Simulated alert call at McConnell Air Force Base, Kansas.
On Mar. 24, fourteen KC-135 Stratotankers performed an “Elephant Walk” as part of an exercise aimed at testing the rapid mobility capabilities and teamwork of the crews at McConnell Air Force Base, Kansas.
Elephant walks are periodically performed at airbases all around the world to train fighter jets, bombers, airlifters as well as tankers for war-time operations and test crews ability to quickly and safely mass launch base aircraft within minutes of being notified of a mission; depending on the purpose of the training event Elephant Walk may terminate with the aircraft taking off in sequence, or taxi back to the apron.
Image credit: U.S. Air Force photos/Airman 1st Class Christopher Thornbury
Some impressive images captured at Kunsan Air Base during a recent elephant walk exercise.
Taken on Feb. 3, 2016 these striking photos feature U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcons from 35th and 80th Fighter Squadrons of the 8th Fighter Wing Wolf Pack, performing a night elephant walk at Kunsan Air Base, Republic of Korea during exercise Beverly Pack 16-2.
As we have already explained elephant walk exercises are conducted to test squadrons ability to launch a large formation of aircraft with little notice.
Beverly Pack 16-2 is jointly conducted with Republic of Korea Air Force and is aimed to demonstrate the U.S. ability of responding to wartime and armistice threats in the Korean Peninsula.
Elephant Walks are quite frequent in South Korea and are an interesting show of force in response to the North Korea’s aggressive posture. But they are not the only way Washington flexes muscles at Pyongyang: on Jan. 10, following North Korea’s nuclear test, a U.S. Air Force B-52 from Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, performed a low-level flight over Osan Air Base, South Korea.
Image credit: Staff Sgt. Nick Wilson / U.S. Air Force
You don’t see so many C-130H and J models take part in a massive Elephant Walk very often.
On Dec. 6, a flight of 24 C-130 H and J models from the 317th AG and multiple Air National Guard Bases from across the United States took off from Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, as part of a U.S. Air Force Weapons School large-scale mobility exercise dubbed Joint Forcible Entry Exercise 14B.
The Exercise, which featured 100 aircraft in total, has the aim to test the ability of the participants in the weapons school courses to plan and execute synchronized aircraft movement from geographically-dispersed bases, large formations in a simulated contested battlefield.
The scenario includes missions to infiltrate and exfiltrate combat forces via airdrops and combat landings on degraded landing strips through heavily defended airspace.
The photo in this post shows the 24 C-130s taxiing in close formation right before a minimum interval takeoff, in what is referred to as an “Elephant Walk.” You can click on the image below to open a hi-rez version of the shot, and count the planes that are depicted in it.
Elephant walks are periodically performed at airbases all around the world to prepare squadrons for war-time operations and test crews ability to quickly and safely prepare aircraft for a mass launch; depending on the purpose of the training event Elephant Walk may terminate with the aircraft taking off in sequence, 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.
Image credit: U.S. Air Force
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
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.
Image credit: U.S. Air Force