The Elephant walk in the military world


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The Elephant walk in the military world
Photo By: Terry Atwell, Air Force (

The Elephant walk in the military world – Hello everyone! Have you ever heard any term related to an “” in the military world? In this post, we are going to take a look on what is it actually and why does this “walk” seem to be important?

The term elephant walk dates to World War II when massive fleets of allied bombers would conduct attacks in missions containing 1,000 . Those who observed this said that the taxiing of these enormous numbers of aircraft to take-off in single file in nose-to-tail formations said that they looked like elephants walking to the next watering hole. To put it succinctly, the term elephant walk refers to a U.S. Air Force lexicon for the taxiing of military aircraft right before take-off, when they are in close formation. Often, it takes place right before a minimum interval take-off.

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The benefits of an elephant walk include being able to demonstrate the capability of the units as well as teamwork. It is not only to show military force, but also to prove that teamwork is top-notch, and they are great practice in case of an emergency situation, which might call for many bombers to take off and attack on short notice. Additionally, this practice is also used by some aerobatic teams, particularly those associated with a military branch such as the Blue Angels or Thunderbirds of the United States and Canada's Snowbirds, with the teams' aircraft taxiing in tight formation to the runway and maintaining such grouping during take-off.

To be precise, we can see in the following scenes, there are some events including the elephant walk such as:

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The first one is The Elephant walk of fighter. Ten Thunderbolt II fighter aircraft line up in a close formation known as an Elephant Walk before deploying for an exercise at Selfridge Air National Guard Base, Michigan which took place on January 21st, 2020.

The Elephant walk in the military world
(U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Tessa B. Corrick) –

Furthermore, it can be seen there are twelve Air Force F-16CM Fighting Falcons, two Air Force aircraft, two Navy EA-18G Growlers, a Navy C-12 Huron, a Navy P-8 Poseidon and 12 Japan Air Self-Defense, Force aircraft took part in an “Elephant Walk” at Misawa Air Base, Japan which was conducted on June 22, 2020. The event showcased the base's collective readiness and ability to generate combat airpower at a moment's notice.

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Lastly, it was late last year on October 14, 2020, there was one particular elephant walk that all aviation enthusiasts needed to observe. Eight U.S. Air Force bombers were lined up on the runway at Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana. Importantly, this is the most recent show of force of the Cold War-era bombers, which was part of a readiness practice conducted to guarantee that the 2nd Bomb Wing is fully capable of providing winning combat power.

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