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Coast Guard

Unit History

Aviation Training Center (ATC)

Role: Training, SAR, Maritime Law Enforcement.

In 1966, the vacant 232-acre Air Force Reserve facility located at Bates Field in Mobile was acquired by the Coast Guard. On 17.12.1966, Air Station Mobile was officially commissioned with the transfer of HU-16E Albatross aircraft from Air Station Biloxi, MS and establishment of the fixed-wing and rotary-wing pilot training units. Air Station Mobile became the Aviation Training Center and was designated a headquarters unit under the direct control of the Commandant of the Coast Guard in 1969. From 1.6.2009 the ATC is subordinated to the recenty formed Force Readiness Command (FORCECOM).


Training Division / ATC (TRADIV)

Role: Training.

No unit history known.

Aircraft Used:
Type Qty Service Example Serials
Aérospatiale HH-65A Dolphin n/a n/a - n/a




Aérospatiale HH-65B Dolphin 5 n/a - 2007


Dassault HU-25A Guardian 4 1982 - Present


Dassault HU-25B Guardian 1 n/a - n/a 2118
Sikorsky HH-60J Jayhawk 2 1991 - 2009 6031
Sikorsky MH-60J Jayhawk 2 2005 - Present 6010,6014,6016
Sikorsky MH-60T Jayhawk 1 2008 - Present 6027
Aérospatiale HH-65C Dolphin 5 2006 - 2012


CASA HC-144A Ocean Sentry  3 2006 - Present 2301,2303,2313
Aérospatiale MH-65C Dolphin 5 2009 - Present




Operations Division / ATC (OPDIV)

Role: SAR.

No unit history known.

Aircraft Used:

Type Qty Service Example Serials
Sikorsky HH-3F Pelican 3 n/a - n/a


Convair HC-131A Samaritan 4 1977 - 1988 5786-5788,5790
Dassault HU-25A Guardian 4 1982 - 2011


CASA HC-144A Ocean Sentry  4 2009 - Present 2304,2305,2307,2311



Polar Operations Division / ATC (POPDIV)

Role: Icebreaker support

The Coast Guard established a helicopter Icebreaker Support Section (IBSEC) at ATC Mobile in 1969. The section had thirty officers, ninety-one enlisted personnel, and fourteen HH-52A helicopters. Pilots and aircrew trained for Cold Weather Survival, Mountain and Rough Terrain Operations, Helicopter External Load Operations, and Shipboard-Helicopter Operations, including flight, maintenance, and deck handling. The outfit was renamed the Ship-Helicopter Division (SHOPDIV) in 1973, when deployments also included law enforcement patrols aboard Coast Guard high endurance cutters (WHEC’s). In 1977, the division returned its primary mission to icebreaker support and received its current title, Polar Operations Division (POPDIV). The HH-52A’s were operated until 1989, when HH-65A Dolphin helicopters replaced them. The upgrade to HH-65B followed in 2003. AVDET 162 was the last Polar Operations AVDET to be deployed aboard Healy in 2005. The Polar Operations Unit has been disbanded due to fleet requirements.

Aircraft Used:
Type Qty Service Example Serials
Sikorsky HH-52A Seaguard 14 1969 - 1989 1462
Aérospatiale HH-65A Dolphin 3 1989 - 2003


Aérospatiale HH-65B Dolphin 3 2003 - 2005




Air Bases:



Bates Field/Mobile RAP/AL

1966 - Present


Unit Insignia:


 Aviation Training Center


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First Created: 3 October 2005 - Last Revised: 15 July 2012
Copyright © 2005 Erich Klaus.     e-mail: erich.klaus@a1.net