Super Hornet Demo
The Gladiators are proud to showcase the F/A-18F Super Hornet Tactical Demonstration (TACDEMO) to patriotic audiences around the United States. The demonstration or “demo” is designed to highlight the mobility, versatility, and power of the F/A-18F. From the high “G” minimum radius turn to the slow speed “high-alpha” pass, the demo flight puts the Super Hornet (nicknamed the “Rhino”) through its paces. Each maneuver is meticulously rehearsed by demo team aircrew, first in the simulator, then in a series of qualification and practice flights. Demo aircrew are Fleet veterans, chosen for their abilities, knowledge, and experience. All of the TACDEMO pilots, weapons systems operators (WSO) and maintenance crew are volunteers. They perform their normal duties during the week and then travel to air shows on the weekends. Throughout the show, adherence to procedure and the safety of the crowd are paramount.
Strike Fighter Squadron ONE ZERO SIX – the “Gladiators”
Strike Fighter Squadron ONE ZERO SIX (VFA-106) began as Bomber-Fighter Squadron SEVENTEEN (VBF-17) at Agana Airfield, Guam on 11 January 1945. Flying F6F Hellcats from USS Hornet (CV-12) the squadron participated in combat operations against the Japanese. The squadron was redesignated twice as Fighter Squadron SIX B (VF-6B) and as VF-62 before becoming Attack Squadron ONE ZERO SIX (VA-106) in 1955. During that time the squadron flew the F4U4 Corsair, F8F Bearcat, F2H Banshee, F9F8B Cougar and the AD4 Skyhawk. As VA-106 the squadron participated in numerous combat cruises during both the Korean and Vietnam conflicts. VA-106 was deactivated on 7 November 1969. Strike Fighter Squadron ONE ZERO SIX was activated at NAS Cecil Field, Flordia on 27 April 1984 as the East Coast Fleet Replacement Squadron (FRS) for the Navy’s newest tactical aircraft, the F/A-18 Hornet. In the summer of 1999, VFA-106 moved from NAS Cecil Field to NAS Oceana, Virginia. As the Super Hornet FRS, VFA-106’s mission is train newly winged Navy aircrew in the tactical employment of the F/A-18 Super Hornet.