The U.S. Air Force showcased on Wednesday its ability to rapidly generate combat airpower during an impressive elephant walk at Kadena Air Base, Japan.
“Elephant walk” is a uniquely term that grew out of World War II and became institutional memory in the new U.S. Forces. The term dates back to the time when the Army Air Forces had a large number of bombers, which would regularly generate attacks in excess of 1,000 aircraft from its Numbered Air Forces. It was named Elephant Walk because the nose-to-tail, single-file taxi movements of bombers resembled the nose-to-tail trail of elephants on their way to the next watering hole.
27 military aircraft lined up in close formation before taking off as part of a readiness exercise conducted to ensure able to provide combat power.
A formation of 24 F-15C/D Eagle fighter jets assigned to the 44th and 67th Fighter Squadrons, a KC-135 Stratotanker assigned to the 909th Air Refueling Squadron, an E-3 Sentry assigned to the 961st Airborne Air Control Squadron, and an HH-60 Pavehawk assigned to the 33rd Rescue Squadron taxi during a routine wing readiness exercise at Kadena Air Base, Japan, March 2.
The goal of this exercise was to execute a short notice, agile combat execution-style deployment and generation.
The large formation movement was part of a routine exercise scenario that tested the 18th Wing’s ability to generate airpower in support of the defense of Japan and other partner nations, ensuring the stability and security of a free and open Indo-Pacific.