Tag Archives: Elephant Walk

Eighteen F-4E Phantom aircraft stage Elephant Walk in South Korea

Although not as numerous as some Elephant Walks we have seen in the last years (especially, the impressive one at Seymour Johnson AFB, featuring some 70 F-15Es) the one you can see in the image released today by the Republic of Korea Air Force is quite interesting.

It shows 18 F-4E belonging to the 17th Fighter Wing based at Cheongju airbase, about 100 km to the southeast of Seoul, taxing along the runway in rows of three Phantoms.

Noteworthy, among the Elephant Walks staged in the last few years in South Korea, this seems to be the first one not to include U.S. warplanes: 2012’s Elephant Walk at Kunsan involved about 60 U.S. F-16s and South Korea’s ROKAF KF-16s; another one, once again at Kunsan in Dec. 2012, saw several U.S. and South Korean F-16s taxiing down the runway.

Anyway, besides the U.S., where Elephant Walks are quite common, the only other place around the world where such glamor shots are taken in South Korea.

The reason is that these kind of training activities, with several planes taxiing in close sequence or formation along the runway, is conduct with a dual purpose: first, to test squadrons readiness to war time operations; second, as a show of force, to impress the threatening neighbour North Korea.

Image credit: ROKAF


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[Photo] 12 KC-10 Extenders and 6 C-17 Globemasters in another impressive “Elephant Walk”

On Nov. 21, 12 KC-10 Extenders and six C-17 Globemasters from the 305th Air Mobility Wing conducted a mass launch exercise as part of a training activity at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J.

The most evident part of the exercise was the impressive “Elephant Walk”, a nose-to-tail taxi formation that saw all the 18 wide bodies move from the parking slot to the active runway.

305th airmen, aircraft walk the walk

Image credit: U.S. Air Force

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[Photo] Six C-130 Hercules aircraft practice large formation airlift tactics and procedures

On Feb. 21, 2013, a formation of six C-130 Hercules from Yokota Air Base, Japan participated in a mission whose aim was to practice  large formation airlift tactics and procedures.

In the image below, the aircraft perform a so-called Elephant Walk, taxiing in sequence for the active runway.

C-130 Elephant Walk

The following photograph shows the Hercules airlifters of the 374th Airlift Wing leaving smoke trails in the skies over Yokota.

Smokey C-130s

Image credit: U.S. Air Force

A Yokota based U.S. C-130 was tailed by Chinese J-7 and J-10 fighters as it reached the airspace close to the border between China and Japan on Jan. 10, 2013.

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How many F-16 fighter jets can you spot in this impressive Elephant Walk photo?

On Dec. 14, 2012, Kunsan airbase, Republic of Korea, hosted the latest of a series of Elephant Walk exercise involving F-16 Fighting Falcons from the 35th and 80th Fighter Squadrons of the 8th Fighter Wing; the 4th Fighter Squadron of the 388th Expeditionary Fighter Wing at Hill Air Force Base, Utah; and the 38th Fighter Group of the ROK Air Force.

During Elephant Walk exercises military aircraft (usually fully armed) taxi in close formation or in sequence right before a minimum interval takeoff and, depending on the purpose of the training event they then either take off or taxi back to the apron.


In April 2012, nearly 70 F-15E Strike Eagles took part to one of the largest Elephant Walk to date at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, N.C.

Last year’s exercise at Kunsan involved about 60 U.S. F-16s and South Korea’s ROKAF KF-16s taxiing down the runway of the South Korean airbase in a collective “show of force” whose primary aim is to test squadron’s readiness to war time operations (and secondary one is probably to impress Pyongyang….).

Since the number of aircraft that took part to the latest Elephant Walk at Kunsan has not been disclosed the question is: how many F-16s can you spot in these photos?

Image credit: U.S. Air Force


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It was not a useless "show of force": this video shows that the nearly 70 F-15Es took off after Elephant Walk

Some readers of this blog sent me comments and emails after I published the article about the “insane” line up at Seymour Johnson AFB on Apr. 16. Although almost everyone was impressed by the amount of fighters (with inert armament) on the runway, someone thought it was nothing more than a “useless show of force” since aircraft (in their opinion) did not take off.

Actually, the main difference between the Kunsan airbase “Elephant Walk” (made of 60 U.S. and South Korea’s F-16s) and the one performed by nearly 70 F-15Es at Seymour Johnson AFB, N.C., is that (number of aircraft aside), in the first case, the aircraft were armed with live ordnance hence did not take off (they just taxied down the runway); in the the second one, the 4th FW launched about 70 sorties to virtually destroy 1,000 mock targets across the state!

Here’s a video showing the Strike Eagles taxiing down the runway and then take off in sequence.

Indeed “Mustang Mayhem 2012″ (that’s the name of the 4th FW exercise) was a show of force. But, just like Operation Chimichanga, it was also a way to validate procedures used for mass launches.

Once again: “train as you fight, fight as you train”.