NAS OCEANA — News 3’s Squadron of the Month for June 2023, the Gladiators of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 106, trace their roots back to the Second World War. The squadron began as a unit at Agana Air Field, Guam on January 11, 1945. , operations included strikes against Tokyo, Iwo Jima, and Okinawa as well as the first major air strikes against the islands of Kyushu and Shikoku.
After years on the move, from NAS Norfolk to NAS Cecil Field in Jacksonville, FL, VFA-106 moved to its present-day home at Naval Air Station Oceana in Virginia Beach in 1999. It flies the single seat and two seat variants of the Navy’s newest strike fighter aircraft, the F/A-18E and the F/A-18F Super Hornet.
The Gladiators of VFA-106 have a unique mission in the Navy. It’s their job to train and prepare sailors for their future assignments around the world, including training and certifying aviators flying the F/A-18 Super Hornet. The squadron boasts the Navy’s largest Super Hornet fleet, and a collection of more than 1,000 crew members, both active duty and civilian.
Since commissioning, VFA-106 has earned numerous awards and recognition, including the Navy Unit Commendation, Meritorious Unit Commendation, and two Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Aviation Safety Awards. The squadron is led by . The Executive Officer is .