The “Moose Walk,” more commonly referred to as an “Elephant Walk,” was so named to pay homage to both Alaska’s unique wildlife and to the C-17 Globemaster III, often nicknamed “The Moose.”
On May 5, 2020, active-duty, Guard and Reserve units at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, hosted a massive “Elephant Walk”: U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptors, E-3 Sentrys, C-17 Globemaster IIIs, C-130Js and C-12F Hurons took part in a close formation taxi to display the ability of the 3rd Wing, 176th Wing and the 477th Fighter Group to maintain constant readiness throughout COVID-19 by Total Force Integration.
Though this type of formation is more commonly called an “Elephant Walk,” the JBER version was so named to pay homage to both Alaska’s unique wildlife and to the C-17 Globemaster III, often called “The Moose.”
More in detail: 26x F-22s, 2x C-12Fs, 2x C-130Js, 2x E-3 Sentrys and 3 C-17s took part in the “Moose Walk” as an Alaska ANG HH-60G took some cool aerial shots. This was a significant improvement from last year’s edition when “only” 24x F-22, 1x E-3 and 1x C-17 took part in the Elephant Walk during a Polar Force exercise on Mar. 26, 2019.
According to the U.S. Air Force, the formation was followed by valuable integrated training in the Joint Pacific Alaska Range Complex.
3rd Wing’s F-22s and E-3s often team up during QRA (Quick Reaction Alert) launches triggered by Russian long-range bombers or spyplanes flying in the vicinity of the Alaskan ADIZ (Air Defense Identification Zone). In QRA configuration, the F-22 carry underwing tanks (as done during the “Moose Walk”): LO (Low Observability) is not required to conduct peacetime VIDs (Visual Identifications) so the stealth jets use transponders, radar reflectors/luneburg lenses and carry external loads that exaggerate their radar cross section and hide their actual radar signature to the AEW (Airborne Early Warning) aircraft and spyplanes supporting the Russian Tu-95s, Tu-142s and Il-38N on their long range training missions in international airspace.