Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Beautiful pictures of armed US A-10s and F-16s in North Korea's backyard

"Elephant walk" exercises are conducted quite regularly at air bases around the world to test the squadrons' ability to launch large formations of aircraft at short notice.
During this kind of drills, combat planes (including tankers) taxi in close formation the way they would in case of a minimum-interval takeoff; still, depending on the purpose of the training event, the aircraft can either take off or return back to their parking slots.
Because wartime operational conditions are simulated, tactical aircraft that take part in elephant walks are usually armed.
Elephant walks are particularly frequent in South Korea, where local-based US Air Force jets (often alongside Republic of Korea Air Force planes) frequently stage such "collective shows of force" in response to North Korea's aggressive posture and threats.
The latest one was held Monday and involved more than 40 aircraft (it looks as if there are 43), including 15 A-10 Thunderbolt II aircraft with the 25th Fighter Squadron "Draggins" and F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft from the 51st Fighter Wing at South Korea's Osan Air Base, with some additional F-16 aircraft with the 179th Fighter Squadron "Bulldogs" from the 148th Fighter Wing out of Duluth Air National Guard Base in Minnesota.
The elephant walk on the runway at Osan was one of the events of Exercise Beverly Herd 16-01, whose aim was to assess US Air Force capabilities and strength and showcase the wing's ability to generate combat airpower in an expedient manner to respond to simulated contingency operations.