The Coast Guard Aviation Training Center (ATC) in Mobile, Alabama is a multi-mission unit, acting as the Coast Guard's aviation and capabilities development center, as well as an operational air station. Training is conducted to qualify Coast Guard pilots in the MH-60 "Jayhawk", the MH-65 "Dolphin" , the HC-130 Hercules, the HC-130J Hercules, and the HC-144 "Ocean Sentry." All pilots initially trained at ATC return once a year for a one week proficiency course in their designated airframe. Serving within the Coast Guard's Force Readiness Command's Training Division (FC-T), the ATC Mobile evaluation center is responsible for ensuring that Coast Guard aviation forces are using the best equipment and tactics to successfully complete all required missions. The Operations Department, flying the HC-144A Ocean Sentry, is a segment within the ATC command that conducts traditional Coast Guard air station missions including Search and Rescue, Homeland Security, and Environmental Protection. The Operations Department operates under the tactical control of the Eighth Coast Guard District and has area of responsibility that extends from the Louisiana/Texas border to the eastern edge of the Florida panhandle.
Captain MacDonald returns to ATC Mobile from assignment in the Acquisitions Directorate at Coast Guard Headquarters where he served as the Executive Assistant to the Director of Acquisitions Programs from 2012 to 2014, providing executive level support across a wide variety of acquisition programs including the National Security Cutter, Offshore Patrol Cutter, Fast Response Cutter, HC-144A, HC-130J, MH-65D, HC-130H, MH-60T, C-27 and Rescue 21.In 2009, Captain MacDonald reported to ATC Mobile as the Engineering Officer (EO) where he led Coast Guard aviation's largest Aviation Engineering department of 21 aircraft and supported the 5 month response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. In 2011, he was assigned as the Executive Officer of the ATC where he oversaw daily operations and administration of the unit’s $17 million dollar budget and 550 personnel.
The Aviation Training Center is committed to be the model Coast Guard aviation and support unit. We balance the needs of our people, our organizational commanders, and the public, in our plans, policies, and operations. When making decisions, we first consider how our actions will affect our people, by identifying, eliminating or minimizing the risks associated with those decisions in order to ensure mission safety. We recognize that if we support, respect, and challenge our people, they will deliver superior service and continuous improvement.
The mission of the Aviation Training Center (ATC) is to produce mission ready aircrews and develop aviation capabilities. We provide core training for rotary wing and fixed wing pilots, rescue swimmers and aircrews for air stations Coast Guard wide. We also serve as the Coast Guard's aviation capabilities development center. We provide direct aviation support to Coast Guard Atlantic Area and the Eighth Coast Guard District. We provide health and administrative services to military families throughout the Mobile metropolitan area, in order to enhance their ability to support Coast Guard operations. We strive to ensure the safe accomplishment of all mission tasking by implementing Coast Guard Safety and Health Programs that provide all employees and their families a safe and healthful environment.