Two Dozen F-16s (Escorted by Two HH-60Gs) Conduct Rare “Elephant Walk” And COVID-19 flyover At Aviano Air Base

Two dozen F-16s along with 2 HH-60G not visibile in this shot but flying nearby (+1 taking the shot) during the Elephant Walk on Jun. 1, 2020. (Image credit: USAF)

Unprecedented readiness training by the 31st Fighter Wing’s F-16s and HH-60Gs today.

Two dozen F-16s belonging to the 510th Fighter Squadron and 555th Fighter Squadron, along with two HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopters of the 56th Rescue Squadron (plus one acting as a camera ship) took part in an unprecedented 31st Fighter Wing’s “Elephant Walk” on the runway at Aviano Air Base in northeastern Italy.

The Elephant Walk was followed by a COVID-19 flyover as part of a training activity “intended to showcase the continued combat power of Aviano Air Base and give thanks to first responders, doctors, and all personnel engaged in the battle against COVID-19.”

Another impressive shot of the Elephant Walk staged at Aviano on Jun. 1, 2020. (Image credit: USAF)

The Aviano’s “Vipers” did not only taxi in close formation or in sequence (in the same way elephants do) to take some cool shots, as those you can find in this article: they launched and carried out their flying activity that included missions in the restricted airspace over the Adriatic Sea.

Split into 6-ship formations, the 31st FW perform the Covid-19 flyover at Aviano AB. (Image credit: USAF)

Interestingly, as anticipated by our reader Aljoša Jarc on The Aviationist FB Group, one of the four 6-ship formations flew eastbound towards Slovenia, to perform flyovers of several Slovenian hospitals and cities to celebrate the end of the covid epidemic in Slovenia.

The Slovenian flyover route. (Image credit: Slovenia MOD via Aljoša Jarc)

During the flyovers in Slovenia, the six 31st FW F-16s joined three Pilatus PC-9M of the Slovenian Army.

A big thank you to our reader Aljoša Jarc for providing additional details about the activity in Slovenia!

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.