The largest “elephant walk” in US Air Force history has been staged in a show of military strength amid the war in Ukraine and tensions with China.
In incredible scenes on Sheppard Air Force Base, in Wichita County, Texas, 4,000 airmen shared the runway with 80 planes.
The powerful display comes as one US warship sailed through Taiwan Strait as China continues aggressive maneuvers around the island.
The term “elephant walk” originated in World War II, when large fleets of Allied bombers would launch raids in missions involving 1,000 aircraft.
Taxiing these large numbers of aircraft to take off in single file in nose-to-tail formations would resemble walking elephants.
The United States held the world’s largest “elephant walk” in a gigantic show of military might
The term “elephant walk” originated in World War II, when aircraft taxiing resembled the animal
The incredible show took place at Sheppard Air Force Base, in Wichita County, Texas
The spectacular display, held last week, was designed to highlight the importance of Air Force training and U.S. partnerships worldwide.
“The key to air power is exceptional fliers, and the key to exceptional fliers is exceptional training,” said Gen. Lyle K. Drew, commander of the 82nd Training Wing.
“That’s what we do here at Sheppard, and this elephant walk was our message to the world that the U.S. and its international partners remain committed to delivering the best trained pilots in the world.”
Sheppard Air Force Base is home to three of the eight technical training groups in the Air Force, as well as Euro-NATO Joint Jet Pilot Training.
Colonel Brad Orgeron, of the 80th Flying Training Wing, said of the impressive display: “No other base could have so many training aircraft and student pilots perform in this manner.
“The basic technical missions and pilot training missions that take place here every day affect literally every base and every combat flight in the Air Force – not to mention the impact on our global partners.”
Leaders of the two wings planned the unprecedented event to demonstrate the U.S. and its allies’ continued commitment to the legacy of unparalleled training as the basis of combat prowess.
Colonel Orgeron said, “We want our allies to know that we are committed to and value our shared training experience with them, and we want our potential adversaries to know that we have been connected to our friends and partners from the very beginning of our military.” . careers as we train side by side to defend our way of life.”
“A picture is worth a thousand words, and this elephant walk really illustrates the scope and magnitude of what we’re doing here,” added General Drew.
“Sheppard is like the epicenter of a massive sonic boom that reverberates across the planet as we graduate nearly 65,000 airmen each year and send them out to deliver combat power around the world.”
4,000 airmen shared the runway with 80 aircraft in a display of military prowess
The display was intended to emphasize the importance of Air Force training
Sheppard Air Force Base is home to three of the Air Force’s eight technical training groups
Military leaders planned the unprecedented event to show the US and its allies’ continued commitment to the legacy of unparalleled training
The military display comes as Beijing and Moscow have vowed to deepen their military ties to “maintain world security” in the latest sign of a growing bond between the countries.
The warning to the west came as a US warship sailed through the sea separating China and Taiwan, seen by Chinese President Xi Jinping as part of the mainland.
It’s coming too days after the Chinese military declared it was “ready to fight and destroy Taiwan’s independence,” it released an animated video simulating how it would launch an all-out attack on the island.
The clip, shared by the official WeChat account of the Chinese military’s Eastern Theater Command and later posted to Twitter by The Global Times, showed Beijing launching a deluge of missiles from the mainland and its navy into the Taiwan Strait to destroy Taiwan’s defenses before invading.
“The theater’s troops are always ready to fight and can fight at any time to decisively destroy any form of ‘Taiwan independence’ and attempts at foreign interference,” the military said.