Hurricane Katrina, will hand over command of ATC Mobile to Capt. Steve C. Truhlar, who is reporting from the U.S. Army War College.

Captain David R. Callahan has served as commanding officer of ATC since June 2005. Rear Admiral Joel R. Whitehead, commander, Eighth Coast Guard District, is scheduled to preside.

ATC Mobile is the Coast Guard’s aviation and capabilities development and traing center, is used to qualify all Coast Guard pilots, and is also an operational air station. The crew consists of nearly 450 Coast Guardsmen and 29 civilians.

The crew of ATC Mobile operates and maintains a fleet of seven HH-65C Dolphin helicopters, four HU-25A Falcon jets, four HH-60 Jayhawk helicopters, and three HC-144 Ocean Sentry Turboprop aircraft. Operationally, ATC operates under the tactical control of the Eighth Coast Guard District and has area of responsibility that stretches from the Louisiana/Texas border to the eastern edge of the Florida panhandle, through the Caribbean and into South America.

Under Captain Callahan’s command, ATC has been responsible for all of the Coast Guard’s aviation training and aviation operational capabilities development. Most recently during Hurricane Katrina, Captain Callahan’s command became the largest operational air station in U.S. Coast Guard history, and played a key role in the Coast Guard’s rescue of over 30,000 people in Mississippi and Louisiana. Callahan’s departure from ATC leads him to Cleveland, OH, where he will be Chief of Staff for the Coast Guard’s Ninth District, covering the entire Great Lakes region.

Captain Truhlar is reporting from the U.S. Army War College. His previous aviation tour of duties included: Coast Guard Air Station (CGAS) Miami, ATC Mobile, CGAS Traverse City, Michigan, and Commanding Officer, Navy Training Squadron TWO Pensacola, FL. Captain Truhlar will be the seventeenth officer to serve as Commanding Officer of ATC.

The Change of Command ceremony is a time-honored event preserved by the rich heritage of naval tradition. It is a formal custom that is designed to strengthen the respect of authority, which is vital to any military organization.

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