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

Image credit: ROKAF

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.

About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.