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US holds Air Force's BIGGEST elephant walk in show of strength
US holds largest elephant walk in Air Force history with 4,000 airmen and 80 warplanes in spectacular show of military strength
- The scene was a titanic show of strength against Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping
- An ‘elephant walk’ is a term for the taxiing of military aircraft in close formation
- ‘We train side by side to defend our way of life,’ an Air Force spokesman said
The biggest ‘elephant walk’ in the history of the US Air Force has been staged in a show of military strength amid the war in Ukraine and tensions with China.
In incredible scenes at Sheppard Air Force Base, in Wichita County, Texas, 4,000 airmen shared the runway with 80 aircraft.
The powerful display comes as an American warship sailed through the Taiwan Strait as China makes continued aggressive maneuvers around the island nation.
The term ‘elephant walk’ originated in the Second World War, when large fleets of allied bombers would conduct attacks in missions containing 1,000 aircraft.
The taxiing of these large numbers of aircraft to take off in single file in nose-to-tail formations is said to resemble elephants walking.
The United States held the world’s biggest ‘elephant walk’ in a titanic show of military might
The term ‘elephant walk’ originated in the Second World War, as taxiing aircrafts resembled the animal
The incredible show took place at Sheppard Air Force Base, in Wichita County, Texas
The spectacular display, carried out last week, aimed to highlight the importance of Air Force training and America’s partnerships worldwide.
‘The key to airpower is exceptional Airmen, and the key to exceptional Airmen is exceptional training,’ said General 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 Airmen 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.
Commenting on the impressive display, Colonel Brad Orgeron, from the 80th Flying Training Wing, said: ‘No other base could bring this many training aircraft and student Airmen to bear like this.
‘The fundamental technical and pilot training missions that happen here every day affect literally every base and every combat sortie in the Air Force – not to mention the impact on our global partners.’
Leaders from the two wings planned the unprecedented event to show that the U.S. and its allies remain committed to the legacy of unequalled training as the foundation of combat power.
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 are bound together with 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 do here,’ General Drew added.
‘Sheppard is like the epicenter of a huge sonic boom that reverberates around the planet as we graduate nearly 65,000 Airmen annually and send them off to deliver combat power all over the world.’
4,000 airmen shared the runway with 80 aircrafts in a display of military prowess
The display aimed to highlight the importance of Air Force training
Sheppard Air Force Base is home to three of the eight technical training groups in the Air Force
Military leaders planned the unprecedented event to show that the U.S. and its allies remain committed to the legacy of unequalled training
The military display comes as Beijing and Moscow have vowed to deepen their military ties for the ‘maintenance of world security’ in the latest sign of a growing closeness between the countries.
The warning to the west came as an American warship sailed through the sea separating China and Taiwan, seen by Chinese President Xi Jinping as part of the mainland.
It also comes days after China’s military declared it is ‘ready to fight and smash Taiwanese independence’, releasing an animated video simulating how it would launch an all-out attack on the island nation.
The clip, shared by the Chinese military’s Eastern Theatre Command’s official WeChat account and later posted on Twitter by The Global Times, showed how Beijing would launch a torrent of missiles from the mainland and its navy in the Taiwan Strait to demolish Taiwan’s defenses before invading.
‘The theatre’s troops are ready to fight at all times and can fight at any time to resolutely smash any form of ”Taiwan independence” and foreign interference attempts,’ the military said.
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