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US Navy Gerald R. Ford aircraft carrier conducts carrier qualifications with Gladiators Strike Fighter Squadron VFA 106


According to information released by the U.S. Navy on July 30, 2020, U.S. Navy USS Gerald R. Ford aircraft carrier is underway in the Atlantic Ocean conducting carrier qualifications with Strike Fighter Squadron 106. F/A-18F Super Hornet attached to the "Gladiators" of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 106 have conducted flight operations on July 30, 2020
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US Navy Gerald R. Ford aircraft carrier conducts carrier qualifications with Gladiators Strike Fighter Squadron VFA 106 925 001 An F/A-18F Super Hornet attached to the "Gladiators" of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 106, approaches to land on USS Gerald R. Ford's (CVN 78) flight deck during flight operations July 30, 2020. (Picture source U.S. Navy)


USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) is the lead ship of her class of United States Navy aircraft carriers. The construction of the ship started in August 2005 and the aircraft carrier was laid down on 13 November 2009. She was christened on 9 November 2013 and entered the fleet replacing the decommissioned USS Enterprise (CVN-65).

The U.S. Navy Gerald R. Ford-class will be the premier forward asset for crisis response and early decisive striking power in a major combat operation. Gerald R. Ford-class aircraft carriers and carrier strike groups will provide the core capabilities of forward presence, deterrence, sea control, power projection, maritime security and humanitarian assistance. The class brings improved warfighting capability, quality of life improvements for our Sailors and reduced total ownership costs.

The Gerald R. Ford aircraft carrier is able to carry up to 90 aircraft, including the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, F / A-18E / F Super Hornet, E-2D Advanced Hawkeye, EA-18G Growler electronic attack aircraft, MH-60R / S helicopters, as well as unmanned air and combat vehicles.

Strike Fighter Squadron 106 (VFA-106), also known as the "Gladiators", is a United States Navy F/A-18 Hornet and F/A-18E/F Super Hornet Fleet Replacement Squadron stationed at Naval Air Station Oceana, Virginia.

The Boeing F/A-18E and F/A-18F Super Hornet are twin-engine, carrier-capable, maritime multirole fighter aircraft variants based on the McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornet. The F/A-18E single-seat and F/A-18F tandem-seat variants are larger and more advanced derivatives of the F/A-18C and D Hornet.

The F/A-18 is used as an attack aircraft as well as a fighter. In its fighter mode, the F/A-18 is used primarily as a fighter escort and for fleet air defense; in its attack mode, it is used for force projection, interdiction and close and deep air support.