Unit History: Airborne Transport Development Centre
In 1956 Old Sarum Airfield became the home of the Army Air Transport Training and Development Centre
In January 1968, the Joint Air Transport Establishment (JATE) was formed with its headquarters at Old Sarum, Wiltshire which at the time was also the home of the Joint Warfare Establishment (JWE) and the Army Air Transport Development Centre (AATDC).
The initial JATE Organisation was based on a consortium of 3 separate units, operating under the co-ordinated control of Headquarters JATE. The 3 units in question comprised of the Army’s long serving AATDC, AFTDU and a new organisation titled the Joint Helicopter Development Unit, (JHDU).
The JHDU added a Naval presence within the JATE organisation. There was a close link between JWE and JATE with the post of JATE Commandant being combined with the Deputy Commandant at JWE.
In 1970 the MOD decided JATE should be based entirely at RAF Abingdon (the home of ATDU) and the close ties with JWE ceased.
It was also decided that the main element of JHDU should become independent of JATE and remain at Old Sarum under the new title of Joint Helicopter Tactical Development Unit (JHTDU).
JATE retained 1 section, made up of personnel of AATDC’s Helicopter Section, concerned with helicopter underslung loads, internal load clearance work and techniques for carriage of troops by helicopter.
The move to Abingdon was completed in February 1973. In combination with the move, a more unified structure was introduced. The separate identities of AATDC and ATDU were formally discarded although the various sections remained identifiable with their earlier affiliations.
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