The Strike Fighter Squadron 106 (VFA-106), also known as the “Gladiators,” is a U.S. Navy F/A-18 Hornet and F/A-18E/F Super Hornet Fleet Replacement Squadron (FRS) stationed at Naval Air Station Oceana in Virginia. It’s a unit of the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps that trains Naval Aviators and Naval Flight Officers (NFOs) on the specific front-line aircraft they have been assigned to fly. Additionally, FRSs are responsible for training aircraft mechanics, providing replacement aircraft for fleet squadron attrition, and standardizing maintenance and aircraft operations.
As the East Coast Fleet Replacement Squadron, the squadron’s mission is to train Navy and Marine Corps F/A-18 Replacement Pilots and Weapon Systems Officers (WSOs) to support fleet commitments. An important part of this training is done at sea, aboard the aircraft carriers from where these pilots would be launched to do their job.
In this video, the aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69) conducts flight operations in the Atlantic Ocean with Greyhound logistics aircraft assigned to the Rawhides of Fleet Logistics Support Squadron 40 (VRC-40) and F/A-18 Hornet strike fighters assigned to the Gladiators of Strike Fighter Squadron 106 (VFA-106).
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