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Commander, Naval Air Force Atlantic

PTDO UNSECNAV visits Strike Fighter Squadron 106

by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Apprentice D.S. Randol
22 March 2021 The Honorable James F. Geurts, currently performing the duties of Under Secretary of the Navy visited Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 106 onboard Naval Air Station (NAS) Oceana, March 19.

During his visit, Geurts engaged first-hand with squadron leaders, including meeting with Commander, Strike Fighter Wing Atlantic, Deputy Commodore, Capt. Ted Ricciardella to gain an enhanced understanding of VFA-106’s capabilities regarding overall fleet readiness.
 
The Honorable James F. Geurts (right), currently performing the duties of Under Secretary of the Navy, tours the hangar bay with Cmdr. Kelly Shekitka (left), executive officer, Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 106.
SLIDESHOW | 4 images | 210319-N-RQ186-1006 210319-N-RQ186-1006 VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (March 19, 2021) – The Honorable James F. Geurts (right), currently performing the duties of Under Secretary of the Navy, tours the hangar bay with Cmdr. Kelly Shekitka (left), executive officer, Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 106. Geurts visited various commands within the Mid-Atlantic region for fleet engagement. (U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Bonnie Lindsay)
“We have the finest Sailors and Marines in the world,” said Geurts. “It’s important to me that I have the opportunity to meet with them to see first-hand the work they are doing—playing key roles that directly contribute to our naval readiness across different platforms and at all levels of our organization.”

Geurts’ visit also included stops with the Chiefs Mess, ready room, and maintenance control where he addressed enlisted Sailors and thanked them for their support.

“It’s you guys doing the work, inside and out every day,” Geurts said. “You keep them flying, and anybody who’s served on the other side of the airplane knows where it all happens. They trust you with their life every day going up there on the plane. I know you’re working hard.”

At the tour’s end, VFA-106 leadership expressed their appreciation for Geurts’ continued involvement and support at the ground-level.

“It was fantastic, and he was great to have,” said Executive Officer, Cmdr. Kelly Shekitka. “We gave him a tour of the largest Strike Fighter Squadron in the Navy. He’s been here a few times before, and it’s great that he keeps that engagement with the Sailors.”

VFA-106 was commissioned at NAS Cecil Field, April 27, 1984. As the Fleet Replacement Squadron for the East Coast, VFA-106’s mission is to train F/A-18 replacement aircrew to support fleet commitments. 


 
 
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