Commander Daniel “Bunny” O'Hara

Commanding Officer, Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 102

26 October 2020 A native of Hendersonville, Tennessee, Commander O’Hara graduated from Auburn University in 2001, earning a Bachelor of Science in Aviation Management. CDR O’Hara was commissioned through the Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps Program and reported to Moody AFB, GA for flight training in November 2001.  He earned his Naval Aviator Wings in December 2003.  In February 2004, CDR O’Hara reported to the VF-101 “Grim Reapers” for initial fleet training as an    F-14D Super Tomcat replacement pilot.

CDR O’Hara began his operational flying in March 2005 with the “Tomcatters” of VF-31.  While a “Tomcatter”, he made one combat deployment participating in Operation IRAQI FREEDOM aboard USS THEODORE ROOSEVELT (CVN 71).  During this tour CDR O’Hara transitioned to flying the FA-18E Super Hornet and was selected to attend the Navy Fighter Weapons School (TOPGUN).

CDR O’Hara reported to NAS Fallon, NV in April 2008 as part of TOPGUN class 03-08.  In June 2008, he graduated from the United States Navy Fighter Weapons School and reported to the TOPGUN staff as an instructor pilot.  CDR O’Hara was the Air-to-Ground Employment SME, High Speed Anti-Radiation Missile (HARM) SME, and F-35C Readiness Officer for TOPGUN until June 2011.  While attached to TOPGUN, CDR O’Hara also graduated from the United States Marine Corps’ MAWTS-1 Weapons and Tactics Instructor (WTI) course in preparation for his follow-on orders.

CDR O’Hara returned to the fleet as the Training Officer and WTI flying the FA-18C Hornet out of NAS Lemoore, CA with VFA-94, the “Mighty Shrikes”.  With the Shrikes, he completed one expeditionary deployment to MCAS Iwakuni, Japan in support of Marine Air Group (MAG) TWELVE operations.  While assigned to VFA-94, CDR O’Hara served as the MAG-12 Flight Lead STAN evaluator (FLSE).

CDR O’Hara reported to NAS Oceana, VA for a Department Head tour flying the FA-18E Super Hornet in VFA-136, the “Knighthawks”.  As a Knighthawk, he completed one combat deployment aboard USS THEODORE ROOSEVELT (CVN 71) in support of OPERATION INHERENT RESOLVE, serving as both Operations Officer and Maintenance Officer.  While assigned to VFA-136, CDR O’Hara was chosen to lead the integration of Naval Integrated Fire Control-Counter Air (NIFC-CA) amongst all Carrier Strike Group TWELVE and Carrier Air Wing ONE assets.

Following his department head tour, CDR O’Hara reported to Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, WA and served as the Standardization Officer and Operations Officer at the “Vikings” of VAQ-129.  He led the first, full-scale modernization of the EA-18G Replacement Aircrew training curriculum in more than seven years.  He selected for operational squadron command in March 2017 and is scheduled to report to VFA-102 as Executive Officer in May 2019.

CDR O’Hara has accumulated over 4,000 flight hours in seven aircraft and 400 carrier arrested landings, including 60 combat missions. His awards include the Strike/Flight Air Medal (3 awards), Navy Commendation Medal (4 awards), and Navy/Marine Corps Achievement Medal (2 awards) and various service awards and ribbons.
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