U.S. A-10s and F-16s take part in impressive Elephant Walk in South Korea

A-10 Thunderbolt II and F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter aircraft perform an 'Elephant Walk' on the runway this week during Exercise Beverly Herd 16-01 at Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea. The Elephant Walk was a demonstration of U.S. Air Force capabilities and strength and showcases the wing's ability to generate combat airpower in an expedient manner in order to respond to simulated contingency operations. The A-10 Thunderbolt II aircraft are the 25th Fighter Squadron "Draggins" and the F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft are the 36th Fighter Squadron "Friends" from the 51st Fighter Wing, Osan AB, ROK; the additional F-16 aircraft are the 179th Fighter Squadron "Bulldogs" from the 148th Fighter Wing out of Duluth Air National Guard Base, Minnesota. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Travis Edwards/Released)

Wow! How many A-10s and F-16s can you count in these stunning photographs?

“Elephant walk” exercises are conducted quite regularly at airbases all around the world to test the squadrons ability to launch large formations of aircraft at short notice.

During this kind of drills, combat planes (including tankers) taxi in close formation in the same way they would do in case of a minimum interval takeoff; still, depending on the purpose of the training event, the aircraft can either take off or return back to their parking slots.

Since war time operational conditions are simulated, tactical aircraft that take part in “Elephant Walks” are usually armed.

“Elephant Walks” are particularly frequent in South Korea where local-based U.S. Air Force jets (often alongside Republic of Korea Air Force planes) frequently stage such “collective shows of force” in response to North Korea’s aggressive posture and threats.

The latest one was held on May 9 and involved more than 40 aircraft (looks like they are 43), including 15 A-10 Thunderbolt II aircraft with the 25th Fighter Squadron “Draggins” and F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft from the 51st Fighter Wing, Osan Air Base, South Korea, with some additional F-16 aircraft with the 179th Fighter Squadron “Bulldogs” from the 148th Fighter Wing out of Duluth Air National Guard Base, Minnesota.

The “Elephant Walk” on the runway at Osan was one of the events of Exercise Beverly Herd 16-01 whose aim was to assess of U.S. Air Force capabilities and strength and showcases the wing’s ability to generate combat airpower in an expedient manner in order to respond to simulated contingency operations.

Click on the image below to open the high-rez panoramic photograph that shows all the aircraft!

Image credit: U.S. Air Force

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About David Cenciotti 3631 Articles
David Cenciotti is a freelance 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 four books.