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The MUTHA trophy, the symbol of strike fighter spirit, made a voyage in May of 2010 aboard the space shuttle, STS-132, with the help of Navy captains Kenneth Ham and Dominic Antonelli. The plan to launch the Japanese statue was developed by the Fighting Checkmates of VFA-211, who “rescued” the statue from the Red Rippers of VFA-11 at the time. On Aug. 14 at the NAS Oceana Officer’s Club the Gunslingers of VFA-105 were awarded the coveted trophy following this year’s Strike Fighter Sports Week. 

Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 105 was awarded the coveted MUTHA trophy on August 14 at the NAS Oceana Officer’s Club following this year’s Strike Fighter Sports Week. 

This highly sought after award is presented annually by the commanding officer of VFA-106 to the squadron on the flightline that displays the most strike fighter spirit. The VFA-105 Gunslingers last received the MUTHA trophy in 2006, making them the first single-seat Super Hornet squadron to win the award twice.

The 60-year-old MUTHA was first presented in 1964 to the Screaming Eagles of Fighter Squadron (VF) 51. Following the sunset of the F-8 Crusader, the F-14 Tomcat community continued the MUTHA tradition. Since the retiring of the F-14 Tomcat, the F-18 Hornet and Super Hornet community now carries on its legacy.

The MUTHA trophy depicts the legendary Japanese figure Tanuki holding a jug of sake and a coin sack, both of which are said to always be full. This symbolizes the good fortune that will surround the squadron that lays claim to her.

Throughout the year, it is traditional for the MUTHA to be paraded and boasted, all the while being kept safe by the junior officers of the squadron that currently holds her.

Over the past 12 months, the Gunslingers have demonstrated their skill, professionalism and overall strike fighter spirit both in the air and on the ground as they swept nearly every competition during Strike Fighter Sports Week. They claimed first place in bowling, skeet shooting, basketball, and the 5K run and second place to VFA-106 in softball.

Additionally, the Gunslingers are the current undisputed East Coast Air-to-Air Tactics Tournament Champions. The squadron shares credit for these accomplishments with t the devoted maintenance and administration teams who they say provide the best jets on the flight line.

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