By Cmdr. Jennifer Cragg, Commander, Naval Air Force Atlantic Public Affairs

Lt. Shane M. Brady , from Chesapeake Beach, MD poses for a photo.

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – A Chesapeake Beach, Maryland U.S. Navy F/A-18 Super Hornet pilot assigned as an instructor to Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA-106), selected to become Team Lead for the U.S. Navy Rhino Demonstration Team.

The Rhino Demo Team is a single ship air show demonstration that displays the rich heritage of Naval Aviation to patriotic audiences across the United States.  The demo flight profile highlights the mobility, versatility, and power of the most lethal, carrier-based Strike Fighter aircraft in the world, the F/A-18F Super Hornet, nicknamed the “Rhino”. 

The Rhino Demo Team includes 15 elite members; four pilots, three weapon systems officers, and eight maintainers.  All Team members are attached to Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA-106). 

Lt. Shane Brady, a native of Chesapeake Beach, graduated from Northern High School in 2007.  He is a 2011 graduate of Hood College with a Bachelor of Arts in Management. Brady earned his commission from the U.S. Navy’s Officer Candidate School in September 2011.

“It is a huge honor and privilege to lead the Team this year for the 2020 air show season.  The men and women of the Rhino Demo Team are our squadron’s finest members and this year will be outstanding to display the pride and professionalism we have in the Strike Fighter Aviation community,” said Brady.

The Rhino Demo Team will fly the F/A-18F to 11 different air shows throughout the United States in 2020:

  • April 18, Thunder Over Louisville (Louisville, KY)
  • May 23-24, Hyundai Air & Sea Show (Miami Beach, FL)
  • June 5-7, Wildwood Air Show (North Wildwood, NJ)
  • June 13-14, Ocean City Air Show (Ocean City, MD)
  • July 4, Thunder Over North Beach (Racine, WI)
  • July 23-26, EAA AirVenture Oshkosh (Oshkosh, WI)
  • August 15-16, Chicago Air & Water Show (Chicago, IL)
  • August 29-30, New York Air Show (New Windsor, NY)
  • September 19-20, NAS Oceana Air Show (Virginia Beach, VA)
  • October 10-11, Wings Over Houston Air Show (Houston, TX)
  • November 14-15, JBSA Air Show (San Antonio, TX)

VFA-106, also known as the “Gladiators”, is located at Naval Air Station (NAS) Oceana. As the East Coast Super Hornet Fleet Replacement Squadron, VFA-106 is comprised of over 200 Officers and 1,340 Sailors who are committed to training the next generation of Strike Fighter aircrew in the tactical employment of the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet.

David M. Higgins II, Publisher/Editor

David M. Higgins was born in Baltimore and grew up in Southern Maryland. He has had a passion for journalism since high school. After spending many years in the Hospitality Industry he began working in...