Commanding Officer
Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 105
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Commander Stephen "Coach" Eckhart



 

Commander Stephen Eckhart

Commander Stephen “Coach” Eckhart, a native of Beech Grove, Indiana graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 2003 with a Bachelor of Science in Systems Engineering.  He was designated a Naval Aviator at Naval Air Station (NAS) Kingsville in December 2005.

After completion of his initial F/A-18 Fleet Replacement Squadron (FRS) training, Commander Eckhart reported to the “Blue Blasters” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 34 in September 2006.  While at VFA-34, he served as Schedules Officer, AV/ARM Division Officer, Weapons and Tactics Officer, Landing Signals Officer and Assistant Operations Officer.  During this tour, he completed a combat deployment onboard USS ABRAHAM LINCOLN (CVN 72), flying missions in support of Operations IRAQI FREEDOM and ENDURING FREEDOM.

In October 2009, Commander Eckhart joined the “Gladiators” of VFA-106 as an instructor pilot.  While assigned to VFA-106, Commander Eckhart attended the Strike Fighter Tactics Instructor Course (TOPGUN) at NAS Fallon, Nevada.  Following his graduation, he returned to VFA-106 and served as a Strike Fighter Tactics Instructor, Standardization Officer, Assistant Strike Phase Head and Fighter Phase Head.

In June 2012, Commander Eckhart reported to the “Royal Maces” of VFA-27 in NAF Atsugi, Japan as Training Officer.  Over the next two years, he completed four Western Pacific patrols onboard USS GEORGE WASHINGTON (CVN 73).   In July 2014, Commander Eckhart reported to the “Swordsmen” of VFA-32 in NAS Oceana, Virginia where he served as an operational Department Head.  While at VFA-32, he deployed onboard USS DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER (CVN 69) flying combat missions in support of Operation INHERENT RESOLVE.

In November 2016, Commander Eckhart reported to the staff of Commander, Naval Air Force Atlantic in Norfolk, Virginia as the Master Aviation Plan (MAP) writer.   In May 2019, Commander Eckhart returned to VFA-106 for refresher training in preparation for his next tour as Executive Officer of the “Gunslingers” of VFA-105.  In May 2022 Commander Eckhart assumed command of the  “Gunslingers”.

Commander Eckhart has accumulated over 3,000 flight hours and over 500 carrier arrested landings.  He is authorized to wear various personal, unit and campaign awards, all a testament to the amazing officers and Sailors with whom he has served. 

 
 
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