The Atlantic Diving Supply Story: Company Beginnings

It’s no secret that Atlantic Diving Supply has grown at breakneck speed--emerging as a top supplier for all military members and first responders in the last decade. But how did the company get to this point?

Atlantic Diving Supply’s company history is rooted in local community efforts and a desire to help on a larger scale. What was once a five-person operation working out of a trailer is now a top 25 federal contractor. And while Atlantic Diving Supply has grown beyond its five founding employees, its 300 person-team remains dedicated to its community-centered beginnings.

1997 - Atlantic Diving Supply as a Virginia Beach Staple

Founder Luke Hillier launched Atlantic Diving Supply as an extension of Lynnhaven Dive Center, his father’s small dive shop local to Virginia Beach.

The Dive Center served as a scuba shop and training hub, attracting many veteran and active military customers.

Hillier overheard a customer noting that the shop’s equipment was better than what he used in the military. From there, Hillier saw a vision for the dive shop--a way to equip servicemen and women with the best dive equipment on the market.

Hillier took that idea and ran, starting Atlantic Diving Supply from a small trailer parked behind Lynnhaven Dive Center. In 1997, he began outfitting the local military diving community with wetsuits, with a vision to grow far beyond Virginia Beach.

Atlantic Diving Supply Moves Beyond Diving

As the company grew, Atlantic Diving Supply had to grow its offerings to provide the best possible equipment solutions for its customers.

Soon, Atlantic Diving Supply expanded to include not only dive equipment, but tactical gear, safety equipment, energy solutions, medical and first responder equipment, storage, vehicles, robotics, and more.

2000 - Atlantic Diving Supply’s First Contract

In 2000, only three years after its founding, Atlantic Diving Supply won its first major contract. The Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) awarded Atlantic Diving Supply for specialized equipment including marine, diving, and search and rescue technologies.

This cemented Atlantic Diving Supply’s place in the defense industry, paving the way for future growth and service. All the while, the company remained rooted in Virginia Beach--continuing to serve its local community and beyond.

"The ADS story is a great one because it has always been about taking care of the people who serve our country. It is a reminder of why we do what we do every day."


And that’s just the beginning. Stay tuned for the next iteration of The Atlantic Diving Supply Story.

In the meantime, learn more about Atlantic Diving Supply by visiting our Community News page.

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